Minnesota finishes in fourth at the Big Ten Championships

The Gophers’ score improved by more than 550 points from last season’s meet.

Gophers junior Matt Barnard competes in diving at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Dec. 5.

Daily File Photo

Gophers junior Matt Barnard competes in diving at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Dec. 5.

Thomas Jaakola

After ending the first day of the Big Ten Championships in eighth place, the Gophers improved to finish fourth at the four-day meet in West Lafayette, Ind., with 919 points.
 
 
Minnesota scored 359 points last year and took sixth.
 
 
“I’m pleased that we were able to move up to fourth,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “Overall, I was very happy with our team’s performance. We accomplished a lot of things this year that were a positive step forward for the program.”
 
 
Junior Matt Barnard won the Gophers’ first Big Ten individual title since 2014 on the 3-meter dive. Barnard scored 427.55 points to take home the victory. On the 1-meter event, senior Manny Pollard took third with 386.80 points.
 
 
He also took second on platform diving with 416.00, and senior Dylan Zoe took third with 391.20.
 
 
“We, without question, have the best diving program in the country led by [diving coach Wenbo Chen],” Kremer said. “They are critical to our success, and they really dominated the Big Ten this year.”
 
 
Junior Jakub Maly broke the school record in the 200 individual medley in a time of 1:44.53 to finish in sixth in the event, besting the previous record that was set in 2006.
 
 
Maly followed his record-breaking performance with a second-place finish in the 400 individual medley with a time of 3:44.30. 
 
 
Sophomore Conner McHugh broke the Gophers record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 52.89 to win the B-final. McHugh broke his second record on the last day in the 200 breaststroke, finishing in third place with a time of 1:54.08. 
 
 
The Gophers 200 freestyle relay earned an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:17.79, meaning they will swim at the 2016 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.