Minnesota men and women dive into season with intrasquad meets

David McCoy

For Minnesota’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams Saturday, the water was all maroon.

Kicking off each of their respective seasons, the coaches divided their teams into maroon teams and gold teams for the scrimmage-style event.

In both the men’s meet and the women’s meet, the maroon team came out victorious – the women, 179-112, and the men, 168-130.

In the men’s meet, the maroon team took nine of the 16 events for the win.

“The maroon team won both relays, which was a little unexpected,” men’s coach Dennis Dale said. “That kind of sealed the deal for them.”

Dale also said he was very pleased with how both teams performed – especially his freshmen.

“We’re going to be dependent on our freshman to help out in the upcoming meets,” Dale said. “I thought our freshmen did a real nice job.”

New diver Jesse Maple, a sophomore transfer from Alabama, won both the one- and three-meter diving events.

Diving coach Mike Martens said he expects Maple to be a big contributor to this year’s team.

“He has lots of talent, and he’s really quick,” Martens said. “Early indicators are that he will help a lot.”

Martens also said that as a whole, the men’s team is a lot further along than it was at this point last year.

Senior captain Abbie Bowden also won both of the women’s one-meter and three-meter events.

The women’s maroon team, led by Kate Hardt, who won three individual races along with being part of a winning relay team, won 10 events to secure the victory.

Women’s co-coach Kelly Kremer said he liked what he saw from his whole squad.

“We did the little things well,” Kremer said. “Our finishes and turns looked good. We pulled away a lot of positives.”

The other women’s co-coach, Terry Nieszner, said she liked the team’s progress, which included some of the freshmen recording personal best times.

“Our veterans are making huge leaps from where we were last year,” Nieszner said. “And some of the freshman really proved themselves.”

The meet was held mainly to help the teams’ coaches evaluate their talents and determine their traveling squads for upcoming meets.

Nieszner indicated that the meet gave her team some momentum for those meets.

“It sets the stage very well for the rest of the season,” she said.