Minnesota Invite Day 1: Finals Recap

Reid Carlson
by Reid Carlson 5

November 30th, 2017 News

2017 Minnesota Invitational

Day 1 prelims witnessed a flurry of new NCAA “B” cuts for swimmers at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa. Wisconsin high school standout Shane Blinkman dropped by as well to swim the 200 yard IM and will race in the ‘A’ final tonight.

Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay

  • NCAA “A” – 1:28.71
  • NCAA “B” – 1:29.57

The Minnesota women held onto their top seed, winning with a 1:29.69, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of second-place University of Iowa, who finished with a 1:32.26. Danielle Nack led off for the Gopher women in a 22.48, followed by Zoe Avestruz who blasted a 22.17, the fastest split in the field. Tevyn Waddell and Kaia Grobe finished off the relay with 22.55 and 22.49 splits, respectively. Iowa’s B team grabbed third while Minnesota’s B squad took fourth.

Men’s 200 Freestyle Relay

  • NCAA “A” – 1:17.62
  • NCAA “B” – 1:18.95

Bowen Becker blasted off for the Minnesota men with a 19.59, but the Iowa men rallied in the middle 100. Tuomas Pokkinen brought the Gophers home in a 19.67, following up on teammate Matt Thomas who split 19.50 on the third leg, giving Minnesota the victory over Iowa, 1:19.15 to 1:19.61. Minnesota B took third while Iowa B took fourth.

Women’s 500 Free

  • NCAA “A” – 4:36.30
  • NCAA “B” – 4:47.79

The women’s 500 freestyle was all Mackenzie Padington, who led from start to finish, hitting the wall in a 4:38.54. Stringing together a series of 28-lows on the back half of her race and finishing in a 27.04, Padington won by over 5 seconds. Teammate Chantal Nack claimed second in a 4:43.67, while Hannah Burvill of Iowa claimed third with a 4:44.40. Padington’s time moves her up to the fourth-fastest in school history and puts her just over 2 seconds away from the NCAA “A” standard, and 9th in the NCAA this year (already accounting for Ashley Neidigh and Mallory Comerford‘s swims at U.S. Winter Nationals, and Joanna Evans at the Texas Invite).

Men’s 500 Free

  • NCAA “A” – 4:12.49
  • NCAA “B” – 4:24.99

Michael Tenney blasted a 24.82 in the final 50 yards of his 500 to win the race in a 4:25.69, overcoming a deficit of 0.87 to sneak past Minnesota’s Nick Plachinski who finished 2nd in 2:25.90. Third and fourth places went to Minnesota teammates Nicholas Saulnier and Cameron Kelley who finished in 4:28.33 and 4:28.67, respectively.

Women’s 200 IM

  • NCAA “A” – 1:55.00
  • NCAA “B” – 2:01.59

Tevyn Waddell took the women’s 200 IM in 2:00.56, thanks to her blazing fast 28.89 backstroke split, making Waddell the only swimmer under 30 in backstroke, and one of only two swimmer under 31 in the backstroke. Teammate Rachel Munson closed the gap considerabley in the breaststroke, splitting a 33.32 to Waddell’s 36.86, and ultimately took 3rd to Waddell and Iowa’s Kelsey Drake. Munson’s third-place finish is even more impressive considering she was eighth after the fly and only seventh after the back.

Men’s 200 IM

  • NCAA “A” – 1:41.88
  • NCAA “B” – 1:49.09

Conner McHugh took an entire second off his breaststroke split from prelims, and then found something more to finish with the fastest freestyle split in the field as well, touching the wall in 1:47.39 to teammate Brian Poon‘s 1:47.40. Kenneth Mende of Iowa took third with a 1:48.14. Mende split a 49.95 at the 100 and had a 1.18-second lead over Poon and a 2.76-second lead over McHugh, but was out-matched by the Gophers in the breaststroke, though had a comparable freestyle leg. Saint Croix Swim Club’s Shane Blinkman swam a 1:49.89, which would have been good for seventh among the college swimmers, but since he is competing for a club team his result is not listed with those of the NCAA swimmers.

Women’s 50 Free

  • NCAA “A” – 21.80
  • NCAA “B” – 22.99

Zoe Avestruz held onto her number-one seed and touched the wall just three-one-hundredths of a second ahead of teammate Danielle Nack. Both women improved upon their preliminary times, notching NCAA “B” cuts in 22.41 and 22.44, respectively. In fact, both Avestruz and Nack split the exact same 10.94 at 25 yards, but Avestruz got the touch. Minnesota’s Kaia Grobe took 4th in 23.16, just edging Iowa’s Mekenna Scheitlin who finished in 23.21.

Men’s 50 Free

  • NCAA “A” – 19.05
  • NCAA “B” – 20.19

Minnesota’s Bowen Becker slammed a 19.59 to win the men’s 50 freestyle, making him the only man to break the 20-second-barrier, though Iowa’s Jack Smith was as close as you can get, touching for 2nd in 20.00. Iowa also claimed 3rd, 4th, and 5th, just as they had in prelims (but not quite in the same order). This morning Becker crushed a 19.49 in prelims, and had already swam a 19.59 in the 50 leading off the 200 freestyle relay.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay

  • NCAA “A” – 3:32.67
  • NCAA “B” – 3:34.48

The Minnesota A team won commandingly with a 3:37.92 over the Iowa A team, which finished in a 3:41.27, but the fastest splits in the field came from swimmers on both A and B relay teams.

Tevyn Waddell blasted the Gopher A team out to a 1.6-second lead over Iowa’s A team with a 52.89 split in the 100 backstroke. Lindsay Kozelsky took over on the breaststroke, splitting a 1:01.28, but was out-done by teammate Rachel Munson on Minnesota’s B team, who split a 1:00.35. Daniell Nack split a 53.82 in the fly for the Minnesota A squad, but was out-swum by Kelsey Drake on the Iowa B team, who put up a 53.32. Minnesota’s A team anchor Zoe Avestruz closed in a 49.93 to bring the victory to the Gopher women. Iowa’s A team finished 2nd, thanks to a scorching 48.72 split from Hannah Burvill. Minnesota B and Iowa B came in 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

  • NCAA “A” – 3:07.46
  • NCAA “B” – 3:08.95

The Gopher men made it two-for-two with relay victories tonight, claiming the 400 medley relay in 3:11.69 to Iowa’s 3:13.60. Iowa’s Kenneth Mende got the Hawkeyes off to an early lead, but Conner McHugh overtook Daniel Swanepoel on the breaststroke, splitting a 52.93 to Swanepoel’s 53.95. Tuomas Pokkinen increased the lead with a 47.02 split in the 100 fly, and Bowen Becker anchored in a 43.09. Iowa’s Jack Smith was also under 44, splitting a 43.79, which was complemented by Iowa B team anchor Joseph Myhre, who split a 43.41.

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Why so mean?
5 years ago

Why are there so many mean spirited comments on these articles? Go Gophs!

5 years ago

Slow for a rest meet. Iowa women had nobody under 23 for the 50 lol… What happened to the Hawkeye invite? Iowa get too slow for Michigan and Notre Dame to come play?

Reply to  nostradamus
5 years ago

The man who knows all!

Reply to  Nostradamus2
5 years ago

and nothing. the bottom half of the big10 should have some sort of invite or go to winter nats. this is a glorified dual meet that shows how rested a certain team was for the actual dual meet a few weeks ago.

Reply to  nostradamus
5 years ago

Whatever you say. You know all!

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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