Beginning today's events in fourth place, the Gophers continued a solid performance during the preliminaries at the University Aquatic Center. The highlight of the meet thus far for the Gophers was a school record set today in the 50-yard freestyle.
Junior Katy Coombe secured her place in Gopher history breaking a school record of nearly 20 years in the 50 free. Coombe, in a time of 22.96, finished one one-hundredth of a second faster than the previous record set in 1986. The time earned her a third place finish in the event. Furthermore, freshman Jennifer Hastling finished in 10th place with a time of 23.34. The times are NCAA B-cuts for both swimmers. The top 16 swimmers from each preliminary event qualify to compete in the finals that evening.
Moreover, in the 500 free, Kate Hardt captured the final spot to be eligible to compete in this evening's consolation finals. She clocked a time of 4:53.34, earning a 16th place finish. Hardt also earned an NCAA B-cut time.
Senior Juleen Rodakowski placed 13th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:04.06. She captured an NCAA B-cut time on this event and will swim in this evening's consolation finals.
In one-meter diving, senior Shannon Jackson finished fourth in this afternoon's first round and will dive this evening in the finals. She scored a 281.15. Junior Rebecca Cornthwaite narrowly missed the finals, finishing ninth with a score of 255.75. Penn State's Lisa Silvestri posted the top score of 304.75.
The finals for these events begin at 7 p.m. tonight at the University Aquatic Center. The Big Ten Championships continue through Saturday.