MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota men’s and women’s swimming and diving team used solid showings in their home pool to pick up a pair of Big Ten conference wins. The women (4-1, 3-1 B1G) and men (2-3, 2-3 B1G) captured victories over Wisconsin and Penn State, before falling short to ranked Minnesota.
“We had a good effort across board,” said head coach Kelly Kremer, praising his team’s effort against nationally ranked opponents. “As each individual takes care of themselves, it takes care of the team on moving forward and learning from our first half of the season.”
Men | Final Scores
Minnesota 216, Wisconsin 137
Minnesota 239, Penn State 134
No. 7 Michigan 246, Minnesota 107
Minnesota picked up their first conference wins of the season Saturday afternoon. Strong finishes down the stretch led the Gophers to build confidence for top finishes.
“Being able to come back and finish strong at our home pool with some of the best Big Ten teams is always a good feeling,” said senior Conner McHugh. “We improved on every single meet that we have been in. “
Following a host of third place finishes to start the day, Minnesota saw a breakout swim from junior Bowen Becker in the 50-yard freestyle. Becker beat out Michigan’s Paul Powers by three-hundredths of a second to secure the top finish in a b-cut time of 20.06, which currently ranks as the fourth fastest time in the Big Ten this season.
The Maroon and Gold continued their strong performances in the freestyle events with a second and sixth place finish in the 200-yard free. Tim Sates touched in second behind Michigan in a time of 1:38.28, posting the fifth fasting time in the Big Ten this season. Freshman Kyle Van Niekerk captured sixth place in a time of 1:39.54.
Shining once again in the 100-yard breaststroke, senior Conner McHugh swam a season best 54.47 beating out Michigan and Penn State. Rounding out Minnesota’s top eight finishes were Brain Poon in fifth (55.57) and Brenner Hohenstein right behind him at sixth (56.62).
Strong finishes closed out the day for Minnesota, sophomore Tumoas Pokkinen beat Wisconsin in the 100-yard fly finishing second (48.33) behind Michigan’s Evan White. The A relay team capped off a strong day two in the 400-yard free relay. Becker, Sates, Van Niekerk and Pokkinen shaved off half a second from last week’s performance touching in at 2:59.87.
Women | Final Scores
No. 17 Minneosta 191.5, No. 18 Wisconsin 161.5
No. 17 Minnesota 226, Penn State 127
No. 3 Michigan 225, No. 17 Minnesota 128
A strong performance from Minnesota in the 100-yard breaststroke gave the Gophers the push through they needed for an elite finish. Going 1-4-7, Lindsay Kozelsky swam an impressive race in a time of 1:00.74 edging out Michigan’s Miranda Tucker in just under two seconds. Rachel Munson followed in fourth touching the wall at 1:03.59, with Rae Bullinger right behind them at 1:04.25.
Minnesota’s A relay team of Tevyn Waddell, Kozelsky, Danielle Nack and Mackenzie Padington started out the day in the 200-yard medley relay with a third place finish behind Wisconsin and Michigan (1:40.68). Senior Brooke Zeiger swam past Wisconsin and Penn State in the 400 IM in a third place finish time of 4:22.49 to keep the momentum rolling.
Junior Chantal Nack followed with back-to-back top five finishes. Highlighting the day, C. Nack posted a third place finish in the 200-yard freestyle touching in at 1:48.10.
In the 100-yard butterfly, D. Nack recorded the second fastest time in the Big Ten this season in an exciting race with Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson. The two top Big Ten swimmers battled down the stretch reaching the wall simultaneously at 53.95.
On the diving side of things, Minnesota finished 2-3-4 in the 3-meter diving competition. Mariam Khamis came in on top with 280.75 points with Beth Etterman (252.05) and Morgan Justtus (251.20) following.
Minnesota swimming will have a month to rest before returning to action on December 3. The Gophers will host the Minnesota Invitational November 30–December 2, start times will be announced at a later day.
As for the Gopher divers, they will return to the boards next Friday, November 9-11 as they host the Minnesota Diving Invitational.
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