Bergeson swims her way home

The freshman will swim in her home state this weekend at North Dakota.

Thomas Jaakola

The Gophers plan to rest some of their veteran swimmers this weekend against North Dakota, meaning younger athletes like freshman Dani Bergeson will get a bigger opportunity to make an impression on the team.
 
Bergeson specializes in the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly and will try to keep helping out the team as the Gophers travel to her home state.
 
“Dani definitely has the talent to help out the team right now,” freshman swimmer Kaia Grobe said. “She is an incredible swimmer and is capable of doing many different events including key positions on relays. She has a great sense of humor and helps everybody on the team feel at ease when tensions are high.”
 
The Bismarck, N.D., native came to Minnesota after a successful high school career, earning seven individual state titles and breaking North Dakota state records in the 100 backstroke and the 200 medley relay. Bergeson was also a high school valedictorian.
 
Bergeson has already had success in her short time with the Gophers as well. She placed third overall in the 100 backstroke at the team’s latest meet at Iowa with a time of 57.09, her fastest time of the season. 
 
Bergeson also finished in sixth place overall in the 100 butterfly when the Gophers hosted Florida on Oct. 10.
 
She said in the team’s first four meets this season the freshmen have been adjusting to collegiate swimming.
 
“We’ve learned a lot, just some from what something would mean during a practice all the way to what type of warmup would be best at the meet or how to prepare your best
mentally for your races,” Bergeson said. “All the upper-classmen are all so supportive of the freshmen and really want us to be the best that we can be.”
 
Bergeson said some of the things she still needs to improve on are having abetter mentality and training better. 
 
“I hope that I can drop some time and get some best season times,” Bergeson said. “I’m just really looking forward to the [North Dakota] meet. It should be really fun, and I’ll
get to see a lot of people I swam with in high school, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
 
Head coach Kelly Kremer said Bergeson has made an immediate impact on the team not only in backstroke events but on the Gophers’ relays as well.
 
“She has a ton of potential,” Kremer said. “She’s a very hard worker. Her attitude is great. She’s committed to what she’s doing, and as I think we have kind of seen over the last few months, we’ll only see her continue to get better.”