The Minnesota Golden Gophers rolled through West Laffayette this weekend, topping a pair of Big Ten foes in a men’s and women’s triangular that also set up some intriguing storylines for the rapidly-approaching conference championships.
Host Purdue honored their seniors on day 2 of the triangular, which also featured the Wisconsin Badgers and took place Friday night and Saturday morning.
On the men’s side, Minnesota got a pair of wins from Kyler Van Swol and CJ Smith to top all comers, beating Purdue 188-164 and Wisconsin 227-125. Purdue’s Guillermo Blanco and Jamie Bissett each won multiple events to help the Boilermakers knock off Wisconsin 230-122.
For the women, the Golden Gophers were led by a tenacious Kiera Janzen, who swept the distance events, and rising breaststroker/IMer Kierra Smith. They bested Wisconsin 202-149 and Purdue 226-127. Meanwhile Wisconsin rode star sprinter Ivy Martin to a 183-168 win over host Purdue.
The Wisconsin women opened things up with a convincing 200 medley relay win, going 1:40.73 on the strength of Ivy Martin‘s 21.8 anchor. That kicked off another strong weekend for the Badger sprinter, who’s really been making a push for elite sprinter status this season.
Minnesota fired back with a men’s 200 medley relay victory in 1:28.90. That Gopher medley is really starting to come into its own with the electic combination of Daryl Turner and Derek Toomey. Turner led off in 22.2 before Toomey anchored in 19.2 for Minnesota, which beat Purdue by half a second.
The Gophers got a second win by way of the diving well as Maggie Keefer outscored Purdue’s Casey Matthews by 8 to win 1-meter 318.00 to 310.90. Purdue hit back on men’s 3-meter when Jamie Bissett scored 390.05 to top Minny’s Matt Barnard by 13.
Minnesota rolled through the next three races, with Kiera Janzen (9:52.10) and CJ Smith (9:08.13) winning the 1000 frees and Lauren Votava (1:48.31) taking the women’s 200 free. The latter event was a 1-2-3-4 Gopher sweep with Jess Plant just .02 behind Votava and Tori Siminec and Maddie Hoch following.
Purdue picked its first win in the men’s version with Guillermo Blanco going 1:38.21 to nip Minnesota senior Kyler Van Swol‘s 1:38.68. That kicked off a huge weekend for Blanco in which he won three races in front of a home crowd.
Minnesota swept the backstrokes: Tess Behrens won the women’s race in 55.91 while freshman Daryl Turner beat Wisconsin back star Drew Teduits 48.58 to 49.15.
The 100 breasts provided two wire-to-wire races between conference rivals that should set up exciting rematches at the Big Ten Championships later this month. First Wisconsin’s Anna Meinholz touched out Minnesota’s Kierra Smith 1:02.60 to 1:02.85 in a battle of two of the conference’s best breaststroker. Then Wisconsin’s Australian import Nick Schafer went 55.40 to nip Purdue’s Lyam Dias by just a tenth for the first Badger win on the men’s side.
Wisconsin freshman Dana Grindall won a third straight nailbiter, touching out Minnesota’s Devin Ste Marie in the 200 fly 2:00.89 to 2:00.94. Grindall pulled away over the middle 100 and held off a surging Ste Marie over the final 50 for the Badger win. The men’s 200 fly was a 1-2-3 Minnesota sweep as Van Swol went 1:46.74 to blow away the field with Nick Orf and Brandon Hatanaka following.
Ivy Martin flew through the 50 free, going 22.46 to easily outpace her rivals from Minnesota (Becca Weiland, 23.04) and Purdue (Carly Mercer, 23.11). The men’s 50 was a similar blowout, with Golden Gopher All-American Derek Toomey blasting out a 19.82 to top Purdue’s Danny Tucker (20.24), himself one of the top sprinters in the conference.
Minnesota’s Kierra Smith came back off her 100 breaststroke swim to win the 200 IM, leading a 1-2-3 Minnesota punch. Smith was 2:02.09 followed by Tori Siminec and Blake Zeiger before Wisconsin’s Aja Van Hout hit the wall.
Purdue won the men’s 200 IM with Blanco winning his second of three races this weekend in 1:49.07. Jakub Maly was 1:50.62 for Minnesota in second.
Both scored diving events took place Friday, and so Purdue picked up two more wins from Michelle Cabassol (336.05 on women’s 3-meter) and Jamie Bissett (361.90 on men’s 1-meter).
