The University of Minnesota has announced their schedule for the 2019-2020 season. While the schedule will include a lot of familiar opponents, and a very similar look to last season, there is one exciting addition for the Gophers: a season-opening men’s and women’s dual against the University of Florida.
On October 11th, the Gophers will welcome the Gators in to the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. The meet will be a Friday afternoon dual, which could imply that the Gators will pick up an extra meet on their trip north, though they haven’t yet release their 2019-2020 schedule.
A week after, as Minneapolis temperatures cool off, they’ll welcome in another opponent from the sunshine state: the Florida State Seminoles. This will be the 5th-straight season that the two teams are scheduled to face off in an October dual, alternating between Minnesota and Florida. On the men’s side, Florida State won the matchups in 2015 and 2017, while the Minnesota men were dominant (181-119) last season. The meet was cancelled in 2016 due to Hurricane Matthew. The women’s meet has been reversed: the Gophers won the 2015 and 2017 meetings, while Florida State won by 52 points in the fall of 2018.
Minnesota’s Big Ten opponents this year will be Iowa and Wisconsin in the fall, plus Purdue and Northwestern in the spring in a double dual. The Gophers will also host the mid-season Minnesota Invitational, which last year was a lightly-attended meet, but this year is expected to see a deeper field.
“I couldn’t be more excited for the 2019-20 season,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “Our dual meet schedule is packed with strong opponents that will help us prepare for February and March. The Minnesota Invitational could quite possibly be the fastest mid-season meet in the country – it’s going to be fun.”
The team will make its annual early January escape to warmer climates when they race Hawaii on January 11th and USC on January 17th, both on the road. The average high in Honolulu on January 11th is about 80 degrees; the average high in Minneapolis on January 17th is about 22 degrees.
The 2020 Women’s NCAA Championships will be hosted in Iowa City, while the Men’s NCAA Championships will be hosted in Bloomington, Indiana.
The Minnesota women finished 11th at last year’s NCAA Championships, while the Minnesota men were 19th. Both teams had big graduations at the season’s end, with the men losing national 100 free runner-up Bowe Becker, and the women losing 5th-place finisher in the 500 free Chantal Nack. Both teams also have some big names returning, though: the men bring back Max McHugh, who was 3rd in the 100 breast and 2nd in the 200 breast at NCAAs last season as just a freshman; and the women return rising senior Sarah Bacon, who won the women’s 1-meter event last year in a new NCAA Championship Record.
Full 2019-2020 Schedules Below: