No. 16 Minnesota Opens Big Ten Championships with Pair of Provisional Marks

Go Gophers! Mike Vernoia and the 800 free relay team placed third Wednesday night at the Big Ten Championships.
Go Gophers!
Mike Vernoia and the 800 free relay team placed third Wednesday night at the Big Ten Championships.
Go Gophers!

Feb. 22, 2012

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The-No. 16 ranked Minnesota men's swimming and diving team opened competition at the 2012 Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Iowa City, Iowa, Wednesday night by posting NCAA Provisional Qualifying times in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay, putting the Gophers in a tie for fourth place with 54 points through two events scored.

The 200-yard medley team of Kyler Van Swol, Jared Anderson, Larry Formosa and Zach Bolin placed eighth in the first event of the league championship with a NCAA "B" qualifying time of 1:27.50. Michigan won the event with a pool record time of 1:25.58, while Penn State and Ohio State rounded out the top three finishers.

In the 800-yard freestyle relay, the team of Mike Vernoia, Hrvoje Capan, Matt Papenfuss and Derek Toomey jumped the Gophers up four spots in the standings with a third-place finish to close out the night. The squad posted a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 6:25.60, behind Michigan's pool record time of 6:16.26 and Ohio State's time of 6:24.39.

Through the first day of competition, the Wolverines hold the team-lead in points with 80, followed by the Buckeyes in second with 66 points and Indiana in third with 60 points. The Gophers and Wisconsin are tied for fourth with 54 points apiece.

Day two of the Big Ten Championships begins at 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning with the preliminary round of the 500-yard freestyle. Finals for Day Two will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Gophers will also compete in the 200-yard IM, 50-yard freestyle, 400-yard medley relay and 1 meter diving Thursday.

-UM-