Gutesa on a roll heading into back-to-back duals

Lindsay Guentzel

Senior Ivan Gutesa went into last weekendâÄôs border battle without any expectations, unsure of what the teamâÄôs dual meet with Wisconsin would bring. Come Monday morning, Gutesa had two first-place finishes in the menâÄôs decisive 174-123 victory over the Badgers, collecting the seasonâÄôs first conference honors as well. Gutesa was named Big Ten Co-Swimmer of the Week âÄî a career first for the two-time Big Ten finalist who competed in the 2009 World University Games for Serbia. âÄúI swam better times than last year [against Wisconsin],âÄù Gutesa said. âÄúMy times are good right now. Maybe now âÄî for next weekend âÄî I have bigger expectations because of this past weekend.âÄù ThereâÄôs no doubt GutesaâÄôs expectations will have to be higher âÄî for himself and his teammates âÄî as both the menâÄôs and womenâÄôs teams prepare for back-to-back duals with Iowa and North Carolina this weekend. âÄúIowa is our team on the rise and North Carolina is always good,âÄù associate head coach Bill Tramel said. âÄúItâÄôs going to be two great meets.âÄù Tramel, who spent nine years coaching the Tar Heels before coming to Minnesota, said there is a long-standing rivalry between the Gophers and North Carolina âÄî whose menâÄôs and womenâÄôs teams both took second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference last year. âÄúThey want to end [the rivalry] now,âÄù Tramel said. âÄúIf thatâÄôs the case, we want to make sure that we end it with a win.âÄù Bringing a perfect 4-0 record into the weekend, the womenâÄôs team also has high expectations after squeezing passed Wisconsin 152.5 to 146.5 Friday. âÄúWe knew going into [Wisconsin] it would promise a lot of great racing and a lot of great diving,âÄù co-head coach Kelly Kremer said. âÄúAnd it delivered. It was a back-and-forth meet and we came out on top.âÄù With only 19 hours between the Friday and Saturday match-ups, the Gophers women have proven they can be successful in back-to-back dual meets, having notched two big wins over Michigan and Michigan State earlier this season. The men, however, havenâÄôt faced this challenge yet. âÄú[The womenâÄôs team] said it was tough the second day,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs going to be a good test for the Big TenâÄôs.âÄù