Nov. 19, 2013
After a successful national competition at the USA Swimming Arena Grand Prix in Minneapolis, two swimmers on the University of Minnesota swimming and diving team were recognized in the Big Ten conference. Kierra Smith along with freshman Breanne Siwicki were given weekly honors on Tuesday Nov. 19.
Kierra Smith was named Swimmer of the Week after a much talked about performance at the Grand Prix. Hosted in the University Aquatic Center, Smith represented the Golden Gophers as one of the most winningest swimmers in individual events on the women’s side. Smith, a British Columbia, Canada native, had three first-place finishes during the national meet.
Smith won the 200 yard individual medley event with a time of 1:57.80, a time which gave her a qualifying provisional time in the NCAA. Another first-place time came as a member of the 400-yard medley relay team, which was a combined time of 3:36.80. In the 100-yard breaststroke she finished second by racing with another provisional NCAA qualifying time of 1:00.33.
But probably the most promising performance of the meet was in the 200-yard breaststroke event when Kierra Smith won her third individual event representing Minnesota. A top time of 2:06.43 automatically qualified her for a NCAA mark and put her name on the leaderboard for the event. She currently holds the top time in the NCAA for the 200-yard breaststroke by nearly four seconds; the second leading top time in the event is 2:10.02.
The Swimmer of the Week honor is the third time career title for the Canadian sophomore, and eighth overall conference honor. The last Swimmer of the Week award for the Gophers was Kierra Smith on Nov. 13, 2012.
Another Canadian also won conference honors for the University of Minnesota. Freshman Breanne Siwicki was given the title of Freshman of the Week.
Siwicki swam a 4:13.40 in the 400-yard individual medley race also during the Grand Prix. The time not only gave her a NCAA provisional mark in the event, but it is also currently the fifth fastest time in the NCAA. Siwicki is no stranger to Big Ten weekly accolades as this honor marks the third time in her debut season as a Gopher to be named Freshman of the Week. The last Minnesota Freshman of the Week was Siwicki herself on Nov. 5.
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