St. Paul Highland Park’s HaNeul Jeong-McDonell wins badminton state title

St. Paul Highland Park’s HaNeul Jeong-McDonell continued her ascent to the top.

Jeong-McDonell defeated St. Paul Washington’s Cinderella New 21-12, 21-14 to win the singles championship in the badminton state tournament Thursday at Edina High School. Jeong-McDonell was the runner-up in the state tournament a year ago.

Newly rallied to beat Jeong-McDonell 10-21, 21-16, 21-16 for the singles title in the St. Paul City Conference championships last week.

In the doubles championship, St. Paul Central’s senior tandem of Julia Bowron and Emma Clift, the third seed, upset St. Paul Johnson’s top-seeded duo of Ashley Her and Birdy Xiong 24-22, 21-19. Bowron and Clift were also the doubles runner-up to Her and Xiong 16-21, 21-15, 21-8 in the St. Paul City Conference championships.

RON HAGGSTROM

U golf coach Smith gets extension

Gophers athletics director Mark Coyle announced Thursday that men’s golf coach Justin Smith has agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2024-25 season.

“I am incredibly grateful to Mark Coyle for the opportunity to continue to lead this program,” said Smith, who was named the Gophers ninth head coach in program history in 2019. “Minnesota golf and this University have helped shape who I am as an individual and have provided me with so many amazing opportunities. I am excited to continue to work to elevate this program and to offer our student-athletes a world-class experience on the course, in the classroom and in the community. “

Smith played for the Gophers from 2000-04 and helped Minnesota advance to the NCAA finals three times (2001, 2002 and 2003).

Idalski named St. Cloud State women’s hockey coach

Brian Idalski, who guided North Dakota to a pair of NCAA women’s hockey tournament appearances before the university cut the sport in 2017, on Thursday was named coach of the St. Cloud State women’s team. Idalski, 51, replaces Steve Macdonaldwhose contract was not renewed after his teams went 21-59-9 over three seasons.

Idalski has spent the past three seasons with the KRS Vanke Rays in Russia’s Women’s Hockey League, leading the team to a 77-17 mark and two regular-season championships and one playoff title. She also coached China’s women’s team in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

RANDY JOHNSON

U baseball beats Northwestern

Riley Swenson, Jake Larson and Andrew Wilhite each drove in three runs as the Gophers baseball team outlasted Northwestern, 15-14, Thursday at Siebert Field.

The Gophers (16-34, 6-16 Big Ten) led 13-6 after six innings, but Northwestern tied it 14-14 in the top of the eighth.

Ronald Sweeny led off the bottom of the eighth with a double. The Gophers loaded the bases with one out and Sweeny scored when Brett Bateman hit into a fielder’s choice.

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