The University of Minnesota women’s swim team will have 10 representatives competing at the 2006 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, March 16-18, hosted by the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. The Gophers qualified three relays, as well as qualifying swimmers in individual events. The last time the Golden Gophers had 10 qualifiers dates back to the 1997-98 season when Minnesota had 11 participants and placed 16th overall. Participating in the NCAA Championships is Stacy Busack, Kate Hardt, Jennifer Hasling, Erin Holtmeyer, Christine Jennings, Yuen Kobayashi, Meredith McCarthy, Sarah Perrott, Jenny Shaughnessy and Katie Wind.
Minnesota will have three seniors (Hardt, Perrott, Wind), one junior (Hasling) and six freshmen (Busack, Holtmeyer, Jennings, Kobayashi, McCarthy, Shaughnessy) competing at the NCAA Championships. Of the 10, only one Gopher will be making her second trip to the NCAA Championships in Hardt. The Gophers qualified in the 200 free relay (Busack, Hasling, Holtmeyer, Perrott), the 400 free relay (Busack, McCarthy, Perrott, Shaughnessy) and the 800 free relay (Hardt, Jennings, Kobayashi, Shaughnessy). All individuals who qualify for relays may participate in their respective individual events if they have automatic or provisional qualifying times. Katie Wind will also compete in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events.
“It’s very exciting for us to have so many qualify,” co-head coach Terry Nieszner said. “Last year, we had one qualify and now we have 10 this season. It’s one of our largest classes in recent history and I think it’s great that we have so many individuals representing the University of Minnesota.”
“The entire team knows that the most important meet of the season is the NCAA,” co-head coach Kelly Kremer said. “We will have good representation from Minnesota and it will be good to see how our team does nationally.”
The Gophers may have divers qualify to the NCAA Championships as well. The Gopher divers are competing at the NCAA Zones next weekend.