Women travel to Kansas, men rest

The women’s team will travel to Kansas, while the men have a week off from competition.

Megan Ryan

The Gophers women’s swimming and diving team will continue its rigorous early season schedule with a dual meet in Kansas on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the men — who hosted an intrasquad meet last Friday — will take the week off from competition.

“It’ll be good for them, I think, to have a weekend where they can really focus on themselves and do some personal things — and maybe even some team-building things — back here without a competition,” head men’s and women’s coach Kelly Kremer said.

Kansas doesn’t have a men’s team. However, it’s a traditional meet for the women that Kremer said he didn’t want to break.

Another bonus of not traveling the men is that the teams have a chance to be separate, Kremer said. While the teams compete at the same meets often in the regular season, the postseason splits them up.

Kansas finished last season with a 5-5 record (0-2 Big 12) dual-meet record. The team then finished fourth in the Big 12

While the defending Big Ten champion Gophers shouldn’t have a problem beating the Jayhawks, sophomore Kiera Janzen said she is still expecting a good meet.

“They have a pretty fast 200 freestyler. … I’ll be looking forward to a race in that,” Janzen said. “And I just remember from our meet last year that across the board, they had some pretty good depth and some pretty good relays.”

When the Gophers hosted Kansas last year, they won 206-87 and placed first in every event.

Junior Maggie Keefer won 1-meter diving last year, and her senior teammate Katie Grunawalt won 3-meter.

Keefer and Grunawalt, along with junior Sarah McCrady, swept the podium spots in both diving events at the first meet of the season in Michigan.

“That’s definitely an accomplishment,” Keefer said. “It didn’t really matter who got first, second or third. It’s just the fact that we could say we swept.”

There could have been another sweep with Keefer, Grunawalt and freshman Jessica Ramberg in 1-meter against Iowa State at last weekend’s meet, but Minnesota stopped counting its scores.

“Like in basketball, football, you don’t run up the score,” Kremer said.

The final score was 144-140 in the Gophers’ favor, but the margin could’ve been much greater.

Kremer said he is sending some different athletes to Kansas than he did to the first away meet in Michigan, but he’s not doing it to rest people. He said he just wants everyone to have traveled to a meet by the end of this weekend.

Janzen said she isn’t concerned about the travel or intense schedule compared to the men. She said it will help the team prepare for postseason action.

“I personally [feel] — and I know that a lot of people on our team feel that — they really like racing,” Janzen said.