The University of Minnesota women’s swim team had 12 swimmers compete in the championship final tonight to conclude the Minnesota Grand Prix at the University Aquatic Center on the U of M campus.
Minnesota started the finale of the three-day meet placing four current and one former Gopher in the 1,650 free top eight. Ashley Steenvoorden swam the event in a short-course national time of 16:19.12 and fourth overall. Loren Brandon followed behind Steenvoorden in fifth (16:31.59), while Gopher alum Christine Jennings was sixth overall (16:43.05). Lissa Tommerdahl added a seventh-place showing in 16:48.56, while Kristen Steenvoorden was eighth overall in 16:55.96. USA Olympian Chloe Sutton won the event in a meet-record time of 16:07.15.
Minnesota had two swimmers compete in the 200 back championship final in Hannah Whitehead and Castina Wabeke. Whitehead finished in third with a time of 2:00.94, followed by Wabeke in sixth in 2:03.16. Incoming Gopher recruit Hailey Szews was eighth overall in 2:05.53. Minnesota also had three place in the consolation finals in Andrea Hanson in 11th (2:04.17), Cory Miller in 12th (2:05.30) and Elizabeth Weitz in 13th (2:06.46).
Alison Eggers had a great showing in the 100 freestyle event, finishing second overall. Eggers touched the wall in 50.53, only to lose out to Erika Erndl, who won the recent U.S. Open. Marissa Davies also competed in the 100 free championship final, placing fifth in 51.38. Abigail Staats and Meagan Radecke competed in the consolation final and finished 10th (52.01) and 14th (52.88), respectively. Gopher NLI signees Erin Caflisch won the consolation final in 51.77, while Szews was 15th (52.92).
The Gophers added another four in the 200 fly championship final. Molly Belk placed second overall in 2:01.50, while Kaylee Jamison clocked a time of 2:02.67 for fourth. Kelsey Ridder was fifth overall (2:03.09), followed by Annalise Colton in 2:06.62. Paige Bradley just missed out on the championship final, but won the consolation in 2:03.48.
Minnesota had two relays in the 400 free relay, taking home second and fifth overall. Staats, Davies, Jamison and Eggers combined for a time of 3:25.62 for second. Washington State won the event when it set a meet record of 3:23.55. Minnesota’s B relay of Melissa Nelson, Kristen Steenvoorden, Meghan Weiss and Ashley Steenvoorden was fifth in 3:31.94.
Minnesota will rest and get ready for the Ohio State Invitational, Dec. 4-6 in Columbus, Ohio.