U swim squads win big

by Ryan Schuster

A hand printed sign on the door of the women’s swimming and diving team’s locker room at the Aquatic Center on Sunday read, “this is Gopher territory.”
Both the men’s and women’s swimming teams lived up to their home pool advantage over the weekend as they combined to dominate nine teams from seven different states.
The No. 11 Gophers men finished first with 1409.5 points over the three-day Minnesota Invitational, more than doubling runner-up No. 27 Iowa State’s score.
Minnesota’s 10th-ranked women tallied 1248 points at the meet, defeating second-place No. 21 Wisconsin by almost 400 points.
“We’re pleased with the results,” men’s coach Dennis Dale said. “One of our goals coming in here was to dominate the meet, and we feel like we accomplished that goal.”
Women’s swimmer Jenny Hennen reacted similarly to the results of the meet. She described the performance of the women’s team as “awesome.”
“All of our dual meets we’ve been winning by a lot,” Hennen said. “Here it’s been the same with three girls in the championship heat every time.”
The men won 16 of 21 events over the three-day invitational, while the women took first in 15 of 21 finals.
Minnesota’s men’s team had three national-best times of the season over the weekend. Swimmers Ty Bathurst, Matt Schlessman, Jeremy Rients and Luis Lopez set the nation’s fastest time this season on Sunday in the 400-yard freestyle relay, and in the 200 freestyle relay Friday. Bathurst also had the best time in the nation this year Friday in the 50 freestyle.
Senior Jessica Grass and junior Olga Splichalova both had NCAA consideration times in the 200 butterfly and 1650 freestyle events over the weekend. Junior Gretchen Hegener also had another NCAA consideration time in the 200 breaststroke on Sunday, which she finished second in. Hegener’s time of 2:16.10 tied the school record in the event that she set earlier this year.
The Gophers wrestling team opened its season Friday night in a way that North Dakota State won’t soon forget. Minnesota dominated the dual meet 42-3, winning nine out of ten matches.
The Gopher’s victory run began when junior Brandon Paulson (118 pounds) pinned NDSU’s Kyle Pieper in 1:53 giving them an early 6-0 lead.
Also winning by pin were sophomore Chad Kraft at 150, sophomore Tim Hartung at 190 and freshman (and North Dakota native) Brent Boeshans at heavyweight.
Junior Jason Davids won by technical fall at 142 and Brandon Eggum won by major decision at 177. Senior Nick Antila won by decision at 134 and so did sophomore Jesse Krebs (158) and freshman Delaney Berger (167).
North Dakota State’s lone win came when Jeff Kapusta downed Barrett Golyer by a 6-3 decision.

— Allison Younge