Swim meet cancelled due to leaky pool

Brian Stensaas

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
And again.
And if it still doesn’t work, just forget about it altogether.
At the beginning of the 1999-2000 swimming and diving season, the schedule had the Minnesota women in Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes while the Minnesota men hosted the Hawkeyes this weekend.
Then in December, a decision was made to move the men to Iowa as well. There was a budget surplus from a planned trip to Nebraska that was snubbed, and the men had no dual meets on the road this season anyway.
Now, nobody is going anywhere.
A leaky pool in Iowa has grounded both teams in Minneapolis, with no reschedule date for the Iowa meet.
Women’s coach Jean Freeman was looking forward to getting back in the swing of competition.
“We need to have a meet right now,” she said. “We know that we have improved and now we need to get racing. All of these meets coming up now are stepping stones for Big Ten (championships) and NCAAs.”
Ironically, Iowa has scheduled a groundbreaking in 2001 for a new facility. Until then, look for more leaks.

Hawaii, Texas prove successful for Gophers
Both swimming and diving teams spent the first two weeks of the new millennium in warmer climates on annual training trips. The swimming teams headed to Hawaii for training and a dual with the University of Pacific while the divers were in Texas for the All-American Diving Invitational.
On the men’s side, the Gophers took it to the Tigers 136-67. The usual suspects of Gophers standouts were in their winning scheme in the meet.
Alex Massura, Max von Bodungen and Ricardo Dornelas all posted victories, but the strong showing of some unheralded freshmen impressed coach Dennis Dale.
Matt Taylor took home first place in the 1000-yard freestyle while Ryan L’Roy came in first and Todd Smolinski placed second in the 200 backstroke.
“We were just excellent, we had an outstanding training trip,” an exuberant Dale said. “I was very pleased with the results; in general, we did better than I expected.”
Meanwhile, in Texas, junior diver Dan Croaston had a career showing. He placed eighth in the platform competition, one of just three collegiate divers in the top 15. He also placed second in his division in the springboard competition and fourth overall. In the 3-meter springboard, Croaston scored 604 points, a personal best.
“This whole season, my scores have just gone uphill,” he said. “Every time I dive I just want to go out there and get a high score. I’m working at it, and it’s working for me.”
The Minnesota women’s swim team also had success in Paradise, defeating Pacific 115.5-89.5. Freshman Dana Baum and senior Jenny Hennen took care of the freestyle to give the Gophers an edge. Baum took home first in the 500 and 1000 while Hennen won the 50 and 100, swimming a year-best 23.55 in the 50.
“The entire team did great in Hawaii,” Freeman said. “We’re seeing a major change in body and toning. We’re looking really good.”
For Baum, it was her first extensive training trip — and it paid off.
“It was really, really hard,” she said. “I did so well down there that now it provides a challenge for me for the rest of the season to do that well again.”
On the diving side, Rachel Degener took fifth and Tracy LaVoi eighth in the one-meter competition in Texas.
Both teams will compete at the Aquatic Center next weekend. The men host Wisconsin and Purdue in a triple dual meet while the women face Wisconsin, Purdue and Illinois in quad duals.

Brian Stensaas covers men’s and women’s swimming and diving and welcomes comments at [email protected]