March 21, 2013
University of Minnesota junior Maggie Keefer posted a score of 338.20 in the Championship Final of the 1-meter springboard to place second and earn the first All-America accolade for the Gophers this season on the opening day of the 2013 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.
Keefer tallied her best score in her fourth dive of the night, a reverse 1 ½ somersault pike, where she earned a score of 60.00. It was Keefer's best showing in 1-meter at the NCAA Championships and her third-straight All-America honor in the event. She finished just 10.25 points behind Arizona's Samantha Pickens, who won the event with a score of 348.45.
"I thought that we came out this morning and had some good performances, but not great performances," head coach Kelly Kremer said. "Tonight, things got a little bit better, especially at the back-end of the meet. Maggie Keefer getting second in 1-meter ... that was an outstanding performance by her, and the 400 medley relay did a better job tonight and moved up from their time from this morning. We feel really good about how the day ended."
Keefer was not the only Gopher to have a successful night for Minnesota, as the Maroon and Gold added nine All-America Honorable Mention accolades to its total in Thursday's finals and sit in 10th place with 41 team points. Georgia sits in first through one day of competition with 163 team points, followed by Tennessee, Arizona, California and Stanford, who round out the top five.
Minnesota's 200 free relay team of Rebecca Weiland, Erin Caflisch, Blake Zeiger and Lauren Votava posted a time of 1:30.30 in the Consolation Final to finish 13th overall and earn All-America Honorable Mention honors. The team had advanced to the finals with a time of 1:29.66 in the morning's preliminaries.
Kiera Janzen earned the first individual All-America Honorable Mention accolade for the Gophers this season and the first of her career with her 15th-place finish in the 500 freestyle. The sophomore posted a time of 4:41.51 in the B Final, an improvement of almost five seconds from her time in the event last season at the NCAAs. Janzen advanced to the B Final after tying for ninth in the prelims with a time of 4:38.70.
Tess Behrens, Haley Spencer, Weiland and Caflisch closed out the swimming events for Minnesota by posting a time of 3:33.15 to place second in the B Final and 10th overall in the event. Behrens, Spencer Weiland and Caflisch moved into the consolation final with an 11th-place finish in the preliminaries with a time of 3:33.99.
Earlier in the day, numerous Gophers competed in the preliminaries, with Samantha Harding finishing the 500 free in 37th place with a time of 4:45.67. Tori Simenec was the Gophers' lone competitor in the 200 IM, placing 18th after touching the wall in 1:57.75, and Weiland was Minnesota's top finisher in the preliminaries of the 50 freestyle, placing 18th overall with a time of 22.43. Zeiger placed 45th in the event with a time of 22.85, while Votava finished 53rd with a time of 23.16.
"We didn't have the day that we had hoped for, and to still be in 10th place is a good feeling and will give us some momentum heading into tomorrow," Kremer said. "We need to get better as the meet goes on, and we definitely have to be better tomorrow than we were today."
Friday's preliminaries of the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter diving and 800 free relay are set to get underway at 10:00 a.m. Finals for those events will start at 6:00 p.m.
2013 Minnesota All-America Honors
Maggie Keefer - 1-meter diving
Rebecca Weiland - 200 free relay*, 400 medley relay*
Erin Caflisch - 200 free relay*, 400 medley relay*
Blake Zeiger - 200 free relay*
Lauren Votava - 200 free relay*
Kiera Janzen - 500 free*
Tess Behrens - 400 medley relay*
Haley Spencer - 400 medley relay*
*All-America Honorable Mention