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Men’s team cruises to two victories while women split

The men’s team won 11 events while the women’s team won two events.

The Minnesota men’s swimming and diving team improved to 5-0 in dual meet action this season after a strong performance at the Big Ten Triple Duals this weekend in Madison, Wis.

After winning 11 events in the two-day competition, the seventh-ranked Gophers were able to beat No. 19 Purdue 206-147 and unranked Wisconsin 243-110.

In the first individual event of the competition, junior Russ Payne posted a time of 3:59.22, edging out teammate Alex Wold by .02 seconds to win the 400-yard individual medley.

“It was nice to go 1-2 with Alex Wold; we kind of have a friendly competition,” Payne said. “We both had some pretty good times – pretty close to our best midseason times.”

Minnesota followed with victorious showings by sophomore Mike Holmes (1,000 freestyle), sophomore Colin Lee-To (100 breaststroke and the 50 freestyle), sophomore Evan Bernier (100 freestyle) and freshman Ray Betuzzi (500 freestyle).

In the 100 backstroke, the Gophers took the top three spots as senior Dan Berve won the event.

Minnesota swept the relay portion of the competition, including the final event of the competition, the 400 freestyle relay.

The relay team of Bernier and Betuzzi along with juniors Mike Woodson and Tyler Schmidt recorded a time of 3:02.16, beating the Wisconsin team by less than half a second.

“One of our goals for the meet was to win the relays and we did,” coach Dennis Dale said. “But we didn’t perform as well as I had hoped. I was hoping we would dominate a little more than we did.”

Women split

Also competing at the Big Ten Triple Duals was the Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team.

The 21st-ranked Gophers used a strong second day to overtake Purdue by a score of 182-171, but fell to Wisconsin 220-131.

“We came out Friday and we were a little bit flat as a team,” coach Kelly Kremer said. “Going into the second day, we kind of knew that we couldn’t catch Wisconsin, but we had a chance to catch Purdue if we swam and continued to dive well.”

Minnesota was able to improve during the second day of competition with two wins and several close finishes.

Sophomore Meredith McCarthy took top honors in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.44, while sophomore Yuen Kobayashi recorded a time of 4:52.16 to win the 500 freestyle.

“Our divers continued to dive well, and our swimmers just had a great, great day on Saturday,” Kremer said. “It was two completely different meets for us. Friday we were flat and Saturday we swam the way we are capable of swimming.”

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