Feb. 4, 2012
The No. 16 Minnesota men's swimming and diving team continued to post fast times on the final day of the Minnesota Challenge Saturday at the University Aquatic Center, with the Gophers claiming 12 first-place finishes in front of the home crowd.
Kristoffer Jorgensen opened the day with a victory in 3 meter diving with a score of 393.50, followed by Mikey Ross in second place with a score of 369.70. Turner Eckstrom posted a third-place finish with a 323.70 mark. All three scores were NCAA Zone Diving qualifying marks.
In the 200 medley relay, the team of Zach Bolin, Josh Hall, Kyler Van Swol and Hrvoje Capan placed second with a time of 1:30.74, just ahead of the team of Jimmy Rafter, Jared Anderson, Larry Formosa and Ben Griggs who finished in third place in 1:30.77.
Brandon Hatanaka took home the title in the 400 individual medley by clocking in at 3:57.80, Van Swol claimed first-place honors in the 100 butterfly with a time of 48.64 and Danny Brebrick led eight Gophers to a sweep of the top-eight places in the 200 freestyle.
Brebrick won the event in 1:39.03, while Matt Papenfuss (1:40.22), Conor Murphy (1:40.94), Bolin (1:41.64), Corey Mills (1:42.42), Niklas Brinck (1:43.30), CJ Smith (1:44.02) and Derek Toomey (1:44.04) claimed the following seven slots. Anderson claimed first-place honors in the 100 breaststroke in 55.61 and Andre Wilt won the title in the 100 backstroke in 49.90 to conclude the morning session.
In the first event of the evening session, Jorgensen and Ross once again posted the top-two scores in their diving event. Jorgensen won with a score of 393.50, which was the top score in the event this season for Minnesota. Ross placed second with a 369.70, with both scores being NCAA Zone Diving qualifying marks.
Matt Benecki placed first in the 1650 freestyle with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 15:27.30, Chris Johnson won the 200 backstroke in 1:46.63 and Capan won the title in the 100 freestyle with a time of 45.20 to help Minnesota claim the top seven spots in the event.
Hall tallied first-place honors in the 200 breaststroke by clocking in at 2:02.01, and it was a 1-2-3 finish for the Gophers in the 200 butterfly, led by Hatanaka's winning time of 1:49.81. He was followed by Alex Cisneros and Andrew Hartbarger, who clocked in at 1:52.05 and 1:52.61, respectively.
The night came to a close with an exciting finish in the 400 freestyle relay, with the Minnesota team of Griggs, Conor Murphy, Sean Nesheim and Hall touching just after St. Cloud State for second place in 3:03.56.
The Gophers will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, Feb. 22-25 for the 2012 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships.