Pair of first-place finishes for teams at swim meet off Interstate 70

Matt Perkins

Minnesota’s women’s swimming and diving team was in sync this weekend at the Ohio State Invitational.

And they dominated the competition together.

The Gophers won four of the five relay events on the weekend and led the team competition by 328 points heading into Sunday’s events.

Relay events have been a strong point for the Gophers early this season, something they haven’t been able to rely on for points in the past.

“It was a lot of fun to have really good relays,” mid-distance swimmer Kate Hardt said. “We haven’t been this solid in relays in as long as I can remember.”

But the Gophers still faced a problem Sunday ” maintaining excellence.

“We got to the point in the meet where it was clear that we were a bit more prepared to swim here than the other teams,” coach Kelly Kremer said. “So we tried to find things to motivate ourselves.”

The Gophers’ objective for Sunday, after they had built their 328-point lead, was to continue and improve upon their success.

“We came up with some goals for each of us to try to obtain,” Kremer said. “We had a lot more lifetime bests today and a lot of good swims.”

Senior Katie Wind set personal bests in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, with times of 55.91 seconds and 1:59.58, respectively.

Wind led the way, but the rest of the Gophers women followed with top-notch backstroke performances of their own. Junior Jennifer Hasling set a personal best in the 100 back with a time of 57.01 and freshman Jenny Shaughnessy took second in the 200 back finals.

“We’re really practicing and preparing for March and February, for our biggest meets,” Kremer said. “So it says a lot that they can get up and swim fast in any conditions.”

Men dominate as well

Much like the women, Minnesota’s men’s swimming and diving team entered Sunday’s events at the Ohio State Invitational with a sizeable lead.

The men led second-place Ohio State by 278.5 points.

The Gophers men won’t compete again until they head to Honolulu for the Hawaii Rainbow Invitational on Jan. 6.