Gophers in Fifth After Day Two of Championships

Go Gophers! Manny Pollard finished fourth in 1 meter diving
Go Gophers!
Manny Pollard finished fourth in 1 meter diving
Go Gophers!

Feb. 28, 2013

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At the conclusion of day two of the Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, the No. 14 Gophers sit in fifth place with 133 points. Derek Toomey earned a third-place finish on the night while freshman Manny Pollard added a fourth-place mark for the Maroon and Gold.  

"We've had some nice performances," head coach Kelly Kremer said about the Championships thus far. "It's been a good start to the meet but we're looking for some more consistency moving forward and hopefully we get some better performances as we move forward as well."

The 500 freestyle opened Thursday night's events at the Championships. Sophomore CJ Smith finished in 12th place with a time of 4:20.72, while freshman Logan Redondo came in right behind in 13th at 4:20.88. Both times were NCAA "B" qualifying times. Michigan's Connor Jaeger won the event with a time of 4:13.44.

Junior captain Derek Toomey earned a third-place finish for the Gophers in the 50 freestyle on the night with a time of 19.42. Toomey notched the top seed coming into the finals with his prelim marking a NCAA "A" qualifying time of 19.25. Michigan's Bruno Ortiz took home the title in the event, touching the wall at 19.27.

"Derek's 50 free was great and probably the most important thing that comes from that was the NCAA cut, so we know he's riding that now," Kremer said. "That's important for him and our team. He swam a great relay last night and he swam a great 50 tonight. He's third in the Big Ten and that's a nice finish, but I think he feels like he left one in the pool a little bit. I know he had bigger goals than that but there's a lot of meet left for our team and for Derek. We're looking forward to more fast swimming tomorrow."

In 1 meter diving, it was freshman Manny Pollard who led the Gophers in the championship final. Pollard finished in fourth-place with a score of 360.45, the best mark a Gopher has earned all season. Mikey Ross finished in ninth with a 351.30, while Jordan Lesser scored a 325.70 for 13th in the consolation final. Darian Schmidt won the event for Indiana with a mark of 432.15, also a new pool record.

"Our divers, Manny Pollard in particular, was absolutely awesome tonight," Kremer said about the freshman's performance.

In the final event of the night, Minnesota claimed the sixth-place spot in the 400 medley relay. The team of Andrew Hartbarger, Jared Anderson, Larry Formosa and Derek Toomey swam a NCAA "B" qualifying time of 3:12.65. Michigan's relay team won the event with a NCAA "A" qualifying time and new meet and pool record time of 3:05.42.

Day three of the Big Ten Championships continues tomorrow with prelims at 10 am (CT) and finals beginning at 5:30 pm (CT). The order of events are as followed: 200 freestyle relay, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 3 meter diving.

"There are so many events tomorrow," Kremer stated. "With diving and with all the different swimming events tomorrow, our whole team gets involved. I'm excited about every event; the breaststrokes, the butterfly. We have a whole bunch of 400 IM swimmers so they're really looking forward to that, it's one of the top events tomorrow. The 200 free tomorrow, we have a few 200 free stars just sitting on the shelf getting ready to go. We get everybody involved tomorrow so it's a big day for us to be a little more consistent, hopefully get some of those top swims."

Michigan leads the Championships with 316 team points, followed by Indiana in second with 237, Ohio State in third with 170, Purdue in fourth with 144 and Minnesota in fifth with 133 points. 

-UM-