Gophers swim past Iowa in convincing fashion

Minnesota continued its hot start with wins over Iowa.

CJ Smith exchanges words with a fellow teammate after placing first in the Men 1000 Yard Freestyle. Smith finished in 9:10.98.

Daily File Photo, Ichigo Takikawa

CJ Smith exchanges words with a fellow teammate after placing first in the Men 1000 Yard Freestyle. Smith finished in 9:10.98.

David Nelson

Entering matchups with Iowa over the weekend, the Gophers men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had a combined 5-1 record.

Both teams continued their hot starts to the season against the Hawkeyes. The men’s team won 174-126, and the women’s team won 194-101.

Senior co-captain Luke Bushman turned in a solid performance for the men’s team, winning both the 200-meter backstroke and the 400-meter individual medley.

“I think this was a meet that proves he’s turned a corner,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “He’s better now than he’s ever been.”

Junior CJ Smith continued his dominance in the distance freestyle, taking home first place in both the 500- and 1,000-meter events.

“He’s really grown a lot, even in the last month,” Kremer said. “He’s become a much better athlete, and it’s been noticeable day-to-day.”

In the women’s match, the Gophers were far and away the better team in the pool and won 15 of 16 events. A 16-event sweep would have been an unlikely feat, especially in the Big Ten.

“We both have the [same] number of scholarships, and all of us have a lot of great athletes,” Kremer said, “[so] when you have a Big Ten team facing off against another Big Ten team, [a sweep is] pretty rare.”

A win in the 100-meter breaststroke saved the Hawkeyes from the sweep.

The Gophers will head to Grand Forks, N.D., on Saturday. For now, though, they’re enjoying their early-season success.

“It’s the kind of start we wanted to have, so it feels really good,” Kremer said. “We’ve [got] a long way to go, but we’re definitely doing the things we need to and taking the steps we need to take to have the kind of year we want to have.”