Men’s swimmers hope forfamiliar result vs. Nebraska

Ryan Schuster

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
After losing six seniors from last year’s Big Ten Championship team, the Gophers men’s swimming and diving team is once again in a similar position — ahead of Nebraska.
Last January, Minnesota traveled to Lincoln, Neb., and defeated the Cornhuskers 145-98.
At last year’s NCAA Championships, the Gophers finished 13 places in front of Nebraska at No. 12.
Currently Minnesota is ranked No. 11 in Speedo America’s Top 25 College Swimming Poll, while the Cornhuskers are rated 16th.
The Gophers will again match up with the defending champs Saturday of the now-defunct Big Eight at the University Aquatic Center. Despite their recent success against Nebraska, coach Dennis Dale remains guarded about his team’s chances this weekend.
“Were looking forward to an exciting meet,” Dale said. “We think there’s going to be some good races. I’m amazed with the ease that (Nebraska) dispatched SMU.”
Nebraska is 2-0 on the season with wins over No. 8 Southern Methodist University and unranked Texas Christian University. Minnesota enters this weekend’s home meet 1-0, after a 153-145 victory Nov. 2 over No. 14 North Carolina.
At Chapel Hill, N.C., the Gophers swam away with first-place finishes in 11 of the meet’s 16 events.
Junior Manolis Lentaris led the charge, winning three events at the invitational. Former Bloomington Jefferson High School standout Martin Zielinski and two-time letterwinner Ty Bathurst combined to win three individual events. Divers Isaac Bjorklund and Matthew Ninneman and swimmer Yoav Meiri also took home first-place finishes.
Both teams are coming off of two weeks rest, and strong performances are expected this weekend by both squads.
The Gophers should face stiff competition in the diving, freestyle and butterfly events this weekend.
“We can’t let them win the 50 and 100 free and the 100 and 200 fly,” Dale said. “We can’t let them win all of their best events. If we can win eight events (out of 16 total) I think we can win the meet.”
Minnesota hopes that history repeats itself again this weekend in the form of another Gophers victory over Nebraska.