January training trips often encompass the toughest training sessions and greatest training distances for NCAA programs. Minnesota and Hawaii embraced the full scope of that idea, swimming a distance-based dual meet lineup as the Golden Gophers topped host Hawaii.
The event slate featured a full 1650 in place of the traditional 1000 free, a 400 IM and 200-yard races in each of the non-free strokes. That schedule suited the visiting Gophers just fine, as they won 19 of 22 swimming events en route to men’s and women’s wins.
The Golden Gopher men had seven different swimmers win individual events in a round team effort. The junior class were the powerhouse, with Daryl Turner and Paul Fair each winning three events to lead a 146-82 victory.
Individually, Turner won the 100 free, going 44.81. He eked out that win over Hawaii’s Yuri Samouilich (44.98), denying him a second win. Samouilich won the 200 free (1:39.36) early in the meet.
Fair, meanwhile, won the 50 free in 20.60, leading a 1-2-3 punch for the Gophers in the day’s shortest event.
The two combined with Conner McHugh and Hunter Doerr to win the 400 medley relay in 3:21.85, and Noah Busch and Bowe Becker to take the 400 free relay in 3:01.02.
McHugh and Busch each won individual events themselves. The sophomore McHugh won the 200 breast with a 2:01.65, touching out 400 IM winner John Bushman. (Bushman was 2:01.79 in that breaststroke race and a solid 3:57.21 in the IM).
Busch handled the 200 back, going 1:51.97 to win by well over a second.
Other event winners:
- Minnesota freshman Michael Messner took the 1650 free in 16:10.47, winning by a wide margin of almost 12 seconds.
- Senior Ben Bravence also won for the Gophers, going 1:51.52 to take the 200 fly.
- Hawaii’s Jonas Gutzat bested Messner for the 500 free title, 4:33.58 to 4:37.49.
- Minnesota’s divers did not accompany the team to Hawaii, so the home team took both diving events with Amund Gismervik.
Celebrating her 20th birthday under the Hawaiian sun, sophomore Brooke Zeiger won a pair of individual events to help the Gopher women triumph 157-79.
Zeiger excelled in the distance format, winning the 400 IM and 200 backstroke. Her 4:24.13 led a 1-2-3 finish for Minnesota in the IM, and her 2:02.80 won the backstroke by one full second.
Also doubling up individually were Lauren Votava and Danielle Nack. Votava, a senior, took the 200 free in 1:50.01, denying Zeiger (1:51.89) a third win on the day. Votava would also win the 100 free in 50.68.
Nack sprinted her way to a 23.52 win in the 50 free, then showed off her butterfly range with a 2:02.68 to win that event.
Nack and Votava joined freshmen Zoe Avestruz and Rachel Munson to win the 400 medley relay in 3:47.47.
Hawaii’s lone contested win came in the 1650 free, where Cherelle Oestringer outlasted Sam Harding 16:50.61 to 16:54.82. The home team also swept the diving events with no Minnesota entrants. Aimee Harrison took home both wins.
Other event winners:
- Harding did get a revenge win over Oestringer in the 500 free, as Harding (4:57.21) and Erin Emery (5:00.90) both got in ahead of the Hawaii freshman (5:03.60).
- The rookie Munson won the 200 breast for Minnesota, going 2:18.37. The Gophers went 1-2-3 in that event, a solid performance even with 2015 NCAA champ Kierra Smith redshirting the season.
- Avestruz, Allison Schumacher, Danielle Bergeson and Katelyn Holmquist won the 400 free relay in 3:32.87 as the Gopher “B” team touched out Hawaii for second.