Nov. 9, 2012
The Minnesota women's swimming team defended its home turf and was well-represented Friday on the opening day of the Minnesota Grand Prix as the Gophers had 12 appearances in the Championship finals.
Minnesota earned a first place victory on the night in the 400 free relay. The team of Jessica Plant, Tori Simenec, Becca Weiland and Erin Caflisch beat out Minnesota’s B relay team for the title, finishing with a time of 3:19.99.
Jessica Plant placed fourth in the 200 free with a time of 1:47.90. Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin won the event by nearly four seconds, touching the wall at 1:42.28.
Also in the top eight of the 200 free were Minnesota alum Ashley Steenvoorden in fifth place (1:48.20), Kiera Janzen following in sixth (1:48.67), and Lauren Weis finishing in eighth (1:49.98).
The Gophers had a strong showing in the 100 breast and they finished 3-4-5. Kierra Smith came in third with a time of 1:00.43, followed by Haley Spencer at 1:02.78 and Lauren Greenberg in fifth (1:03.06). Emma Jackson won the B final with a time of 1:05.05.
In the 100 fly, Becca Weiland touched the wall at 54.33 to finish in third, followed by a 54.69 finish by Tori Simenec for fourth place. Annalise Colton notched the eighth place spot with a time of 56.32.
Minnesota had seven other women swimming in the finals in the 100 fly, lead by Blake Zeiger winning the B final at 53.99.
Elizabeth Weitz was the top finisher for the Gophers in the 400 IM, coming in seventh place with a time of 4:26.92. Hailey Szews and Samantha Harding swam in the B final, finishing 12th and 13th.
The Minnesota Grand Prix continues Saturday morning at the University Aquatic Center, with preliminaries set to begin at 9 a.m. and finals schedule to get underway at 6 p.m.