The No. 10 University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team dominated the final day of the Minnesota Challenge, held at the University Aquatic Center on the U of M campus. Although the Gophers didn’t keep score, they won 17 events in the course of the two-day event. The Minnesota Challenge is the Gophers’ final event before the Big Ten Championships, Feb. 17-20 in West Lafayette, Ind.
Minnesota raced seven 200 medley relays and took the top seven spots. Minnesota’s Hannah Whitehead, Lauren Greenburg, Melissa Nelson and Meghan Weiss combined for a winning time of 1:45.05. Castina Wabeke, Corina Hopkins-Vacca, Madeline Takaki and Alison Eggers held a second-place time of 1:47.13, while Andrea Hanson, Emma Jackson, Paige Bradley and Megan Braun was third in 1:47.20. Cory Miller, Haley Spencer, Natalie Herrild and Annalise Colton was the next relay and finished fourth (1:47.98), while Lisa Clementi, Elizabeth Weitz, Jillian Tyler and Courtney Veerman was fifth (1:49.12). Brianna Chu, Kaylee Jamison, Marissa Davies and Loren Brandon clocked a time of 1:49.44, as Kristen Steenvoorden, Avery Michienzi, Abigail Staats and Lauren Weis rounded out the Gopher contingent in seventh (1:50.34).
The Gophers proceeded to go 1,2,3 in the 400 individual medley. Ashley Steenvoorden won it in 4:28.04, while Eleanor Prewitt-Thomas was second in 4:29.05. Stephanie Solfelt finished third in 4:34.35, respectively.
The Gophers stacked the 100 fly as they finished eight in the top eight. Melissa Nelson won her second individual event of the meet when she touched the wall in 56.28. Bradley was second (57.24), followed by Whitehead in third (57.50), Madeline Takaki in fourth (58.48) and Spencer in fifth (58.66). Rounding out the top eight was Weis in sixth (58.92), Weitz in seventh (59.01) and Davies in eighth (59.03).
Minnesota followed with five of the top spots in the 200 free. Whitehead won the event in 1:49.93, while Braun was second in 1:51.20 and Amy Funk was third in 1:51.92. Kristen Steenvoorden was fourth in 1:52.52, while Weiss was fifth in 1:53.24. In all, the Gophers had 11 finish in the top 12.
Tyler cruised to a win in the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.75 as Molly Belk followed in second with a time of 1:04.09 and Hopkins-Vacca was third in 1:04.29.
Nelson won her third individual event when had a time of 56.33 in the 100 back. Miller was second in 57.57, as Eggers rounded out the top three in 58.86.
Prewitt-Thomas kicked off the night session with a win in the 1,650 free. Prewitt-Thomas earned a time of 17:37.25. Cory Miller won the 200 backstroke in a time of 2:02.96. Solfelt added a third-place time of 2:07.66. Nelson added another win, this time in the 100 free. She clocked a time of 51.68, while Weiss followed in second (52.44) and Funk was third (52.53).
Although the Gophers didn’t win the 200 breast, Hopkins-Vacca, Greenburg and Michienzi took the 2,3,4 spots. Hopkins-Vacca held a time of 2:20.53, while Greenburg was third in 2:22.92 and Michienzi was fourth in 2:23.06. Takaki won the 200 fly in dominating fashion. St. Thomas’ Katie Bromback added a time of 2:12.00, but Takaki cruised to an easy win when she won it in 2:07.63.
Minnesota closed out the Challenge with a win in the 400 free relay. Nelson, Weiss, Miller and Herrild combined for a time of 3:30.42. Minnesota’s B relay of Greenburg, Prewitt-Thomas, Hopkins-Vacca and Clementi finished third in 3:40.36.
In diving action, Katie Grunawalt won the 1-meter event with a score of 265.10. She finished second in the three-meter with a score of 283.30.