MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota men’s and women’s swimming team displayed strong showings on day one of the Minnesota Invite. The Gophers captured a combined seven first place finishes out of the eight final events Thursday night.
Action continues tomorrow, Friday, December 1 with preliminary swims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.
Nick Plachinski started out the Gophers individual races with a second place finish in the 500-yard freestyle touching in at 4:25.90, while sophomore Nick Saulnier set a new personal-record time of 4:28.33 for a second place finish.
Senior Conner McHugh and teammate Brian Poon followed it up with an exciting 200-yard Individual Medley final race. McHugh took the top spot and set a new personal record, touching the wall one-one hundredths of a second faster than Poon at 1:47.39.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Bowen Becker beat out four Iowa Hawkeyes for the top spot, reaching the wall at 19.59.
The Gopher relays came out strong on day one. In the 200 free relay, Minnesota’s “A” squad of Becker, Tim Sates, Matt Thomas and Tuomas Pokkinen touched in first in a time of 1:19.15. Minnesota completed the relay sweep in the 400 medley relay as the “A” team of Tom Donker, McHugh, Pokkinen and Becker touched in at 3:11.69.
In the invite scoring system, Minnesota currently trails Iowa 427-380.
Freshman Mackenzie Padington continues to shine finishing first in the 500 free in a personal-record time of 4:38.54. Her time now ranks fourth all-time in the 500 free in Minnesota women’s program history and is the eighth fastest time in the nation. Junior Chantal Nack finished just behind Padington in a time of 4:43.67.
Minnesota ended the day one individual finals with a 1-2-3 finish in the 50 free. Zoe Avestruz beat out teammate Danielle Nack for the top spot by three-hundredths of a second hitting the wall at the 22.41 mark. Kaia Grobe tied her personal-record time of 23.16 in her third place finish.
The Maroon and Gold’s relay squad continued its dominance with a pair of first place finishes. In the 200 free relay, D. Nack, Avestruz, Waddell and Grobe touched in at a season-best 1:29.69. Beating out Iowa by over three seconds, the 400 medley relay team of Waddell, Lindsey Kozelsky, D. Nack and Avestruz captured the first place finish clocking in at 3:37.92.
In the invite scoring system, Minnesota currently leads Iowa 424-366 after day one.
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