GOPHERS OPEN AGAINST CAL
The University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team opens the 2006-07 season with a home meet against California, Friday night, 6 p.m., at the University Aquatic Center. LOOKING TO IMPROVE
Minnesota will look to improve on last year’s second-place performance at the Big Ten Championships returning19 letterwinners. Along with a second-place finish, the Gophers also claimed conference awards with Yuen Kobayashi being named the 2006 Freshman of the Year and co-head coaches Terry Nieszner and Kelly Kremer as Co Big Ten Coaches of the Year. With a 21st-place NCAA finish, the Gophers will look to improve nationally as well, returning seven All-American honorable mentions. Of the seven, six are sophomores this season in Stacy Busack, Erin Holtmeyer, Christine Jennings, Yuen Kobayashi, Meredith McCarthy and Jenny Shaughnessy. Also returning is senior All-American Jennifer Hasling. TEAM CAPTAINS
Seniors Jenny Hasling and Holly Jakits will serve as the team’s captains this season. Hasling earned All-America honors with the 200 free relay as a junior. Jakits led the team in the platform event as was a U.S. National Qualifier. MEET THE COACHES
The Golden Gophers are fortunate to have not just one, but two head coaches at the helm of the women’s swimming program. Terry Nieszner and Kelly Kremer enter their third year together as co-head coaches. Nieszner was an assistant coach to the women’s team for 27 years. Kremer was an associate head coach for the men’s team before taking the women’s head coaching job. In just two years, the duo led the Gophers from a sixth-place finish in 2005 to a second-place finish at the 2006 Big Ten Championships. RETURNING POINT GETTERS
The Golden Gophers return last year’s top-two swimmers, who scored the most dual meets points a year ago. Yuen Kobayashi scored 189 points for the Gophers, while Christine Jennings had 173. Jenny Shaughnessy, who scored the most points at the Big Ten Championships with 67, returns as well after tallying 160 in dual meet action. SCOUTING THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
California-Berkeley had a standout season after a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships last year. Along with a fourth-place national finish, the Bears held a a fifth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships and an 11-0 dual-meet season. Cal head coach Teri McKeever has nine returning All-Americans, including sophomore Jessica Hardy, who won the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:00.02 at the NCAA Championships last March in Athens, Ga. The Bears added another collegiate All-American during the offseason, when incoming sophomore Dana Vollmer joined Cal from Florida. Vollmer, a 6-0 product of Granbury, Texas, won a gold medal as a member of the United States' 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The Bears defeated Northwestern, 191-102, in Evanston, Ill, on Thursday night. ON THE STARTING BLOCKS
Minnesota opens the Big Ten season next weekend as it hosts Iowa, Oct. 20 at the University Aquatic Center. The dual meet is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.