Gymnastics seeks return to NCAA Championships
Big moments also ahead this weekend for men’s lacrosse, hockey
The University of Denver gymnastics team, ranked 13th in the country, is prepared to make another run to the NCAA National Championships this weekend. The team will be in Minneapolis competing at NCAA Regionals, to which it has advanced for the 20th consecutive year.
DU will be the third seed at the regional, competing alongside top-ranked Oklahoma, Kentucky, Minnesota, Iowa State and Iowa.
The top two teams will advance to the national championships in St. Louis at the end of April. Individual event winners and the top two all-around finishers not on a qualifying team also will advance.
The Pioneers are coming off their highest road score of the season (197.075) at the Big 12 Championships last month. The team is hoping to make its fourth appearance at the national championships. Last year, DU finished ninth overall — the best result in program history.
Other athletics notes …
Sophomore forward Henrik Borgstrom has been named a finalist for college hockey’s greatest individual honor, the Hobey Baker Award.
The award, to be announced Friday at the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn., recognizes the player who best demonstrates strength of character on and off the ice, contributes to the integrity of his team and displays outstanding skills in all facets of the game. Scholastic achievement and sportsmanship are also considered.
Borgstrom, who recently signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Florida Panthers, led the Pioneers in scoring. His 23 goals and 52 points were the fourth-most in the NCAA this season. He was the only unanimous selection for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s all-conference first team. In 2017 he was named an All-American and won the NCHC Rookie of the Year Award.
Two Pioneers have previously won the Hobey Baker award: Will Butcher (2017) and Matt Carle (2006).
The fourth-ranked DU men’s lacrosse team hits the road this weekend for a conference clash with the seventh-ranked Villanova Wildcats.
The Pioneers have never lost a BIG EAST regular season game and are coming off a 6-5 win on the road at Georgetown. Senior faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste moved into second place all time in career faceoff wins, while Colin Rutan netted his second-straight game winning goal.
Denver has taken nine games in a row from the Wildcats and owns a 10-2 all-time record. Two years ago, in the last game between the teams, the Pioneers overcame a blizzard for a 12-11 win.
Faceoff is set for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on the BIG EAST Digital Network and ESPN Denver 1600.