March 23, 2013
Seven Golden Gophers earned All-America honors, which included first-team accolades for senior Haley Spencer, on the final day of the 2013 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. With 141 total points, Minnesota claimed 10th-place honors at the event held at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind.
It marked the third time in program history that the Gophers finished in the top-10 nationally, while the team's 141 points were the second-most scored at the NCAA Championships, behind its 192 points in 2011.
"I thought that we really turned a corner yesterday afternoon and the team really continued that today," head coach Kelly Kremer said. "We had a really nice day to finish the meet and wrap up the collegiate season, and we are really pleased with how we finished. It was a great finish to a great year."
In the Championships Finals of the 200 breaststroke, Spencer secured a second-place finish with a time of 2:06.15 to earn her fourth-straight All-America honor in the event. She becomes only the second Minnesota swimmer to earn NCAA All-America honors in the same event four times in her career. Jillian Tyler became the first Gopher swimmer to attain the feat with her NCAA Championship in the 100 breaststroke in 2011.
"Haley finishing in the top-two in the 200 breast the last three years has been pretty dominating on her part, nobody else has done that," Kremer said. "She was seventh at the 150 turn and ended up putting in, by far, the fastest last 50 and climbed her way all the way back to second place, and almost won the thing. It was just an outstanding swim and capped off her incredibly great career."
Sarah McCrady added All-America Honorable Mention honors to her name with a 16th-place finish in platform diving with a score of 260.80. She entered the B Finals after posting a score of 264.75 in the preliminaries earlier in the day.
Kiera Janzen also earned All-America Honorable Mention accolades with her 11th-place finish in the finals of the 1650 freestyle, where she clocked in at 16:04.35. With a time of 16:22.83, freshman Samantha Harding notched a 32nd-place finish and Loren Brandon followed in 38th place with a time of 16:30.93.
Rebecca Weiland, Erin Caflisch, Tori Simenec and Lauren Votava capped off the night for the Gophers with a ninth-place finish in the 400 free relay. The foursome tallied a time of 3:16.01 to pick up the top time in the consolation final and earn All-America Honorable Mention honors.
In the prelims of the 400 free relay, Weiland, Caflisch, Simenec and Votava tied Texas A&M for eighth place with a time of 3:15.48, forcing a swim-off to see which team would advance into tonight's Championship Final. The Gophers posted a program-record time of 3:14.68 in the swim-off, but it was the Aggies who came out on top in 3:13.85.
"We tied Texas A&M and had to swim-off for eighth place and nobody could recall that ever happening before in a relay," Kremer stated. "We had to look into the rules that governed a swim-off for a relay, so in a sense, we made a little bit of history. Even though we ended up losing the swim-off, we put in our season-best time and ended up swimming great. Texas A&M just swam a little bit better. It's very difficult to hold a ninth-place spot in a meet like this, and we are so proud of them for holding that ninth-place spot and putting in another great time. They had three great swims today and they did a heck of a job."
Lauren Votava competed in the prelims of the 100 free and posted the best finish for the Gophers, finishing 31st with a time of 49.18. Blake Zeiger and Jessica Plant also swam the event for Minnesota, with Zeiger finishing 57th with a time of 50.09 and Plant posting a time of 50.19 to place 60th.
2013 Minnesota All-America Honors
Maggie Keefer - 1-meter diving, 3-meter diving
Rebecca Weiland - 200 free relay*, 400 medley relay*, 200 medley relay*, 100 fly*, 400 free relay*
Erin Caflisch - 200 free relay*, 400 medley relay*, 200 medley relay*, 400 free relay*
Blake Zeiger - 200 free relay*
Lauren Votava - 200 free relay*, 400 free relay*
Kiera Janzen - 500 free*, 800 free relay, 1650 free*
Tess Behrens - 400 medley relay*, 200 medley relay*
Haley Spencer - 400 medley relay*, 200 medley relay*, 100 breast*, 200 breast
Jessica Plant - 800 free relay,
Tori Simenec - 800 free relay, 400 free relay*
Lauren Weis - 800 free relay
Sarah McCrady - platform diving*
*All-America Honorable Mention
Road to Rio: Olympics Chat Part I
Coaches Kremer, Ganley and Purdy talked with GopherSports.com about past and current Olympics connections.
Smith's Road to Rio Continues
The Olympics qualifier continues to train at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
Minnesota Wraps Season with Banquet
Matt Barnard and Brooke Zeiger were named team MVPs for Minnesota's 2015-16 season.