MSD: Host Of Gopher Swimmers Compete At TYR Meet Of Champions
upA large contigent of Golden Gopher swimmers competed over the weekend at the TYR Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, Calif. The meet, which features some of the world's top swimming talent, wraps up Sunday. Senior 13-time All-American Justin Mortimer posted the top individual performances over the last two days, placing second in the 400-meter free, fourth in the 400 individual medley and the 200 freestyle and ninth in the 200 butterfly.
Mortimer, who will represent the United States at the 2005 World University Games, finished second in the 800-meter free on Thursday. The versatile Milton, Mass. native also competed in the prelims of the 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke with times that qualified for the consolation finals, but elected to skip the evening session. Overall, he has competed in nine events over three days.
In the 200 freestyle, Mortimer took fourth in 1:51.63. Senior Sean McCaffrey (Evanston, Ill.) touched 10th in 1:55.98 and senior 23-time All-American Terry Silkaitis (Skokie, Ill.) was 11th in 1:56.27. Silkaitis will join Mortimer on the 2005 World University Games team in August. Other Gophers in the event included: sophomore Zach Wood (30th/1:59.74), freshman Tyler Schmidt (73rd/2:03.98) and freshman Tim Loeffler (88th/2:05.44).
In the 400-meter free, Mortimer touched second in 3:55.28. USC's Ous Mellouli won the event in 3:51.44, breaking the 17-year old meet record of 3:52.26. Wood put together a nice swim in taking seventh place in 4:14.00 Other Gophers entered in the event included: Loeffler (43rd/4:19.77), Knoechel (49th/4:20.70) and sophomore Fabian Toth (59th/4:22.52).
In the 100 free, Silkaitis was the Gophers' top finisher in 13th with a time of 52.11. McCaffrey was 20th in 53.73. Mortimer owned the 19th best time of 53.60 after the prelims but did not swim the event in the evening. Other Gophers included: Schmidt (44th/55.32), sophomore Dan Berve (57th/56.17) and Knoechel (63rd/56.37).
Two Gophers finaled in the 400 individual medley. Mortimer took fourth in 4:28.01 while freshman Russ Payne (Broomfield, Colo.) was seventh in 4:47.40. Toth also competed, placing 42nd in 4:55.36. Payne also took 11th in the 200 backstroke in 2:11.48. Berve finished 27th overall in 2:17.35.
In the 200 butterfly, Mortimer won the consolation final to finish ninth in 2:05.33. Wood took 21st in 2:12.40 and Schmidt was 57th in 2:23.13. Knoechel was Minnesota's top swimmer in the 200 breaststroke, placing 13th in 2:31.39 and Mortimer swam in the prelims, posting the 20th-best time of 2:33.19.
In the 50 free, Silkaitis placed 11th in 23.87 while Schmidt was 30th in 25.27 and McCaffrey was 43rd in 25.53.
Mortimer and Silkaitis, who are competing for the Mission Viejo Nadadores club team placed third with two teammates in the 400 free relay in 3:33.20. They also teamed up in the 800 free relay, finishing third in 7:52.27. The Minnesota 400 free relay team of Schmidt, Payne, McCaffrey and Berve finished sixth in 3:40.10.