GOPHERS GEAR UP FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The No. 10 University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team are set and ready to compete at the 2009 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, March 19-21 in College Station, Texas. The Golden Gophers will be well represented at the national meet, as the swimmers will participate in the three-day meet. The Gophers will compete in every relay as well as all swimming events during the course of the championship.
MINNESOTA'S NCAA TEAM
The University of Minnesota has a school-record 15 swimmers headed to the NCAA Championships. The Golden Gophers have the largest contingent in the Big Ten (not including diving) going to the championships. Indiana had 13 swimmers qualify, while Michigan and Penn State are sending six to the national championships. Making the NCAA field for Minnesota is Megan Braun, Stacy Busack, Alison Eggers, Kaylee Jamison, Christine Jennings, Yuen Kobayashi, Jenna Lennertz, Meredith McCarthy, Meagan Radecke, Jenny Shaughnessy, Ashley Steenvoorden, Kristen Steenvoorden, Jillian Tyler, Castina Wabeke and Hannah Whitehead. Making their fourth-straight trek to the NCAA is Busack, Jennings, Kobayashi, McCarthy and Shaughnessy. Making their second appearance at the NCAA Championships is Braun, Tyler and Wabeke, while the Gophers have seven entering their first NCAA championships (Eggers, Jamison, Lennertz, Radecke, Steenvoorden, Steenvoorden and Whitehead). Of the seven, four are freshmen (Lennertz, Steenvoorden, Steenvoorden and Whitehead).
TEXAS A&M SET TO HOST THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Texas A & M hosts the NCAA Championships this year. All live results, heat sheets, standings and photos can be found on theif specific swimming site:
ON THE PSYCH SHEETS
Minnesota enters the NCAAs with some of the fastest times in the country. Jillian Tyler is holds the second-fastest time in the 100 breast (58.80) and the third-fastest in the 200 breast (2:08.52). Ashley Steenvoorden holds the second-fastest time in the 1,650 freestyle. At Big Tens, Steenvoorden held a time of 15:55.78, which won her the Big Ten title. Georgia’s Wendy Trott has the fastest time in the event and was the only person to automatically qualify in the event (15:51.41). Jenny Shaughnessy ranks sixth in the 400 individual medley (4:06.37) and 10th in the 200 free (1:44.73). Stacy Busack enters the championships with the ninth-best time in the 100 free (48.08). The Gopher relays rank high as well. Minnesota’s 800 free relay ranks seventh (7:01.65), eighth in the the 400 medley relay (3:32.38) and the 200 free relay (1:28.74), ninth in the 400 free relay (3:14.53) and 15th (1:38.33) in the 200 medley relay.
AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS FOR NCAA MEET
Jillian Tyler qualified for the NCAA Championships in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. Her times of 58.80 and 2:08.52 were school records when she recorded the times at the Ohio State Invitational, Dec. 5-7 in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, Tyler’s 100 breast time ranks second in the nation, while her 200 breast time is third overall. Jenny Shaughnessy accomplished a career-best and automatic qualfiying time of 4:06.37 in the 400 IM at the Big Ten Championships. Minnesota has three relays that made the automatic cut in the 400 and 800 free relays and the 400 medley relay. All of the Gopher relays times came during the Big Ten Championships. All of the Gopher automatic times were school records.
Name Event Time Seed
Jenny Shaughnessy 400 individual medley 4:06.37* 6th
Jillian Tyler 100 breast 58.80* 2nd
200 breast 2:08.52* 3rd
400 medley relay 3:32.38* 8th
400 free relay 3:14.53* 9th
800 free relay 7:01.65* 7th
*indicates school record
GOPHERS FINISH SECOND AT 2009 BIG TEN TITLE
Minnesota won a school-record 10 events and set 16 varsity records, but it wasn’t enough to upend Indiana to finish second overall at the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Gophers collected 665 points in the championship, but the Hoosier had a 823 points to win the conference title. Jenny Shaughnessy was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Championship when she won the 200 and 400 individual medley and was a member of the winning 400 and 800 free relay wins. The Gophers also won titles in the 200 free relay and the 100 breast (Tyler), the 1,650 free (Ashley Steenvoorden), 200 fly (Braun), the 100 free (Busack) and the 200 free (McCarthy). Along with the event titles, Minnesota broke every school record in all but the 100 and 200 breast, which Tyler set earlier in the year. In all, the Gophers placed 10 swimmers on the first-team All-Big Ten, while Hannah Whitehead was on the second team.
LAST YEAR AT NCAAS
Minnesota finished 13th overall at the NCAA Championships last year in Columbus, Ohio. Although the Golden Gophers finished the same ranking as 2007, they garnered 96 points, 37 more points then the previous year. The Maroon and Gold set a then-school record with 12 participants with nine earning All-America accolades. Freshman Jillian Tyler led the Gophers at the national meet when she earned three first-team All-America honors (100 and 200 breaststrokes and the 400 medley relay) and was an honorable mention selection in the 200 medley relay. Also earning All-America citations was Roxane Akradi (200 and 400 free relays, 200 and 400 medley relays), Megan Braun (200 and 400 medley relays, 200 fly), Stacy Busack (200 and 400 free relays, 200 and 400 medley relays), Erin Holtmeyer (200 free relay), Christine Jennings (500 free, 800 free relay), Yuen Kobayashi (800 free relay), Meredith McCarthy (200, 400 and 800 free relays) and Jenny Shaughnessy (400 and 800 free relays, 400 IM).
POINT GETTERS FROM LAST YEAR'S NCAAS
With her second and seventh-place finish in the breaststroke events, Jillian Tyler had 36 points during last year’s NCAA Championships. Stacy Busack and former Gopher Roxane Akradi held 11.5 points, while Megan Braun had 10 points. Jenny Shaughnessy earned the Gophers 9.5 points, followed by Christine Jennings with seven, Meredith McCarthy with 6.5, while Erin Holtmeyer and Yuen Kobayashi each had two.
The Gophers held an impressive 8-0 mark in dual meets this season. Minnesota opened the season with duals against Big Ten opponents Michigan and Michigan State, Oct. 10-11. The Gophers recorded their first win (169-130) over the Wolverines on Oct. 10 and followed with a 164-132 victory over the Spartans. The Gophers then started their non-conference season with a 217-151 win over North Carolina (11/1). Minnesota defeated Iowa (11/7) to close out the first half. Now in the second half of the season, the Maroon and Gold posted a win over Washington (1/17), 164.5-97.5. Hosting the Quad Duals Jan. 30-31, Minnesota added three wins over Wisconsin (191-160), Purdue (222-121) and Illinois (232-110).
RECORDS WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN
During the course of the season, every Minnesota swimming record has been broken. Tyler set the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the OSU Invite (Dec. 5-8). The Gophers then broke 16 school records at the Big Ten Conference championships. Stacy Busack broke the 50 (22.29) and the 100 free (48.08), while Jenny Shaughnessy broke the 200 free (1:44.73), the 200 back (1:55.41), the 200 IM (1:57.18) and the 400IM (4:06.37). Ashley Steenvoorden held the school’s fastest time in the 500 free (4:39.85) and the 1,650 free (15:55.78). Hannah Whitehead earned the school’s fastest time in the 100 back (53.89), while Megan Braun swam school-best times of 53.14 and 1:56.00 in the 100 and 200 flys. Along with the individual events, Minnesota clocked school-best times of 1:28.74 in the 200 free relay, 3:14.53 in the 400 free relay and 7:01.65 in the 800 free relay. Minnesota also clocked school-best times in the 200 medley relay (1:38.33) and the 400 medley relay (3:32.38).