The ninth-ranked University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team vaulted to a 123.5-63.5 lead in their weekend dual meet with North Carolina Friday night at the Dorothy L. Sheppard pool. In the first of day of competition, the Gophers won all but one event.
The Gophers were led on Friday night by junior Yuen Kobayashi, who notched three wins. Kobayashi’s big night started with a victory in the 1000 freestyle, where she bested the Tar Heels’ Whitney Sprague by almost five seconds, touching in 9:46.99.
After a brief respite, Kobayashi bounced back in the very next event to win the hotly contested 200 freestyle for the Gophers, finishing in 1:48.75. Kobayashi, teammate Jenny Shaughnessy and UNC’s Kelsey Morrissy finished within fifteen hundredths of a second of one another, with the latter two finished in a tie for second place at 1:48.90.
Kobayashi’s third win of the night came in the final event of the evening, where she teamed with Shaughnessy, Meredith McCarthy and Christine Jennings to win the 800 freestyle relay in 7:23.08.
The Gophers start off the evening with a bang, as Roxanne Akradi, Jillian Tyler, Kaylee Jamison and Stacy Busack won the 200 medley relay in 1:42.41, besting UNC’s top quartet by more than a full second. The Gophers B’ relay team of Deidre DeWall, Alicia Jensen, Megan Braun and Erin Holtmeyer touched out the Tar Heels’ second team to collect valuable third place points.
The 3-meter diving competition saw the Gophers’ Jacqueline Schroeder (298.28) and Alex Barstad (290.10) capture the top two spots. Freshman Margaret Thomas (5th, 252.60) also tallied a point for the maroon and gold.
After swimming the backstroke and breaststroke legs of the 200 medley relay respectively, Akradi and Tyler won the 100-yard race of their respective disciplines as well. Akradi’s victory in the backstroke event came in a close race, where the top four finishers touched the wall within one second of one another. Tyler’s victory was less dramatic, as she touched the wall first in 1:01.96.
The 200 butterfly event was also a healthy one for Minnesota, as Molly Belk (1st, 2:01.18), Megan Braun (2nd, 2:02.28), and Danielle Ridder (4th, 2:05.77) helped outscore the UNC contingent 15-4 in the event and push the Gophers lead to 91.5-31.5 through that event.
The Tar Heels’ Megan Steeves touched out Busack by eleven hundredths of a second as UNC claimed their lone win of the evening in the 50 freestyle. Busack, McCarthy and Holtmeyer all finished in the top five, however.
Shaughnessy captured the 200 individual medley in 2:03.30 to win her first event of the evening. Tyler (2:05.05) finished third and DeWall (2:05.83) was fourth.
Minnesota and North Carolina will finish their dual meet tomorrow at 11:00 at the Dorothy L. Sheppard pool.