Gopher Men and Women Swimming Post Strong Finish At Minnesota Challenge

  0 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | February 09th, 2013 | College, News

College Swimming News: The No. 15 Minnesota men’s swimming and diving team continued their success Saturday as they wrapped up the Minnesota Challenge. The Gophers notched 15 first-place finishes on the day in front of the home crowd at the University Aquatic Center.

“I thought we had a lot of really good swimmers and I think a lot of promising swims for down the road for those student-athletes,” head swim coach Kelly Kremer said about the meet. “We had some seniors that probably finished their career tonight. I just saw a lot of smiles and I feel good about how they finished the season.”

Mikey Ross opened the day with two victories for the Maroon and Gold. In 3-meter diving, the senior marked a season-high score of 421.80 and in platform notched a 367.85.

The Gophers dominated in the relays on the day, winning all three out of three. In the 200 medley relay the men’s A team finished in 1:31.75. The B team clocked in at 6:45.92 in the 800 free relay and in the final event of the night, the A team finished in 3:08.56 in the 400 free relay.

The men’s 100 fly was a tight race between the Gophers but it was Ben Bravence who prevailed for first-place with his season-best time of 49.18. In the 200 fly Drew Johnson clinched the victory, touching the wall at 1:52.47.

In the freestyle events on the day, Danny Brebrick earned first-place honors in the 200 free with his new season-best time of 1:39.41. Brian Gorman swam the 1,650 in 16:06.28 for the victory while Hrvoje Capan beat out all others in the 100 free in his season top-time of 44.82 for first.

Jared Anderson added two victories for the Gophers on the day. The senior captain finished in 54.77 for first-place in the 100 breast as well as swimming the 200 breast in 2:02.85 for the win.

Two career-best times were notched during the backstrokes for the Gophers. Jimmy Rafter clinched his new top-time of 49.85 in the 100 back for first-place honors while Grant Alef swam a best 1:47.65 for the win in the 200 back.

Sophomore Luke Bushman swam a quick 400 IM, marking a new season-best time of 3:57.63 to win the event.

The Gophers travel to Bloomington, Indiana February 27th - March 2nd for the 2013 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships.

“For our teams getting ready for the Big Ten Championships, really a lot of great stuff,” Kremer said. “Yesterday, I hate to even start talking about it but there were so many good things. Derek Toomey going under 20 on the men’s side, I didn’t realize how few we had of those. He might have been maybe the third or fourth person that’s ever done that at Minnesota unshaved and unrested… We had a bunch of great swims yesterday all-around, both men and women. We’re in a good position for what’s to come.”

Gopher Women:

The No. 16 Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team continued their success Saturday as they wrapped up the Minnesota Challenge. The Gophers notched 12 first-place finishes on the day in front of the home crowd at the University Aquatic Center.

“I thought we had a lot of really good swimmers and I think a lot of promising swims for down the road for those student-athletes,” head coach Kelly Kremer said about the meet. “We had some seniors that probably finished their career tonight. I just saw a lot of smiles and I feel good about how they finished the season.”

Maggie Keefer had a strong day on the boards, clinching a new career-best score in 3-meter diving. The junior marked a 380.50 to earn a victory for the Maroon and Gold. In platform, Katie Grunawalt scored a 277.35 for first-place honors.

The Gophers 200 medley relay made up of Marina Spadoni, Kierra Smith, Chloe Portela and Monica Radecke finished in 1:44.62 for first-place honors. Minnesota’s A 400 free relay of Radecke, Spadoni, Natalie Herrild and Amelia Marsh also claimed a title with a time of 3:28.50.

Portela notched another victory on the day in the 100 fly, touching the wall at 56.13.

In the 200 fly, it was Christie Clarke that claimed the title with a new career top-time of 2:03.41.

In the freestyle events on the day, Blake Zeiger earned first-place honors in the 200 free with a new career top-time of 1:48.14. Clarke added her second win of the day in the 1,650, swimming a 17:06.87, while Spadoni beat out all others in the 100 free in 50.87 for first.

Other victories for the Gophers came from Lauren Weis in 100 breast, finishing first in 1:06.47 as well as Tori Simenec in the 100 back, finishing at 56.53 for first-place honors.

Freshman Samantha Harding has been coming up big for the Gophers lately. She won the 400 IM on the day with a career top-time of 4:24.70 to win the event.

The Gophers will compete next at the 2013 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships February 20-23 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

“For our teams getting ready for the Big Ten Championships, really a lot of great stuff,” Kremer said. “We’re in a good position for what’s to come.”

This is an unedited press release.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

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Mel Stewart, aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, and USA Swimming. Mel has also worked as an Olympic analyst for ABC, NBC, EPSN, FOX SPORTS and TBS. At SwimSwam.com, Mel hosts Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com, a weekly report featuring the world’s fastest swimmers and Olympic medalists. Read More »