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