No. 13 Minnesota kicked off its weekend at the Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in Bloomington, Ind., by setting a school record and collecting an NCAA “A” qualifier in the 200-yard medley relay. The Golden Gophers are in third place with 66 points after two events scored.
The Gopher relay of Hannah Whitehead, Jillian Tyler, Kaylee Jamison and Meagan Radecke teamed to clock a time of 1 minute, 37.37 seconds to rewrite the Minnesota record book and notch a second-place finish. Tyler and Jamison were members of the relay that owned the previous record of 1:38.33 from 2009. Wisconsin won the first event of the 2011 Championships with a time of 1:36.68.
The other event contested on Wednesday evening at Indiana’s Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center was the 800-yard freestyle relay. Minnesota finished third in the race cutting over 8 seconds off their season-best mark to record a time of 7:06.52, an NCAA “B” qualifier. Whitehead led off for the Gophers for the second race of the evening and was joined by Lauren Weis, Marissa Davies and Ashley Steenvoorden. Indiana swam to the Big Ten title in the event in a time of 7:01.13.
“We are very pleased with the way we started off the meet,” said Golden Gopher co-head coach Terry Nieszner. “Anytime you can set the pace and ignite momentum by setting a school record, it’s a great way to start. We excited to keep this going. This is going to be a great meet.”
Indiana and Wisconsin have a slight edge in the team standings with 68 points, followed by Minnesota (66), and Ohio State (58).
Day two of the Big Ten Championships begins on Thursday at 10 a.m. (CT) with the preliminary round of the 500-yard freestyle. Finals will begin at 5:30 p.m. (CT).