The No. 8 University of Minnesota women's swimming and diving team defeated No. 17 Arizona State 170-129 this afternoon at University Aquatic Center. The Gophers were led by junior Yuen Kobayashi and freshman Jillian Tyler who each won two individual events.
"Our girls keep responding even under adverse conditions," co-head coach Kelly Kremer said. "We handled meet well and I happy to get out of here with a win. Starting meet with a 1-2 finish in 1000 and 200 really got the ball rolling. That was a hard double for Christine and Yuen but it really got the team off to a good start.
"We were so concerned about (Arizona State’s) sprints. To win the 50 and 100 was great. Our divers were also great. It was a true team effort."
200 Medley Relay
Arizona State started the meet strong with a win in the 200 medley relay. Their time of 1:42.56 was almost a second better than Minnesota’s time of 1:43.53, posted by Roxane Akradi, Jillian Tyler, Megan Braun and Stacy Busack.
Junior Yuen Kobayashi took an immediate lead and held a three-body length lead over teammate Christine Jennings at the 500-yard mark while Sun Devil freshman Christine Mauro ran third. Kobayashi continued to open her lead, eventually winning by a half-lap in a time of 9:53.25. Jennings touched second in 10:03.15 and Mauro was third in 10:12.72.
Four Gopher All-Americans took the blocks in the 200 freestyle including Kobayashi, Meredith McCarthy, Christine Jennings and Jenny Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy opened a slight lead at the 100-yard mark but Kobayashi took a lead with a lap to go and held off a tight field with a time of 1:50.28 to post her second consecutive event win. Jennings made a strong finish to take second in 1:50.36 and ASU’s Jen Beckberger was third in 1:50.57. The Gophers’ strong event gave them a 34-21 lead.
Minnesota’s diving corps posted a nice effort in the 3-meter event. Jacqueline Schroeder posted a career-best score of 285.75 to claim first place. Hillary Provo gave Minnesota a 1-2 finish with a career-best 260.25 to take second. ASU’s Erin Hobbs was third with a score of 257.70. Schroeder's score was an NCAA Zone qualifier.
Arizona State’s Caitlin Andrew breezed to a win in the 100 backstroke in 54.75 and Akradi took second for the Gophers in 56.40. Deidre DeWall placed third in 58.00.
Tyler buried the field in the 100 breast with a time of 1:02.41 while ASU’s Sara McDaniel was second in 1:04.05. Minnesota’s Alicia Jensen was third in 1:04.93.
Ashton Aubry posted a time of 2:01.19 to cruise to a victory for the Sun Devils in the 200 butterfly but Minnesota was able to finish second and third. Molly Belk placed second in 2:03.86 and Megan Braun took third in 2:03.93.
Busack pulled ahead in the final 15 yards to claim the win for Minnesota in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.53. Arizona’s Jess Perazzo followed with a time of 23.74 and McCarthy was third in 23.90. The Gophers owned a 91-59 lead following the event.
Busack posted her second win of the meet, claiming the 100 free in 51.10. She held off ASU’s Jen Beckberger (51.23) and McCarthy (51.44). Busack’s win helped expand the Gophers’ lead to 117-71.
Andrew completed a sweep of the backstroke events for the Sun Devils, winning with a time of 2:00.83. The event ended up being the best of the day for ASU as Rikka Brunner took second in 2:02.51. Akradi was third for Minnesota in 2:03.03 and Shaughnessy was fourth in 2:04.07.
Tyler posted her second win of the afternoon in the 200 breast, easily winning in 2:16.84. Jensen clocked a strong time of 2:18.86 to take second and Kait Strickland rounded out the top three in 2:20.30. Minnesota opened a 139-87 lead with the effort in the event.
Kobayashi and Jennings had an outstanding race in the 500 free. The teammates were neck and neck after 300 yards. Heading into the final 50 yards, Kobayashi held a narrow .30 second lead but Jennings had the better kick, outlasting Kobayashi with a time of 4:51.63, denying her a third win of the day. Kobayashi clocked a time of 4:52.11. Mauro placed third in 5:00.28.
Aubry finished a sweep of the butterfly events, winning the 100 in 55.35. Braun was second in 56.47 and Kaylee Jamison was third in 56.62. Danielle Ridder was fourth in 56.93. Minnesota led 162-102 following the 100 fly.
Schroeder capped an outstanding day with a win on the 1-meter board with a score of 269.31 and a sweep of the diving events. Hobbs placed second for ASU and Alex Barstad was third with a tally of 252.89. Schroeder’s score was an NCAA Zone qualifier.
“This is the culmination of our winter training and it being the hardest week of training of the year," diving coach Jason Baumann said. "Our divers responded with an extremely emotional and gutty performance. I was thrilled to see Jaq make the changes and be successful in the things that we have been working on. All of our kids had some outstanding performances today. We had several lifetime best scores.”
Brunner posted a dominating performance in the 200 IM, coasting to a win in 2:00.96. Tyler was denied a third win of day, finishing second with a time of 2:06.16. Shaughnessy was third in 2:06.44.
200 Free Relay
ASU took the 200 free relay in 1:33.27 to complete a relay sweep. Minnesota was second in 1:34.81. The Gophers’ A team consisted of Busack, McCarthy, Holtmeyer and Akradi.
Minnesota returns to action Feb. 1-2 when it travels to West Lafayette, Ind. for a quad dual with Purdue, Wisconsin and Illinois.