The No. 8 University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team competed in its final tune-up before the Big Ten Championships, concluding the Minnesota Challenge night at the University Aquatic Center. Minnesota swept its competition, winning all 14 events of the two-day meet. No team scores were kept during the two-day meet.
The Gophers had seven relays competing in the 200 medley relay event. Minnesota’s G’ relay of Castina Wabeke, Andrea Hanson, Roxane Akradi and Meredith McCarthy won the event in a time of 1:47.53. Minnesota’s E’ relay of Erin Forster, Jillian Tyler, Erin Holtmeyer and Meagan Radecke placed second in 1:48.16, while the Gopher A’ relay of Stephanie Gross, Corina Hopkins-Vacca, Linzey Bachmeier and Amanda Borgardt finished third in 1:48.31. Danielle Ridder, Molly Belk, Megan Braun and Jenny Shaughnessy combined for a time of 1:48.47 for fourth overall, while Laura Wilcox, Avery Michienzi, Kayla Redig and Kaylee Jamison placed fifth in 1:48.60. Minnesota’s last relay of Stacy Busack, Kait Strickland, Alison Eggers and Kimberly Kazika finished seventh in a time of 1:49.99.
Steph Hilstrom won her first event as a Golden Gopher when she touched the wall in a time of 4:31.10 in the 400 individual medley. Yuen Kobayashi swam in the 400 IM as well, placing second with a time of 4:31.69. Jamison and Sharon Leary took the next two spots in the event, finishing third and fourth overall. Jamison clocked a time of 4:32.95 while Leary chipped in a time of 4:43.27.
Minnesota took the top eight spots in the 100 fly. Bachmeier earned her second individual win of the challenge, this time n the 100 butterfly. Bachmeier, who won the 50 free yesterday, earned a winning time of 56.44 in the 100 fly. Akradi finished second in 56.53, while Shaughnessy swam a time of 56.88 for third. Deidre DeWall competed in the event and finished in 57.07 for fourth, while Redig placed fifth in 57.21. Also competing in the event was Belk (57.37 for sixth), Tyler (57.46 for seventh) and Kelsey Ridder (58.15 for eighth).
Minnesota dominated the 200 free event, taking the top 10 finishes. Christine Jennings won the event in a time of 1:51.25, followed by Braun in 1:52.14 and Kait Strickland in third with a time of 1:53.88. Courtney Veerman placed fourth (1:55.34), while Kazika added a time of 1:55.51 for fifth and Eggers placed sixth (1:55.72). Minnesota’s next four finishers were Hanson in a time of 1:55.94 (seventh), Kelsey Ridder (1:57.12), Akradi in ninth (1:57.62) and Alicia Jensen in 10th (1:58.41).
Hopkins-Vacca won her second event of the challenge winning the 100 breast event. Hopkins-Vacca chipped in a winning time of 1:05.94 after winning the 200 IM yesterday. Jamison followed with a second-place time of 1:06.44, while Shaughnessy rounded out the top three in 1:06.64. DeWall and Jennings also competed with fourth and fifth place showings and times of 1:07.11 and 1:07.17.
Busack touched the wall in 58.50 to win the 100 back event, while Tyler followed in second with a time of 59.10. Laura Wilcox also competed and placed fourth in 59.67 to round out the Gopher afternoon competition.
Hilstrom added her second win of the day, this time in the 200 back. Hilstrom clocked a winning time of 2:06.97, while Gross came in third at 2:08.40 and Wilcox in third in 2:08.91. Bachmeier and Borgardt combined for the top two spots in the 100 free with times of 52.56 and 53.44. Hopkins-Vacca and Michienzi did the same in the 200 breaststroke with times of 2:18.61 and 2:26.55, taking the first and second place. Redig won the 200 fly with a time of 2:05.20, while Leary finished third in the same event in 2:12.35.
Minnesota will take some time off to prepare for the Big Ten Championships, Feb. 21-23 at Ohio State. Prelims begin at 11 a.m., followed by diving at 1 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m.