Gene's Blog: A year of lasts -- and firsts -- at UST
February 09, 2012
Charles Bruchu went 4-for-4 at the plate last April at Siebert Field in the Toms' 8-3 win over the Gophers. (Greg Smith photo)
Here's a collection of fun February facts from the St. Thomas sports world:
Tommie baseball will have a front-row seat to a slice of Minnesota baseball history next May.
University of Minnesota baseball coach John Anderson announced Thursday that the Gophers’ May 1 game with the Tommies has been moved from the Metrodome to Siebert Field. The nine-inning game will be played at 6:30 p.m., and will be the last competition held at Siebert.
The facility and its bleachers were built in 1971 and originally named Bierman Field. The facility was renamed in 1978 as a tribute of former U of M coach Dick Siebert, who led Minnesota to three NCAA championships. More than 750 college games have been played at Siebert over the last 41 seasons.
The grandstand is in poor shape and is being phased out while Minnesota raises money to build a new stadium. The conditions at Siebert have prompted the U of M to schedule most of its home games in recent seasons at the Metrodome.
Meet Henry Nachtsheim
The scoreboard inside the AARC’s Schoenecker Arena will be named in honor of Henry Nachtsheim, a former St. Thomas student-athlete, coach and instructor.
Dedication ceremonies will be held Saturday Feb. 11 at halftime of the Concordia-UST men’s basketball game. Family members expected to be on hand include Stephen Nachtsheim, a longtime university trustee and former executive with Intel Corporation.
Henry Nachtsheim played basketball at both St. Thomas Academy and the College of St. Thomas. After graduate school at Indiana and Minnesota and military service in World War II, he returned to St. Paul and lived on campus in Tom Town. He was an assistant coach in basketball and a chemistry professor. Henry and his wife Ruth raised four children, three who taught at or graduated from St. Thomas.
Hall of Famer
Tommie women’s basketball coach Ruth Opatz Sinn will make history on Monday night -– she’ll become the first female inducted into the Catholic Athletic Association Hall of Fame. The organization has helped promote and sponsor Twin Cities youth sports leagues and tournaments for more than 60 years.
Sinn played CAA youth sports starting as an elementary student at St. Peter’s.
Sinn played on Tommie women’s basketball’s first two MIAC championship teams in 1983 and 1984. The Tommies have won or shared an MIAC playoff or regular-season championship in four of the last five seasons. Sinn’s last five UST teams have built a 101-32 record.
Both the Tommie women and men’s basketball teams were ranked this week in the first NCAA West Region polls. The rankings are compiled by a coaches’ committee and help determine NCAA playoff inclusion and seeding.
The Tommie women are ranked second in the West behind unbeaten George Fox. UST’s men are ranked fifth, one ahead of Gustavus.
The UST women rank in the top seven nationally in both field-goal (.462) and free-throw (.765) percentage. The St. Thomas men are ranked in the top 25 in both field-goal shooting (.482) and fewest turnovers.
Click here for details:
Quick quiz: How many MIAC women’s and men’s basketball players have a scoring average of 13 or more points a game?
The correct answer is 22, led by Gustavus senior guard Seth Anderson at 23.9 ppg.
Quick quiz II: How many Tommie women’s and men’s basketball players have a scoring average of 13 or more points a game?
The correct answer is zero… Tommy Hannon averaged 16.3 in nine games before being sidelined by a knee injury. John Nance leads the Tommie men at 12.7 ppg. Taylor Young tops the UST women at 12.9 ppg.
Threes with Ease
Senior guard Ali Johnson recently surpassed 150 career 3-point baskets. Johnson has made 157 threes at a 41-percent clip in 88 career games.
Sophomore Nick Johnson swept the one- and three-meter diving at Tuesday’s Northfield Invite at Carleton. Johnson’s score of 329.40 on three meter broke his own six-dive school record.
The Tommies will host a Friday 5 p.m. diving invitational at Anderson Pool. The UST men’s and women swimmers compete at home Saturday in their last action before the Feb. 16-18 MIAC Championships.
St. Thomas and Hamline athletes will go head-to-head Friday in the Showcase indoor track and field meet at Anderson Fieldhouse. Meanwhile, Tommie track and field All-Americans Ben Sathre and Mike Hutton will travel to Ames, Iowa for Saturday’s portion of the Iowa State Classic.
Sathre will run the 5,000 meters and Hutton will race the 800 on the Cyclones’ oversized 300-meter indoor track. Sathre will look to break the 19-year-old St. Thomas record of 14:23.92 set by Jeff Renlund. Hutton holds the 800 record with a best of 1:50.91.
Click here for live results:
St. Thomas men’s and women’s hockey teams are flying high. The No. 5-ranked men, 17-3-2 overall, have already wrapped up an MIAC title. The women are 8-1 since December and have climbed from ninth to second place in the conference standings.
The Tommie men have killed off 25 consecutive power plays in the last six games, including all 13 last weekend in a sweep of Bethel.
Over the last four weeks, the UST women and men are 14-0 with a combined 1.41 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage. Three of the wins came in sudden-death overtime. Freshman Drew Fielding (shown at right) is 8-0 on the season.
The men have a bye weekend, while UST plays St. Catherine (Friday night on home ice, Saturday afternoon at U of M Ridder Arena.)
St. Thomas teams have already secured five MIAC championships thus far in 2011-12 -– football, men’s golf, volleyball (tie), men’s hockey and women’s basketball.
Tommie teams are expected to chase top-two conference finishes in men’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, women’s hockey, baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s indoor/outdoor track and field .
St. Thomas football attracted the fourth most spectators in Division III football in 2011. UST’s 29,000-plus total for eight home dates was an average of 3,663 per game.
St. Thomas’ total was helped by the Tommie-Johnnie game, which drew a school-record 10,025. The average was hurt by snow (St. Scholastica), rain (Monmouth) or cold weather (St. John Fisher) which marred each of its three NCAA playoff games.
The MIAC led all Division III conferences with 168,150 total fans (3,503 per game).
Action Photos On Sale
Tommie fans can check out these websites to view/purchase action photos of games:
St. Thomas Photo Store:
Tommie fans who own an I-phone are invited to download a free app to share MIAC scores and information.
A pilot program by local company D3scorecast is underway in men’s basketball and hockey that allows fans to share score updates on game days. The company’s goal by next fall is to expand to droid devices and to expand to include women’s sports, too.
Click here for more information:
--Video Demo: http://vimeo.com/35222977
--iPhone Store Link: http://itunes.apple.com.us/app/local-scorecast/id459538033?mt=8
iPhone users willing to take part should email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org