Gophers get a little change of pace

The Minnesota menâÄôs and womenâÄôs swimming and diving teams will get a break from dual-meet action this weekend with the USA Swimming-sponsored Minnesota Grand Prix. The Grand Prix will begin Friday and continue through Sunday, with prelims in the morning and finals in the evening at the University Aquatic Center. Both teams are coming off stunning victories against Iowa last week. The women held the Hawkeyes to a final score of 185.5-110 .5 while the men handily beat Iowa by nearly a 100 -point margin. Among the more notable names scheduled to appear this weekend is Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte . Lochte competed in both the Athens Olympics in 2004 and Beijing Olympics in 2008, where he took home two bronze medals and two gold ones. He edged out teammate Aaron Peirsol to set the world record in the 200-meter backstroke. Senior menâÄôs swimmer Mike Holmes said heâÄôs eager to swim the mile this weekend because itâÄôs not an event he gets to swim regularly at dual meets. Although the meet will be a step up in competition for much of the team, he said, he has faith in his teammates ability to be strong competitors. âÄúWe have the talent to go up against the best swimmers in the nation and now is our chance to prove it,âÄù Holmes said âÄúWe just need to be mentally tough and weâÄôll all do really well.âÄù Holmes holds the teamâÄôs fastest performance in the 1000-yard freestyle and 9:10.23 . Though itâÄôs not a regular competition for the teams, womenâÄôs co-head coach Kelly Kremer said the order of events will be identical to those of the Big Ten and NCAA championships. The meet will give individual swimmers a chance to shine, he said, but as always there will be a greater focus on the team. âÄúI think it gives each individual on our team the chance to get up and race some new people âÄî some of the best in the world,âÄù Kremer said. âÄúWe want to race well, we want to turn well, we want to finish our races well and this just gives us more opportunities to do that.âÄù