Big weekend from seniors helps Minnesota to third-place finish

by Lindsay Guentzel

Earlier in the season, associate head coach Bill Tramel said he expected big contributions from the seniors on his squad this year. This weekend at the Georgia Invitational, that veteran experience was fully evident as the GophersâÄô senior class had exceptional performances against some strong competition. âÄúWe have a huge senior class right now,âÄù he said. âÄúAll these guys are really good leaders in the pool and in the locker room.âÄù Senior Drew Brown started things off for the Gophers, posting a 371.50 in the 1-meter diving event, giving him not only first place but also a season-best during the first day of competition. Freshman Kris Jorgensen followed behind Brown in the event, grabbing third place with a score of 335.10 while freshman Turner Eckstrom took fourth with 309.30. Senior Ivan Gutesa grabbed a third-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke âÄî as well as a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke âÄî but he wasnâÄôt the only Minnesota swimmer to grab multiple honors. Senior Michael Richards came in third in the 50-yard freestyle, fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and was a part of the teamâÄôs second place finish in the 200-freestyle relay. Senior Curt Carlson, senior Goran Majlat and junior Zach Bolin finished off the team for Minnesota. Carlson also had a seventh-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, while senior Kevin Baseheart took fourth in the 200-yard butterfly event. The men finished third with a total of 707.5 points, falling behind Auburn and Georgia. Penn State, the only other Big Ten team to compete at the invitational, took fifth. While the womenâÄôs team wasnâÄôt scheduled to compete at the Georgia Invitational, a few of the GophersâÄô divers traveled to Georgia where junior Kelci Bryant took first place in the 3-meter diving event. Sophomore Katie Grunawalt finished third in the event, while freshman Maggie Keefer grabbed a fourth-place finish. Both the menâÄôs and womenâÄôs teams will resume competition Jan. 15 when they host Missouri at the University Aquatic Center.