The University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team had its highest finish since the 1996-97 season when the Golden Gophers placed 13th at the 2007 NCAA Championships, held at the University Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus. The Gophers improved eight spots in the national standings when they placed 21st a year ago. In the duration of the championships, the Gophers set eight school records, including four individual events by sophomore Jenny Shaughnessy.
“We’re just ecstatic about our finish,” co-head coach Terry Nieszner said. “Our goal coming into the meet was to finish higher then we did a year ago and we accomplished that. We had some great swims over the past three days and set school and personal best times. It was a great meet for us.”
The Gophers finished the championships with 59 points, 11 more then the previous season. Auburn won the event with 535 points, while Arizona finished second with 477 points and California had 372.5 points for third place.
The Gophers’ 400 free relay broke its record they set in the preliminaries with a time of 3:18.42 and finished 12th overall. The Gophers made it to the consolation final with a time of 3:19.43 and bettered their time to 3:18.42 in the finals to place 12th and earn 10 points. Shaughnessy led off the 400 free relay and set a school record with a time of 49.84, breaking her previous record of 49.93. Minnesota’s Meredith McCarthy, Stacy Busack and Erin Holtmeyer helped the Gophers to a 12th place showing.
Along with Shaughnessy’s record in the 100 free, she set the 200 free record when she led off the 800 free relay with a time of 1:46.06. Earlier today, Shaughnessy broke the school record in the 200-yard backstroke when she touched the wall in a time of 1:58.07 in the prelims. She finished 24th in the competition and broke Katie Wind’s time of 1:58.24, which was set at the 2006 Big Ten Championships. The Rochester, Minn., native also set the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:58.96.
Like the 400 and 800 free relays, the Gophers also broke the school record in the 200 free relay. Minnesota kicked off the championships with a record-breaking time of 1:30.40 in the 200 free relay with Stacy Busack, Jenny Hasling, McCarthy and Akradi. Also breaking the school record this weekend was Roxane Akradi in the 100 back. As a member of the 400 medley relay, Akradi clocked a time of 53.89, breaking Trina Thames’ 1992 record of 54.21.
Christine Jennings and Yuen Kobyashi each competed in the 1,650 free tonight, placing 27th and 30th overall. Jennings clocked a career-best time of 16:29.07, while Kobayashi finished in 16:31.56.
200 free relay (Busack, Hasling, McCarthy, Akradi)
Yuen Kobayashi, 500 free
Jenny Shaughnessy, 200 individual medley
Roxane Akradi, 100 back
800 free relay (Shaughnessy, Kobayashi, McCarthy, Jennings)
400 free relay (Shaughnessy, McCarthy, Busack, Holtmeyer)