MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota men’s and women’s swimming capped off the final night of the Minnesota Invite with dominate performances all around. The women won the invite over Iowa scoring 1,360.50 points, while the men complete the comeback edging Iowa 1,264-1261.
“I am happy with both team’s performances,” said head coach Kelly Kremer. “We swam like it was a championship meet. We continued to be better in the finals each day.”
Minnesota started the night strong in the 1650-yard freestyle distance event, finishing 1-2-3-4. Brooke Zeiger cruised to a first place finish with a consistent 29 second split time, touching the wall at an NCAA B standard time of 16:13.70. Erin Emery followed in second (16.23.91), Lauren Lalumiere in third (16:44.79) and Abbey Erwin in fourth (16:46.79).
Tevyn Waddell displayed an impressive swim in the 200-yard backstroke, winning in a time of 1:54.84. Right behind her was teammate Chantal Nack at 1:56.93. Patricia Van Law (1:59.84) and Erin Buck (2:00.02) both posted personal records in their 4-5 finish.
A tight race in the 100-yard freestyle saw a pair of Gophers battling it out in a photo finish. Junior Zoe Avestruz touched the wall two-hundredths of a second faster than Mackenzie Padington to take the top spot at 48.43.
Minnesota dominated the 200-yard breaststroke. Lindsey Kozelsky placed second (2:09.98) behind Gopher alumni swimmer Kierra Smith who finished at 2:07.14. Rachel Munson (2:12.73) and Rae Bullinger (2:15.31) finished out the top four. Finishing 6-7-8 for the Maroon and Gold were Tara Chapman (2:17.440, Kaela Marcus (2:19.63) and Madison Preiss (2:19.83).
Senior Danielle Nack took the top spot in the 200-yard butterfly finishing just under three seconds faster than the field at 1:56.46. Kaia Grobe’s fourth place finish clocked in at 2:01.74, while Maggie Werba places sixth at 2:04.32.
In the 400 free relay, Padington, Avestruz, D. Nack and C. Nack placed first with a time of 3:16.54.
Cameron Kelley got the ball rolling for the Gophers taking the top spot in the 1650 free at 15:30.15. Nick Plachinksi came in right behind Kelley at 15:31.94. Going 5-6-7 was Justin Torres (15:50.49), Kristian Hansen (15:51.52) and Warren Sexson (15:58.41).
The Maroon and Gold followed with a 3-4-5 finish in the 200 back. Nick Saulnier had the top finish for the Gophers placing third in a time of 1:45.79. Tom Donker (1:45.97) and Cale Berkoff (1:48.42) finished behind Saulnier respectively.
Closing out the individual events with top finishes, Conner McHugh swam the 200 breast in 1:54.12 and Matt Thomas notched a 1:46.76 finish in the 200 fly. In the 200 breast, Brian Poon (1:57.70), Eitan Yudashkin (1:58.91) and Brenner Hohenstein (2:00.91) finished 3-4-5 respectively.
In the 400 free relay, the Gophers battled until the end with Iowa. A strong 42.99 split from Cale Berkoff set the tone for a first place finish for the squad of Berkoff, Sates, Van Niekerk and Tuomas Pokkinen in a time of 2:54.12.
Minnesota will ring in 2018 as they head to Hawai’i in a dual meet on January 6. Start time for that meet will be announced at another date. The Gophers then return home on Saturday, January 13 in a dual meet against Denver.
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