In the final tuneup meet for the Big Ten Championships, the No. 21 Minnesota women's swimming and diving team won seven events on the final day of the Minnesota Challenge at University Aquatic Center. The meet was not team scored. The Gophers won nine events in the two-day competition. Jennifer Hasling, Christine Jennings, Krista Kezbers, Jenny Shaughnessy, Valerie Tukey and Amy Funk won events over today's two sessions.
Christine Jennings began the afternoon session for the Gophers with a victory in the 400 individual medley. She posted a winning time of 4:31.30 while Sharon Leary was third in 4:34.25. The Gophers took the top four places in the ensuing event, the 100 butterfly, led by Jennifer Hasling with a time of 57.26. Erin O'Neil was second (57.57), Jenny Shaughnessy was third (57.69) and Lindsey St. Martin was fourth (58.01).
Valerie Tukey led a Gopher contigent in the 200 freestyle that took six of the top eight finishers. Tukey posted a winning time of 1:51.91, followed by Kait Strickland (1:54.17) and Roxanne Akradi (1:54.25). Shaughnessy, who swam in three individual events during the afternoon session, won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.14 while Deidre DeWall took fourth in 1:07.39. Shaughnessy was back in the pool in the next event, the 100 backstroke, where she finished third in 58.86. Stacy Busack was the Gophers' top finisher in second with a time of 58.76.
Amy Funk finished a sweep of the distance freestyle events, taking the 1650 freestyle with a time of 17:21.85. She won the 500 free on Friday evening. Leary took second in 17:23.03. Krista Kezbers won her second event of the Challenge, cruising to victory in the 100 freestyle in 51.49 while Linzey Bachmaier was fifth in 54.12. In the 200 backstroke, Jaclyn Gazvoda was the Gophers' top finisher in third with a time of 2:07.28. Laura Wilcox was fourth (2:09.38) and Stephanie Gross was fifth (2:09.89). Former Gopher Katie Wind won the event swimming unattached in 2:03.29. Leary won the final individual event of the meet, the 200 butterfly, with a time of 2:09.31.
Minnesota elected to swim one of the two relays on Saturday and won the 200 medley relay. The Gophers' team of Erin Forster, Kim Kazika, Hasling and Erin Holtmeyer was victorious in 1:46.63. The Gophers posted the top six seven relays in the event
The Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Thursday-Saturday, February 8-10 at University Aquatic Center. Tickets are on sale at the Gopher Ticket Office by calling 612-624-8080 or 1-800-U-GOPHER. The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships will also be held at University Aquatic Center, March 8-10. Tickets are also available through the Gopher Ticket Office.