Women defeat Iowa State 144-140

Minnesota won all but one of the 16 events Friday night at the Aquatic Center.

by Nickalas Tabbert

The Gophers women’s swimming and diving team defeated Iowa State 144-140 in its first home meet of the season Friday at the University Aquatic Center.

The defending Big Ten champion women won all but one of the 16 events, but they still only edged the Cyclones by four. The men held an intrasquad meet.

“It was a nice meet for our home opener,” women’s head coach Terry Nieszner said. “I think overall we raced really well.”

Nieszner said she was pleased with how freshmen Laura Votava and Kierra Smith competed. Votava set a meet record by winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.85, while Smith set records in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley, with times of 1:02.77 and 2:04.48 respectively.

The Gophers set meet records in 10 different events, beginning with the 200-yard medley relay. Tess Behrens, Haley Spencer, Erin Caflisch and Tori Simenec finished the relay in 1:44.33.

Jessica Plant won both the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke in record fashion. Her time of 2:01.71 in the 200-yard backstroke bested the previous record by nearly two seconds.

In the 200-yard butterfly, Simenec set a meet record with her time of 2:02.03. She followed that with a record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.64.

The women ended their night in the pool with a record-setting win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Marina Spadoni, Behrens, Blake Zeiger and Plant finished the relay in 3:28.30.

Head men’s and women’s coach Kelly Kremer said he was pleased with how both teams competed Friday. Though the men were competing against one another, he said he thought they competed better than they did a week ago at Michigan.

Smith said her success Friday gives her confidence in the training the team has been doing.

“It just feels like the work is paying off,” she said.

Smith also said having times to compare from last week at Michigan allowed her to feel more comfortable at Friday’s dual meet.

Junior diver Maggie Keefer won both the 1- and 3-meter diving competitions. She said she was pleased with her consistency, but she said lifting weights this week in practice this week had an effect on her and her teammates.

“We’re just so sore,” she said. “But you know, just pushing through it, it’s part of the season.”

Nieszner said the team will go back to hard conditioning in practice and focus on its meet next Saturday at Kansas.

Both the men and women will compete Oct. 26 at home against Wisconsin.