Jan. 25, 2013
The No. 13 University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team remained undefeated Friday night while playing host to the University of North Dakota. The Gophers won all 16 of the events to take down the Fighting Sioux 196-94.
This was the first meet for Minnesota after its month-long training trip in Hawaii.
“You know the reality is that they get back from the training trip and they get right into school and they go into that full schedule,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “They’re hustling to and from classes, figuring out their class schedules and they’re using a lot more energy than they were a week ago, because a week ago they were just swimming, they were just diving. Now they’re student-athletes again and we usually experience a pretty rough time the first meet coming off of training camp, but I was really pleased with how they responded. The energy levels weren’t great, but they were probably a little better than I thought they would be.”
Kierra Smith had yet another strong meet, leading the Gophers with three individual victories. The freshman won the 100 breast with a time of 1:04.94, the 200 breast at 2:17.89, as well as the 200 IM (2:05.94).
Jessica Plant also earned a pair of individual victories on the night. The sophomore won the 100 back with a time of 57:45, along with the 500 free, beating out Samantha Harding by just .02 (4:57.10).
On the diving side, junior Maggie Keefer earned first-place marks on both the 1-meter board, with a season-best score of 306.00, along with a victory in 3-meter (340.05).
“We put together some good performances both on the boards and in the pool,” Kremer stated. “I’m pretty pleased with where we’re at, but we’re going to have to be a lot better a week from now if we’re going to be competitive against Purdue and Wisconsin. We’ll look forward to having a better week this coming week.”
Minnesota’s A relays have something to be proud about as they clinched first-place in both the 400 medley relay (3:42.14) as well as the 200 free relay (1:32.27).
In the 1,650 free, freshman Samantha Harding marked a new career top time of 16:48.26 for first-place honors.
It was a tight race between the Gophers in the 200 free, but it was Kiera Janzen that prevailed to win by .15 with a season-best time of 1:48.21.
In the 100 fly, Chloe Portela claimed first-place with a time of 58.28, while Annalise Colton won the 200 fly with a 2:03.35.
Other victories on the night included Tess Behrens in the 50 free (23.93), Lauren Weis touching the wall at 51.81 in the 100 free, and Haley Pietila winning the 200 back with a time of 2:03.01.
The Gophers will travel to Madison, Wis., next weekend for the Big Ten Quad Duals where they will face Wisconsin, Purdue and Illinois.
“We have a goal this week to stay healthy,” Kremer said about the sicknesses his team has been facing. “We really want to swim well in that meet, so we’ll see how it goes. I think we need a better week of preparation, just in terms of being healthy and swimming well in practice, to have success next weekend.”