Men, women handle North Dakota at home

The team will try to regain its health before facing Big Ten competition next weekend.

Minnesota's Logan Redondo swims in the Men's 1650-yard freestyle against North Dakota on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at the University Aquatic Center.

Ichigo Takikawa

Minnesota’s Logan Redondo swims in the Men’s 1650-yard freestyle against North Dakota on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at the University Aquatic Center.

Nate Gotlieb

Despite illness and the lingering aches and pains of a three-week training trip, the Gophers men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams defeated North Dakota on Friday night at the University Aquatic Center.

The No. 13 women’s team remained undefeated at 7-0, and the No. 15 men’s team (4-1) won its fourth consecutive meet after losing to Michigan to start the season.

Both the men and the women won all 16 events at their first home meet in nearly two months.

Nearly the entire team has been battling illness since it returned from a training trip in Hawaii last week, according to men’s and women’s head coach Kelly Kremer. Senior captain Haley Spencer missed Friday’s meet due to illness.

The men’s and the women’s teams spent three weeks training in Hawaii over winter break, where they swam five to six hours each day. The transition back to school and the Minnesota winter took its toll, Kremer said.

“They are using a lot more energy than they were a week ago,” he said. “Because a week ago, they were just swimming. They were just diving. And now, they’re student-athletes again.” 

Freshman Kierra Smith paced the Gophers with three individual victories, winning the 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.94), the 200-yard breaststroke (2:17.89) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:05.94). Sophomore Jessica Plant and junior diver Maggie Keefer also won multiple events.

On the men’s team, freshman swimmer Greg Norsten and sophomore diver Jordan Lesser each won multiple events, while 11 swimmers notched individual victories.

Senior Sean Nesheim achieved a season-best time in his 200-yard freestyle victory, and freshman Logan Redondo set a career best in the 1,650-yard freestyle.

Junior captain Derek Toomey said he thought the team did a nice job applying techniques and strategies learned in Hawaii during the meet.

“Even though we might not have gotten season-best times, there are things that still stood out,” he said.

Both the men’s and women’s team travel to Madison, Wis., next weekend to compete in the Big Ten Triple Duals and Quad Duals, respectively. 

“I’m pretty pleased with where we’re at,” Kremer said. “But we’re going to have to be a lot better a week from now if we’re going to be competitive against Purdue and Wisconsin.”