Women’s team wins opener; men’s team loses

The women’s team won its meet 153.5-146.5, while the men’s team lost 179-121.

Junior Connor McHugh swimming the men's 200 meter breaststroke at the Gophers' first meet of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Oct 13. 2016.

Meagan Lynch, Daily File Photo

Junior Connor McHugh swimming the men’s 200 meter breaststroke at the Gophers’ first meet of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Oct 13. 2016.

Erik Nelson

The women’s team traveled to Tallahassee, Florida to open their season.

So far, so good.

The Gophers won ten of the meet’s 14 events and earned its first win of the 2017-18 season. Junior Zoe Avestruz finished first in the 50-yard freestyle, completing the race in 23.08. She also finished first in the 100-yard freestyle, completing it in 50.74.

“On the road during [Florida State’s] parents weekend, it was a great atmosphere,” said head coach Kelly Kremer. “Really happy for our women getting a very close win on the last event of the meet.”

Freshman Mackenzie Padington won her first-career event when she finished first in the 200-yard freestyle. She recorded a time of 1:46.85. Padington also finished first in the 500-yard freestyle.

Men’s team loses to Seminoles

The men’s team did not find the same success as the women’s team did.

The Gophers won five of its 14 events in its loss. Junior Nick Plachinski and senior Conner McHugh each won two events. 

“For our men, a tough loss for sure,” Kremer said. “[There are] a lot of opportunities to learn and grow.”

Plachinski finished first in the 1000-yard freestyle, recording a time of 9:28.06. He later won the 500-yard freestyle, recording a time of 4:34.62. McHugh finished first in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke.

Minnesota’s next meet will be on Friday, Oct. 27 against Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. The men’s meet is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. The start time for the women’s meet has yet to be determined.

“The other team was pushing it,” McHugh said. “Some people [from Minnesota] stepped up, and in other ways, people gained some good experience moving forward.”

The Gophers’ first home meet of the season at Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center will be against Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It will take two days to complete, and it is scheduled for Nov. 3 and 4. Start times have yet to be announced.

McHugh is looking forward to Minnesota’s next meet. He says he wants to be a difference maker for the team.

“It’s my senior year. I want to leave my mark,” McHugh said. “Set a good example for the rest of my teammates and pull off a good meet.”