Champi The University of Minnesota women's swimming and diving team finished sixth in the team standings at the Big Ten Championships, hosted by Purdue University. The Golden Gophers were three points away from tying fifth-place Purdue, who finished with a team score of 403. Minnesota improved from last year's Big Ten Championships, where the team finished ninth with a team score of 226.
Keri Hehn finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:13.22. Hehn shaved tenths off of her preliminary time of 2:13.72, but Michigan's Kelli Stein won the events with a time of 2:12.90, followed by Penn State's Courtney Stanchock came in second with a 2:13.03.
Dana Baum moved up in the ranks from the preliminaries, finishing third overall in the 100-yard freestyle. Baum improved her prelim time of 50.70 to 50.24. It was her season best and lifetime best in the event. In all, Baum competed in three relays for the Gophers and three individual finals.
Juleen Rodakowski finished third in the 200 butterfly in 1:59.59, improving her prelim time of 1:59.60. Penn State's Amber Biedermann won the event with a 1:58.08, which broke both the pool and Big Ten record.
Megan Moore gained 12 points for the Gophers, finishing seventh in the 200-yard backstroke. Moore clocked a 2:01.26 in the finals. Her preliminary time of 2:00.58 earlier today, provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Championships.
Minnesota divers Rebecca Cornthwaite, Holly Hanneman and Kim Bahmer helped the Gophers move into fifth for a brief time, when the trio gained 30 points. Cornthwaite improved her preliminary score of 405.75 to a finals score of 415.80, good enough for fourth place and 15 points. Hanneman came in eighth with a final score of 328.45 for 11 points. Bahmer did not make it into the finals, but finished 13th and gained four points in the Gophers' favor.
But Purdue's 400 free relay team finished third to re-gain the fifth spot with 30 relay points and a final team score of 403. Minnesota placed fifth in the event and had 28 points for a 403 team score. Minnesota's 400 free relay of Baum, Katy Coombe, Moore and Kate Hardt chipped in a time of 3:22.72, improving their previous season best of 3:29.36.
"In our last race of the 400 free we swam really well, but so did Purdue and that did it, head coach Jean Freeman said. "We finished where we thought that we would finish, which was in the middle of the pack, which shows a bright spot for the future. It proves that we can stand through the thick of things in the Big Ten. We had a high percentage of lifetime bests, which was is a great thing for this team."
The Maroon and Gold's next action will be the GOPHER-IT Invite, March 2 at Minnesota's University Aquatic Center. The preliminaries will be at noon, while finals are at 2 p.m.
Team Scores 1. Indiana University 595 2. University of Wisconsin 561 3. Penn State University 509 4. University of Michigan 460 5. Purdue University 403 6. University of Minnesota 400 7. Northwestern University 265 8. University of Iowa 227 9. Ohio State University 172 10. University of Illinois 146 11. Michigan State 129