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Women dominate, men fall to ranked Florida

Minnesota split the weekend at the University Aquatic Center.
Minnesota senior Derek Toomey swims in the mens 100-yard freestyle on Saturday at the University Aquatic Center.
Image by Ichigo Takikawa
Minnesota senior Derek Toomey swims in the men’s 100-yard freestyle on Saturday at the University Aquatic Center.

The Gophers men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams saw different opponents and different results at the University Aquatic Center this weekend.

Minnesota’s women continued their winning ways 174.5-125.5 against the Michigan Wolverines on Friday night. The men ran into a buzz saw No. 5 Florida squad and had their first loss of the season 172-124 the following afternoon.

Minnesota won 10 of 16 events on the women’s side Friday night.

Its first victory of the night came from junior Kiera Janzen in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Janzen added first-place finishes in the 500-yard freestyle and as a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay team.

“We swam really great across the board tonight,” Janzen said after the meet. “We had some great races. It’s been a hard week of training, and people stepped up tonight.”

Janzen said she was satisfied with her performance but added she wants to progress and drop times early in the season.

Gophers head coach Kelly Kremer said the meet provided a confidence boost for his team but said there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

“It’s probably more important to keep practicing the things we want to do at the end of the season,” he said. “We’re seeing teams that we’re going to see down the road, and it prepares us for what’s to come.”

Minnesota didn’t fare so well on the men’s side, winning only four events.

Even with the substantial deficit, Kremer said the meet with Florida was a good measuring stick moving forward.

“Florida is at a spot right now where we want to get to as a program,” he said after the meet. “It’s good to see a team like this, and it’s easy to see the difference. It’s easy to see the things we need to improve.”

Derek Toomey won the Gophers’ first event of the meet in the 50-yard freestyle. The senior co-captain, who specializes in sprint races, said the Gators were an intimidating presence in the pool but his team didn’t back down.

“It kind of puts everything into perspective for us,” Toomey said after the meet. “It gives us goals to shoot for. We put up a good fight, but we can always get better.”

Toomey said he was “very happy” with his 50 freestyle time but wants to drop his time in the 100 freestyle. Freshman teammate Daryl Turner bested Toomey for the second week in that event.

Turner, a standout from Aurora, Colo., has looked fast in the pool, and Toomey said he will play a pivotal role on the team this year.

“It will also help me because I don’t want to lose to a freshman,” Toomey said. “It’s going to push me to keep training harder all season.”

Minnesota divers found success in both the men’s and women’s realm this weekend.

Gophers senior Maggie Keefer won the 1-meter, and senior Sarah McCrady won the 3-meter competition for the women.

Sophomore Dylan Zoe stood out for the men, placing first in the 3-meter competition and third in the 1-meter.

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