GOPHERS COMPETE FOR BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP
The University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team will compete at the 2008 Big Ten Championships, Feb. 21-23 in Columbus, Ohio. The Golden Gophers will look to add their third league championship after winning the last in 1999-2000. Prelims begin at 11 p.m., followed by diving at 1 p.m. and finals at 6:30 p.m. (EST).
ON THE PYSCH SHEETS
Minnesota enters the Big Ten Championships with the fastest times in eight events. Along with the Gophers holding the top spot in eight events, Minnesota follows with three of the second-fastest times in the 200 free relay, the 200 medley relay and the 1,650 free. Yuen Kobayashi is ranked first in the 500 free, while teammate Christine Jennings is right behind her in second. Minnesota has the three fastest times in the 200 free, with Jenny Shaughnessy (1:46.77), Kobayashi (1:47.42) and Meredith McCarthy (1:47.59). Jillian Tyler enters the meet with the fastest time in the 100 breast (59.82) and the 200 breast (2:10.44), while Stacy Busack and McCarthy hold the top two spots in the 100 free (49.26 and 49.85). On the relay sides, Minnesota is ranked first in the 400 medley relay and the 800 free relay and rank second in the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay.
The Gophers held an impressive 7-1 mark in dual meets this season. Although the Gophers fell to Florida, Minnesota bounced back to defeat Iowa, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Idaho, Arizona State, Illinois and Purdue to win seven straight. Of the eight dual meets the Gophers competed in, they faced three ranked opponents in No. 6 Florida, No. 11 North Carolina and No. 17 Arizona State for a 2-1 mark against ranked teams. The Gophers swept its conference opponents in Iowa, Illinois and Purdue this season.
2007 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
Minnesota finished fourth overall at the 2007 Big Ten Championships, held at Minnesota’s own Aquatic Center, Feb. 8-10. The Golden Gophers posted 442 points in the three-day championship and walked away with three Big Ten titles. Minnesota’s first title came when Christine Jennings won the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:43.74, which automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships. Her teammate, Yuen Kobayashi, placed second in the event with an automatic qualifying time of 4:44.31. Kobayashi placed second in the 200 free with a time of 1:47.69. Minnesota’s second title came on the second day of the championships when the Gophers earned their second-straight 800 free relay title in two years when they clocked a time of 7:11.87 with Jennings, Meredith McCarthy, Jenny Shaughnessy and Kobayashi. Kobayashi won the 1,650 free when she shaved four seconds off her then-career-best time to win the event in 16:08.59.
RECORDS WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN
During the course of the regular season, Minnesota broke six individual school records, all of which came at the Ohio State Invitational earlier this year. Stacy Busack broke the 100 free record when she clocked a time of 49.26, which was an automatic qualifying time. Yuen Kobayashi clocked two school records in both the 500 and 1,650 free events with automatic times of 4:41.09 and 16:06.36. Jillian Tyler earned three school records, also at the OSU Invite. Tyler broke both of Gopher NCAA Champion Gretchen Hegener’s 100 and 200 breaststroke. Tyler set a 100 breast time of 59.82, while touching the wall in a winning time of 2:10.44. Freshman Molly Belk earned a school record in the 200 fly when she held an automatic qualifying time of 1:58.86. Minnesota also broke the 400 medley relay when Roxane Akradi, Tyler, Megan Braun and Jenny Shaughnessy earned a time of 3:39.40.
MINNESOTA EARNS SEVEN BIG TEN SWIMMER/DIVER OF THE WEEK HONORS
The University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team has garnered six Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honors and one Big Ten Diver of the Week accolades this season. Junior swimmer Jenny Shaughnessy and freshman breaststroker Jillian Tyler each received it twice, while Meredith McCarthy and Linzey Bachmeier also earned the awards. Shaughnessy earned it in back-to-back weeks in her performances against North Carolina and at the Minnesota Toyota Grand Prix. Tyler earned it in the first week of competition against Florida when she set an automatic qualifying time. Her second came after the Ohio State Invitational when she set two school records and three automatic qualifying times. Meredith McCarthy earned her award when she won the 50 and 100 free against Idaho (Winter Training Trip) and Bachmeier earned the last award of the season when she won four of five events at the Minnesota Challenge.
Jaqcueline Schroeder earned the Diver of the Week honor when she won two events and was runner-up in another at the Minnesota Diving Invite. Her first-place platform score of 279.30 just missed the Gopher school record by 0.1 points set in 2006 by Holly Jakits (279.40). Schroeder’s championship performance from the one-meter board tallied an NCAA B’ cut score of 271.75. Off the three-meter, the Edina, Minn., native sprung for a second-place score of 300.45 qualifying her for the NCAA Zone Diving competition in March.