March 28, 2013
The 2013 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships got underway Thursday at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. Minnesota sits in 11th place with 26 points after notching six All-American accolades on the opening night of competition.
Junior captain Derek Toomey earned the bronze medal in the 50 free at the NCAA Championships Thursday night with a time of 19.18. His third-place finish in the event notched his eighth All-American honor of his career and second of the Championships. It was the first time since Del Cerney placed third in 1992 that a Gopher swimmer advanced to the Championship Final of the 50 free at the NCAA Championships. Toomey was only .55 seconds behind Vlad Morozov out of USC who finished in first-place.
Toomey earned his first All-American honor of the Championships in the 200 freestyle relay, the opening event of the night. The Gophers’ team made up of Toomey, Hrvoje Capan, Felix Samuels and Ben Griggs finished in 15th place with a time 1:18.52, earning each of them All-American honorable mention accolades. Auburn’s relay team won the event in 1:15.48.
“Derek had a great day,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “He swam four 50 freestyles with the prelims and finals in the 200 free relay and then the prelims and finals in the individual 50. He was just as consistent and as solid as he could have been all day. Just an outstanding effort from Derek; it’s a real tribute to those who developed him over the last few years that has really gotten him to a skill level that is really exciting for all of us.”
On the diving boards, sophomore Jordan Lesser lead the Gophers with an 11th place finish in 1-meter with a score of 343.75 to earn him an All-American honorable mention accolade. Stanford’s Kristian Ipsen claimed the title, earning a mark of 473.75.
Earlier in the day, freshman Logan Redondo was Minnesota's top finisher in the preliminaries of the 500 freestyle, placing 33rd with a time of 4:21.07, while sophomore CJ Smith finished 46th overall with a time of 4:24.58.
At the conclusion of the opening night of competition, Michigan leads the Championships with 153 points, followed by California in second with 123.5, Auburn in third (112.5), USC in fourth (100) and Texas in fifth (99).
Friday's preliminaries of the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter diving and 800 free relay are set to get underway at 10:00 a.m. Finals for those events will start at 6:00 p.m.
“Much like today, we don’t have a lot of opportunity tomorrow”, Kremer stated. “We’re going to swim the 100 breaststroke and we’re going to swim the 800 free relay tomorrow night, and then we have diving as well. We just need to go and take advantage of all the opportunities we have because we just don’t have a lot of them.”
2013 Minnesota All-America Honors
*All-America Honorable Mention
Gophers Receive CSCAA Scholar All-America Recognition
Both the men's and women's teams earned academic distinction from the coaches association.
Former swim coach Eckelkamp Passes Away
Gopher Athletics is saddened to learn that former assistant men's swimming and diving coach Steve Eckelkamp has passed away at his home on June 10, in Mount Juliet, Tenn.
LeBlang Takes Learned Leadership to Next Season
Junior diver Alan LeBlang discusses his leadership role for the upcoming season with GopherSports.com.