The final event of Friday night was the 800 free relay. In the women’s race, Minnesota ran away with things, winning by 4 seconds in 7:16.67. That was powered by a big 1:47.4 second leg from Jess Plant. Purdue won for the men, taking its third straight men’s event while going 6:40.81. Wisconsin was in hot pursuit, going 6:41.29. Wisconsin was more consistent with their splits, but Purdue’s Blanco put up a 1:38.2 in the third slot that was too much for any other team to overcome.
Saturday’s session started off with the 200 free relay. Wisconsin blew away the field on the women’s side, going 1:30.90. That was lead off with a 22.4, presumably by the speedy Ivy Martin (though Wisconsin’s swimmers weren’t named on official results).
On the men’s side, Purdue picked up a big win over Minnesota with anchor Adam Johnston splitting 19.6 to overcome a nearly half-second Golden Gopher lead. Danny Tucker was 19.9 for the Boilermakers, but Minnesota’s Daryl Turner split 19.8 on the same leg to keep the Gophers ahead, although that lead evaporated in a hurry once Johnston hit the water.
The divers contested an exhibition Platform event on Saturday, with Purdue winning for men and women, though it didn’t count for team points in the triangular. MacKenzie Tweardy scored 320.55 and Sean Mokhtari put up a 371.40 in what looked like an excellent tune-up for Big Tens for the Boilers, who typically score plenty of points on the boards.
The 400 IM saw the first of two wins on the day for Wisconsin’s Aja Van Hout. She went 4:18.46 to win by over four seconds. Guillermo Blanco picked up his third win of the weekend in the men’s edition with a 3:52.77. Second was Minnesota’s Brandon Hatanaka (3:54.37) in a race where the top two really checked out from the field.
Ivy Martin won her second big sprint event in the 100 free, going 49.31. That bested Purdue’s Carly Mercer, who was second, by nearly a second. The men’s 100 free was a big 1-2 finish for Minnesota in a race loaded with tough talent. Freshman Daryl Turner went 44.08 to top the field while Derek Toomey was second in 44.41. That beat a trio of Boilermakers who all charged hard: Matt Friede, Danny Tucker and relay hero Adam Johnston.
Van Hout returned to win the 200 back in 2:00.03, leading a 1-2-3 charge for Wisconsin. Madeline Hazle and Emma Paulson followed Van Hout in to the wall.
The men’s 200 back turned into a surprisingly tight race as Minnesota junior Carl Newenhouse pushed defending NCAA Champ Drew Teduits the whole way. Teduits pulled out to a lead of .7 over the first 100, but Newenhouse came home like a rocket, oustsplitting Teduits on the final two legs to push things to a touch. Teduits was able to get his hand on the wall first, though, going 1:46.35 to Newenhouse’s 1:46.88. Blanco was third for Purdue in 1:48.15.
The Minnesota women padded their lead with a 1-2 in the 100 fly – Becca Weiland went 54.25 with Tori Siminec 2nd, and the Gopher men answered back with a 47.72 win from Kyler Van Swol.
The 500 free brought two more Minnesota wins. Just as in the 1000 free Friday, Kiera Janzen won the women’s race and CJ Smith the men’s. Janzen went 4:47.94 to nip Purdue’s Allie Davis (4:48.05) while Smith led a 1-2-3 charge with Brandon Hatanaka and Logan Redondo taking second and third.
The final individual race was the 200 breaststroke. Minnesota’s Kierra Smith blasted her way to a dominating win, going 2:10.02 and winning by over 6 seconds. In the men’s race, the same duo from Friday night’s 100 tangled again, with Purdue’s Lyam Dias coming out on top this time in 1:59.08. Wisconsin’s Nick Schafer was 1:59.22.
Wisconsin won its third women’s relay of the weekend with a 400 free relay “W” to close the night. Their 3:21.34 was too much for Minnesota (3:23.41) or Purdue (3:24.56) to match. That included another big leadoff split (presumably) from Martin – she went 49.35.
That helped Wisconsin overcome Purdue in their dual, although both teams still fell to Minnesota.
The Purdue Boilermakers won the final event to close their home triangular after the winning Minnesota men’s relay was disqualified for a false start. Those Gophers got a 44.3 leadoff from Toomey and a 43.3 anchor leg by Turner, but lost out on the winning points. Purdue went 3:00.42, getting a trio of 44s out of Blanco, Friede and Tucker.
The DQ ended up not affecting much scorewise, though, as Minnesota still won against both opponents on the men’s side. Purdue topped Wisconsin in their competition.
Purdue will take on Indiana this coming weekend, Minnesota will host its own Minnesota Challenge meet and Wisconsin will take on in-state rivals Milwaukee and Green Bay on Friday and Saturday, respectively.