No. 16 Gophers Finish Fourth at Big Ten Championships
Feb. 25, 2012
With 403 points, the No. 16 Minnesota men's swimming and diving team claimed fourth-place honors at the 2012 Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday night at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Pool. The Gophers have finished in the top four every year since 1989.
The University of Michigan won the Championships with a score of 738.5, followed by Ohio State with 552.5 points and Indiana in third with 549 points.
"We literally got better every session throughout the meet and that included tonight," head coach Kelly Kremer said. "We had our best session of the meet tonight and our men, both in diving and in swimming were outstanding. We crawled our way back to finish fourth and we're really pleased with how we finished the meet."
After finishing runner-up last season, senior Kristoffer Jorgensen was crowned the Big Ten Champion in platform diving after posting a program-record score of 430.65. With the win, Jorgensen became the first Big Ten diving champion in any event for the Gophers since 2001. Drew Brown was the previous record-holder in the event, having posted a score of 422.0 in 2009. "It was great," Kremer said about his performance. "Kris was our only Big Ten Champion and that really capped a great evening for us and fired our relay up."
Minnesota finished strong in the 100-yard freestyle with Zach Bolin placing third with a time of 43.52, followed by Derek Toomey in seventh at 43.83. Hrvoje Capan finished in 10th place by clocking in at 43.81 in the B final and Felix Samuels came in 20th at 44.70 in the C final. Jason Schnur of Ohio State won the event with a time of 43.11.
Kyler Van Swol finished fourth in the 200-yard butterfly for the Gophers, clocking in at 1:44.52. Freshman Alex Cisneros followed in 15th with a time of 1:47.67 in the B final, while fellow rookie Brandon Hatanaka placed 21st at 1:48.68 in the C final. Daniel Medwed claimed another title for Michigan with a time of 1:42.67.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Bolin, Toomey, Ben Griggs and Capan finished out the Championships by claiming third-place honors with a time of 2:53.31. "They knew that if they did the job we could hold on to fourth place" Kremer said about the relay. "We also had the mission of getting our 400 freestyle relay qualified for NCAA's and they put themselves in the position now. That was a really nice finish for us."Iowa won the event, clocking in at 2:52.53.
Freshman CJ Smith finished in fourth place in the 1650-yard freestyle, touching the wall at 15:02.57, while Matt Benecki came in close behind, finishing in eighth with a time of 15:06.53. In the C final, Sean Nesheim came in 24th at 15:33.64. Connor Jaeger of Michigan won the event with a new pool record of 14:43.64.
In the 200-yard backstroke C final, Gopher freshman Carl Newenhouse finished in 20th place with a time of 1:46.88, while another freshman, Andrew Hartbarger, came in tied for 22nd at 1:48.11. Ohio State's Andrew Elliott claimed the title with a time of 1:41.71.
"Our freshman were great, they showed a lot of poise," Kremer mentioned. "If you go right down the line, CJ Smith in the mile tonight getting fourth, he put himself in position to make NCAA's. Max Cartwright did an outstanding job and was impressive in the breaststroke. Our freshman did a really outstanding job, we're excited about the future."
Minnesota will host the Gopher-It Invite March 3 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center and then head to the NCAA Championships March 8th-11th for diving and 22nd-24th for swimming.
"Our 400 freestyle relay put themselves in the position for NCAA's, Kyler Van Swol in the 200 fly put himself in position and Josh Hall with a 1:56 and getting third in the 200 breast put him in position," Kremer said about the NCAA's. "Those are the type of swims we really needed, and like CJ Smith in the mile, we feel those guys are in a good position to make NCAA's now. It's a matter of getting back on Monday and going back to work and focusing on that meet and be at our best when we get to Seattle."
Final Team Results
First Team All-Big Ten
Miguel Ortiz, Michigan
Second Team All-Big Ten
Nathaniel Savoy, Penn State