Gophers swim past North Carolina State in first meet in two weeks

Minnesota started slow but pulled away with a strong effort on Day Two.

Freshman Allison Schumacher propels herself out of the water during the womens 100 yard butterfly event Saturday at the University Aquatic Center.

Cole Feagler

Freshman Allison Schumacher propels herself out of the water during the women’s 100 yard butterfly event Saturday at the University Aquatic Center.

by David Nelson

Minnesota traded Hawaii sunshine for Minnesota snowflakes as the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams returned home for a matchup with North Carolina State over the weekend.

Though the first day of competition was rocky for both teams, both ended up on top in the end.

The Gophers women’s team won 190.5-156.5, while the men won 192-159.

Minnesota head coach Kelly Kremer said North Carolina State provided the perfect opponent for his squad.

“We’re really lucky to have a team like N.C. State come in this time of year,” Kramer said. “They’re getting ready for championship season like we are, and they were prepared to go.”

The Wolfpack certainly looked ready when they stormed out of the starting blocks and won the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay.

The men’s team from North Carolina State never let up and ended the day leading Minnesota 93-92.

“We were flat,” Kremer said. “You could feel it almost from the start. … I think that’s what happens when you don’t have a meaningful dual meet for quite a while.”

After dropping the 200-yard medley relay to open Day Two, it looked as if the second day would be more of the same.

Then junior Carl Newenhouse showed up.

Newenhouse won the 200-yard backstroke by less than two-tenths of a second — a performance Kremer said rejuvenated the Gophers.

“I thought, really, in every event from that moment on, both the women’s side and men’s side, our athletes really just stood up and made things happen,” Kremer said. “They responded the way you want to see a championship-type team respond.”

Minnesota senior Kyler Van Swol took home first-place finishes in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly races, and junior CJ Smith won the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle distance events.

“I was really happy with the way my events turned out,” Van Swol said. Both were in-season bests, and the 100 was a lifetime best.

Unlike the men’s team, the women’s team pulled out of the first day of competition ahead 100-83.

Still, team members said they could have started a little faster.

Minnesota junior freestyler Kiera Janzen said busy schedules this time of year might have something to do with the sluggish starts.

“I think it was just people getting back into routine,” she said. “We weren’t necessarily where we wanted to be as a team on Day One, but I think we really bounced back.”

Janzen had a couple of nice performances, winning both the 200- and the 500-yard freestyle events.

The Gophers men’s and women’s diving teams finished in the top three in both their 1-meter and 3-meter diving events.