The University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team has qualified 10 swimmers to compete at the 2007 NCAA Championships, next weekend, at the Golden Gophers’ own facility, University Aquatic Center. It is the second-straight year the Gophers have qualified 10 to the NCAA Championships.
Qualifying for the event is junior Roxane Akradi, senior Erika Bjorklund, sophomore Stacy Busack, freshman Deidre DeWall, senior captain Jennifer Hasling, sophomore Erin Holtmeyer, sophomore Christine Jennings, sophomore Yuen Kobayashi, sophomore Meredith McCarthy and sophomore Jenny Shaughnessy. Of the 10, seven swimmers will be making their second appearance, while Bjorklund and DeWall are making their first NCAA trek. Akradi competed with Southern Methodist before transferring to Minnesota, while the other six (Busack, Hasling, Holtmeyer, Jennings, Kobyashi, McCarthy and Shaughnessy) competed for Minnesota last season. Five of the 10 qualifiers are also from the state of Minnesota (Akradi (Eagan, Minn.), Bjorklund (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Busack (Fergus Falls, Minn.), Hasling (Blaine, Minn.) and Shaughnessy (Rochester, Minn.).
All individuals who qualify for relays may participate in their respective individual events if they have automatic or provisional qualifying times. The Gophers qualified in the 200 free relay (Busack, Hasling, Holtmeyer and Akradi), the 200 medley relay (Hasling, Bjorklund, DeWall and Busack), the 800 free relay (Kobayashi, McCarthy, Shaughnessy and Jennings) and the 400 free relay (McCarthy, Busack, Shaughnessy and Kobayashi).
The Gophers won three events at the Big Ten Championships a month ago. The Gophers won the 800 free relay (Kobayashi, McCarthy, Shaughnessy and Jennings). Jennings won the 500 free, while Kobayashi won the 1,650 free at Big Tens. Kobayashi enters the 1650 with the third-fastest time in the country, while Jennings ranks in the top 10 of the 500 free. Shaughnessy also holds one of the Gophers’ fastest times in the 400 individual medley, enter the event in eighth place.
The NCAA Championships begin next weekend, March 8-10, at the University Aquatic Center. Preliminaries are at 11 a.m., followed by diving at 1 p.m. and finals are at 7 p.m. All session tickets are now on sale for $52 (six sessions), while single session for preliminaries ($10) and finals ($12) are also on sale. For more information, contact the Gopher ticket office at (612) 624-8080 or 1-800 UGOPHER.