Gophers come out on top at inaugural Minnesota Invitational

Minnesota had strong showings at their first home invitational of the season.

John Bushmann swims the 100-yard breaststroke at the Minnesota Invite on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.

John Bushmann swims the 100-yard breaststroke at the Minnesota Invite on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.

by Alyssa Hodenfield

The Minnesota swim and dive teams hosted the inaugural Minnesota Invite this weekend at Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center and came in first with 1,411 points.

“The group and the team in general … really didn’t rest a whole lot for the weekend,” said senior John Bushman. “I think the team getting behind everyone and the energy we had helped a lot of people swim really well this weekend.”

The event was Minnesota’s first championship-format meet of the season after three duals to start the season, and the rest of the field was made up of club teams from around the area.

The meet kicked off with successful finishes by the Gophers in the freestyle events.

Junior Danielle Nack took the women’s 50 freestyle in a career in-season best time of 23.02 and sophomore Zoe Avestruz (23.27) and senior Allison Schumacher (23.89) followed in second and third, respectively. was followed by

The 500 freestyle was a highlight for the men’s side Friday evening as well. Sophomore Nick Plachinski (4:29.66) beat out senior Logan Redondo (4:29.77) by a mere .11 seconds in a nail-biting finish.

The Gophers continued to dominate the pool on Friday and didn’t let a single event slip.

Junior Danielle Nack won the 100 fly with a career in-season best time of 53.87 and freshman Tevyn Waddell, who also won the 100 backstroke (54.44). followed.

Sophomore Chantal Nack took home the win in the 200 free with a personal-best time of 1:49.08. This followed her charting a PR in the 500 free on Thursday.

“I felt great. I think this meet especially was good to prepare for Big Tens with the three [competition] days and having to compete at your highest,” Chantal Nack said. “I’m super happy with the times and the swims that I had this weekend. I went a few lifetime bests, and it’s hard to ask for that in the middle of a season, especially when you’re working hard and training day in and day out.”

Senior Daryl Turner was a large contributor on the men’s side Friday. Turner won both the 100 butterfly (47.16) and the 100 backstroke (47.93).

Sophomore Brian Poon won the 400 IM in an exciting finish and edged Bushman by a slim .06 seconds. The mark was an in-season career best for Poon.

Saturday was another successful outing for Chantal Nack, who grabbed a win in the 200 backstroke (1:59.23). Waddell came in second.

Breaststroke was a strong suit for the Gophers on Saturday as well. Bushman won the 200 with an in-season best time of 1:58.97.

“I’m just really happy with the performance I was able to put on with the training we’ve been doing so far,” Bushman said.

The women also took the top four spots in the 200 breaststroke. Sophomore Kaela Marcus took first place in the event with a time of 2:19.17.

The swim teams have a weekend off from meets while the diving teams head to Indianapolis for the IUPUI Diving Invitational next Thursday.