The No. 9 University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team dominated the first day of the Ohio State Invitational with 406 points, today in Columbus, Ohio. The Golden Gophers hold a 175-point lead over second-place Penn State (231), while Notre Dame is in third with 149 points.
Minnesota started the three-day meet with a win in the 200 free relay. The Gopher foursome of Stacy Busack, Meredith McCarthy, Kaylee Jamison and Meagan Radecke broke a meet record when they combined for a time of 1:29.49 and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in March. The Gophers’ B relay of Alison Eggers, Castina Wabeke, Jenna Lennertz and Andrea Hanson chipped in a third-place time of 1:34.07.
Minnesota dominated the 500 freestyle, taking the top three spots and five out of the six finishes. Yuen Kobayashi broke her own meet record when she touched the wall in 4:40.42 and provisionally qualified for NCAAs. Christine Jennings finished second in a provisional time of 4:42.50, while Ashley Steenvoorden placed third in a provisional time of 4:45.97. Marissa Davies had a time of 4:48.61 and placed fifth overall, while Kristen Steenvoorden added a sixth-place time of 4:49.28.
Minnesota added another four in the 200 individual medley championship final. Jillian Tyler won the event with a meet record and provisional time of 1:58.67. Her time was also a career-best in the event and a school record. Jenny Shaughnessy finished third in the event with a career-best time of 1:59.93. Kait Strickland finished fourth in the same event in 2:03.03, while Deidre DeWall rounded out the top eight in a time of 2:05.39.
Minnesota went 1,2,3,4 in the 50 free finals with Stacy Busack leading the way. Busack clocked a meet-record time of 22.37, while McCarthy was second in 22.90 and Radecke in third (23.02). Jamison finished fourth in a career-best time of 23.09. Eggers also competed in the event and placed eighth overall in the championship final with a time of 23.47.
The Gophers closed out the first day with a win in the 400 medley relay. The relay of Wabeke, Tyler, Megan Braun and Busack held a provisional time of 3:35.69 for the win. Minnesota’s B relay of DeWall, Kimberly Kazika, Jamison and McCarthy finished third in 3:43.76.
In diving action, Taylor Enerson finished 18th overall. Enerson finished with a score of 239.90 and was second alternate for the finals.
Action continues tomorrow at 11 a.m. for the prelims and 6 p.m. for the finals.