Men earn payback, women remain unbeaten

The Gophers won over the rival Hawkeyes on Friday at the University Aquatic Center.

Brandon Hatanaka swims during the men’s 200-yard butterfly at the University Aquatic Center against Iowa on Friday.

Image by Ichigo Takikawa

Brandon Hatanaka swims during the men’s 200-yard butterfly at the University Aquatic Center against Iowa on Friday.

by Megan Ryan

The Gophers men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams beat Iowa on Friday at the University Aquatic Center.

The men lost to the Hawkeyes 160.5-139.5 last year for the first time in several years, but they got their payback Friday with a 165.5-132.5 victory.

“I know all of our guys were pretty bummed last year when we got beaten overall,” junior captain Derek Toomey said. “Our guys swam out of their minds today. I think a lot of guys really manned up the last length, two lengths, to out-touch a couple of Iowa guys by a couple one-hundredths.”

Toomey said it was the team’s best meet so far this season.

Head men’s and women’s coach Kelly Kremer cited sophomore Carl Newenhouse’s 200-yard backstroke and sophomore Brandon Hatanaka’s 200 individual medley as the races of the meet for the men.

Newenhouse and Hatanaka came from behind to touch the wall first with times of 1:48.49 and 1:50.69 — just tenths of a second ahead of the second-place Hawkeyes.

“[Iowa was] probably favored to win the 200 back. They probably have two or three guys that are really elite backstrokers,”

Kremer said. “And Carl proved that he is right with them.”

Freshman Logan Redondo finished second in the 1,000 freestyle. Teammate CJ Smith  already sealed the win by several seconds, but Redondo chased down the third-place finisher from Iowa the whole race before beating him by several tenths.

“Those were all kind of come-from-behind wins, but there [were] a lot of races where it was neck-and-neck, and we got them just by a couple tenths,” Toomey said. “It was good to see that our guys dug down … and did what had to be done.”

Toomey won the 50 freestyle in 20.22 and the 200 medley relay in 1:29.06 after Iowa’s first team was disqualified. However, the captain had to settle for second in the 100 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay after Iowa’s senior Jordan Huff beat him to the wall.

“It’s a little frustrating that Jordan Huff got me on both those races by just a few one-hundredths,” Toomey said. “But he’s a really nice guy. He’ll be good competition for the rest of the year.”

Kremer said the men’s team still has areas for improvement.

“We didn’t swim perfect, we really didn’t,” Kremer said. “We have a lot of errors to still improve on.”

Kremer cited little things like double breathing at the walls and over-swimming the front end of races as techniques to practice.

While Toomey said the rabid Iowa crowd was annoying at times, sophomore Tori Simenec said the atmosphere helped make the meet more fun.

“It’s always nice when you can have some camaraderie with another team,” Simenec said. “Swim meets aren’t always the most exciting events to be at, so it puts us up there a little bit.”

Simenec won both of her individual events against the Hawkeyes — the 200 individual medley in 2:03.13 and the 200 freestyle in 1:48.25. She also added to the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:22.40.

“My times were right up with where I was last season, maybe a little bit faster,” Simenec said. “That’s all you can ask for.”

The women’s team continued its undefeated domination of the dual-meet season with a 192-103 win over Iowa.

Kremer said he thought the team responded well after several swimmers sat out with injuries.

Sophomore Kiera Janzen’s 500-freestyle victory produced a lot of cheers from the Gophers contingent. Her time of 4:47.74 just inched out reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Becky Stoughton’s time of 4:47.77. Stoughton led most of the race, but Janzen caught her in the last length.

“On the women’s side, that was probably the race of the meet,” Kremer said of the 500 freestyle. “As I told her, [it] was my favorite swim of hers so far in her collegiate career.”

The men and women will take a break from dual-meet action this weekend when the University hosts USA Swimming’s Minneapolis Grand Prix.