Gophers Post Strong Finish At Minnesota Challenge
Christie Clarke earned two victories on the day for the Gophers

Feb. 9, 2013

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The No. 16 Minnesota women's swimming and diving team continued their success Saturday as they wrapped up the Minnesota Challenge. The Gophers notched 12 first-place finishes on the day in front of the home crowd at the University Aquatic Center.

"I thought we had a lot of really good swimmers and I think a lot of promising swims for down the road for those student-athletes," head coach Kelly Kremer said about the meet. "We had some seniors that probably finished their career tonight. I just saw a lot of smiles and I feel good about how they finished the season."

Maggie Keefer had a strong day on the boards, clinching a new career-best score in 3-meter diving. The junior marked a 380.50 to earn a victory for the Maroon and Gold. In platform, Katie Grunawalt scored a 277.35 for first-place honors.

The Gophers 200 medley relay made up of Marina Spadoni, Kierra Smith, Chloe Portela and Monica Radecke finished in 1:44.62 for first-place honors. Minnesota's A 400 free relay of Radecke, Spadoni, Natalie Herrild and Amelia Marsh also claimed a title with a time of 3:28.50.

Portela notched another victory on the day in the 100 fly, touching the wall at 56.13. In the 200 fly, it was Christie Clarke that claimed the title with a new career top-time of 2:03.41.

In the freestyle events on the day, Blake Zeiger earned first-place honors in the 200 free with a new career top-time of 1:48.14. Clarke added her second win of the day in the 1,650, swimming a 17:06.87, while Spadoni beat out all others in the 100 free in 50.87 for first.

Other victories for the Gophers came from Lauren Weis in 100 breast, finishing first in 1:06.47 as well as Tori Simenec in the 100 back, finishing at 56.53 for first-place honors.

Freshman Samantha Harding has been coming up big for the Gophers lately. She won the 400 IM on the day with a career top-time of 4:24.70 to win the event.

The Gophers will compete next at the 2013 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships February 20-23 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

"For our teams getting ready for the Big Ten Championships, really a lot of great stuff," Kremer said. "We're in a good position for what's to come."

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