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Gophers not happy with selves despite big win vs. Iowa

North Dakota was held up by Saturday’s weather, making the meet a regular dual.

After training in Hawaii over winter break, Minnesota’s men’s swimming and diving team returned home to markedly different weather but similar results.

Seventh-ranked Minnesota finished its winter training trip by winning all 10 events in a Jan. 11 open meet against Hawaii and continued that success Saturday at the University Aquatic Center by beating Iowa 194-89.

Though Minnesota (3-1) dominated Saturday’s dual against Iowa (3-7), taking first place in 14 of 16 events, the team was not happy with its performance.

“We knew we weren’t going to get the kinds of races from Iowa that were maybe going to push us,” Gophers coach Dennis Dale said. “But we knew that going into the meet, so we had to be able to push ourselves, and we allowed ourselves to swim down to Iowa as opposed to having them swim up to us.”

Because Interstate 94 was closed because of Friday’s snowstorm, Division II powerhouse North Dakota was unable to travel to Minneapolis, turning what was supposed to be a triple dual into just a regular dual.

“They had some swimmers who would give us some good races,” Dale said. “We wish they had been here.”

Iowa was unable to provide much competition.

Senior co-captain Neil Osten said he believes the quality of the opponent played into Minnesota’s lackluster performance.

“I could tell that everybody was kind of a little down and not really pumped to swim really fast,” Osten said. “We definitely have the talent, and once we get into a bigger meet, we better have the drive or else we’re going to need a lot of work.”

One of the Gophers who met expectations Saturday was junior Adam Mitchell, who won the 100-meter backstroke, 200 backstroke and 400 individual medley.

“With this meet, I’m satisfied.” Mitchell said. “Right now in the season, I’m not getting close to my fastest times. But I can compare it to the previous years, and I’m right there, so when taper comes, I’ll be ready for it, and then I’ll expect an awful lot more.”

Dale said Minnesota also had solid races in the 200 individual medley relay and the 1,000 freestyle.

But despite these performances, disappointment was the prevalent theme after the dual, which kicked off the second half of the season.

“This is the kind of start for us that opens the door for the teams that we’re competing with to win the Big Ten title,” Dale said. “Indiana will see these

results, and they’ll start licking their chops; and Michigan will see these results and say, ‘What are we afraid of?’ “

Women sweep in Ohio

Minnesota’s women’s swimming and diving team swept a double dual at Ohio State, defeating the Buckeyes 156-143 and Michigan State 217.5-81.5.

The 25th-ranked Gophers were led by Bridget McCoy, who won the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.10 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:22.52.

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