Minnesota and Florida State split their first dual meets of the season at the Morcom Aquatic Center in very different fashion: the Gopher women won in dominating fashion (212-88), while the Seminoles took the men’s meet in the final event (158-142) with star Minnesota sprinter Daryl Turner recovering from a knee injury.
The Gophers took all but one event (the 50 free), with four women winning in at least two individual events:
- Sophomore All-American Brooke Zeiger led the way with first place finishes in the 200 free (1:50.92), 200 back (2:02.51), and 400 IM (4:19.13).
- Samantha Harding kicked off her senior year as a double winner in the distance freestyles, taking the 1000 in 9:57.80 and 500 in 4:52.09. Freshman teammate Erin Emery was second in both events
- Another rookie, freshman standout–Rachel Munson–was victorious in both breaststroke events, with times of 1:02.87 in the 100 and 2:02.51 in the 200
- Sophomore Danielle Nack doubled up in the 100 (55.19) and 200 (2:02.24) fly.
Minnesota also touched first in both relays, with Nack being the difference-maker on each; her 23.08 leg on the 200 free relay was the fastest in the field, and her 24.24 fly leg opened up a full-second lead over the Seminoles.
Other Gopher victories came from top freshman recruit Zoe Avestruz, a member on those winning relays, in the 100 backstroke, and divers Yu Zhou and Jessica Ramberg.
Florida State’s lone win came from sophomore Alexi Smith, who took the 50 free in 23.64. Smith later finished third in the 100, and dropped a 23.0 anchor leg on the second place Seminole medley relay. Bianca Spinazzola (100 back, 56.67) and Natalie Pierce (100 breast, 1:05.37) also recorded second place finishes.
After trailing over the first three legs of the 200 free relay, Florida State freshman Emir Muratovic (20.24) overtook Minnesota’s Ryan Miksch (20.73) over the last 50 yards to secure the win and the meet for the Seminoles. With the meet hanging in the balance heading into the final event, the Gophers needed a 1-3 finish for the victory. They got the third place they needed, but touched just behind FSU, 1:22.33 to 1:22.48.
The meet was largely split between the sprint events, which were dominated by Florida State, and everything 200 yards and over, which Minnesota controlled. Jason McCormick led the charge for FSU, winning the 50 (20.47) and 100 (45.33) freestyles, and also contributing key swims on both winning relays.
The ‘Noles took all three 100’s of stroke, and a pair of the 200’s. Sophomore Connor Kalisz (100 and 200 backstrokes) and senior Cole Hensley (100 and 200 butterfly) were double winners for the ‘Noles, while Jason Coombs took the 100 breast (55.96).
On the other end of the spectrum, Minnesota went at least 1-2 in the three longest freestyle events, the 200 breast, and the 400 IM. All-Big Ten IMer Jakub Maly led a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 free (1:40.59), and a 1-2 in the 400 IM (3:56.18). The Gophers demonstrated their distance freestyle depth with four difference swimmers taking first or second in the 500 and 1000 free. Ben Bravence and Michael Messner were the winners in those two events. Finally, John Bushman (2:02.34) capped off a 1-2-3 finish of his own in the 200 breast.
The Gophers were without #1 sprinter Daryl Turner, who may have made the difference on that final relay. Regarding Turner’s health, head coach Kelly Kremer said after the meet:
“I had him rest this weekend. Barring anything unusual, we will have him for Florida this week.”
The Seminoles have next weekend off before the women head off to the SMU Classic, while the men will wait another week against Duke and Queens University. Minnesota will host another team from the Sunshine State–the Florida Gators–next weekend.