Minnesota freshman breaststroker Jillian Tyler tallied three wins and notched two NCAA A cut times, but it wasn’t enough as the Gopher women fell to the sixth-ranked Florida swimmers 168-132 in a dual meet Saturday at the Dorothy L. Sheppard pool at the University Aquatic Center.
Tyler combined with teammates Roxanne Akradi, Megan Braun and Stacy Busack to win the 200 medley relay to start this afternoon’s meet, as the team touched in 1:42.76. Tyler’s victories in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.46) and 200 breaststroke (2:13.47) were each good enough to punch her ticket to the NCAA meet in March.
After the Gophers’ victory in the first event, the Gators imposed their will in the next three events, finishing 1-2 in the 3-meter springboard, the 1650 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle, staking themselves to a significant early lead. The Gophers bounced back in the 100 breaststroke, as Alicia Jensen (3rd, 1:04.67) and Kim Kazika (4th, 1:06.07) followed Tyler for a 1-3-4 finish. The Gophers got a boost from another freshman one event later, as Molly Belk won the 200 butterfly in 2:01.65.
After Florida claimed victories in the next four events, Tyler had teammates Kait Strickland (2:19.51) and Jensen (2:19.6) follow her into the wall for a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 breaststroke.
Three events later, the Gophers had another big event, as they claimed the top three spots in the 400 IM. The Minnesota contingent was led by junior captain Jenny Shaughnessy, who won in 4:20.62. Strickland (4:24.02) and Tyler (4:28.52) would follow Shaughnessy to mark the Gophers’ second 1-2-3 finish of the meet.
Although the Gophers would finish two relays in the top three in the meet’s final event, the Gators’ 400 freestyle relay team of Elizabeth Kemp, Caroline Burckle, Natalie Pike and Stephanie Napier would seal the meet for the Gators, finishing in 3:24.78.