Even though Brooke Zeiger is a freshman, the talented young swimmer is competing with a veteran’s confidence.
Zeiger took first for Minnesota in both the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle — marking her sixth and seventh victories as a collegiate swimmer.
“It was fun [because] I got to switch up from the usual backstroke and [individual medley],” Zeiger said. “[They were] fresh events from what I usually swim.”
The freshman’s performance helped spark the women’s dominating effort against North Dakota, a 215-81 victory.
“Our team seemed to race really well,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “We cleaned up a lot of things from a week ago that we wanted to work on this week.”
Zeiger’s transition from club to college swimming appeared to be practically effortless.
In both of her events Friday evening, she touched the wall at least 15 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
“Brooke had a great meet,” Kremer said. “Those weren’t just good times for Brooke Zeiger — those were good times for anybody.”
Fellow freshman Danielle Nack also continues to impress early in her career.
The young swimmer garnered victories in the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle, and she aided the Gophers in their victory in the 200-yard free relay.
Minnesota won every event on the women’s side of the competition.
That also includes the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions, which junior Jessica Ramberg and sophomore Lexi Tenenbaum won, respectively.
“I can tell week by week that we’re getting better, more competitive,” head diving coach Wenbo Chen said.
Men rebound after loss
The men’s team nearly matched the effort of the women’s team, defeating North Dakota 207-89 after losing to Wisconsin last weekend.
“They really did a great job of … showing lots of energy and attacking their swims,” Kremer said. “They came out of the Wisconsin meet feeling as confident as ever.”
Sophomore Daryl Turner said the loss didn’t affect the way the team trained during the week prior to Friday night’s matchup.
“We just put our heads in the water and kept training,” he said.
Turner himself turned in another inspired performance, notching victories in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 50-yard butterfly.
This marks the second consecutive week Turner has swam in a butterfly event, though he and Kremer both said they weren’t sure if he’d be a permanent fixture there.
The men’s team also received a strong performance from sophomore Erick Huft, who took first place in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
Kremer and Turner both raved about Huft’s performance.
“He’s a hard worker,” Turner said. “You see him in these meets, and he’s gradually getting better and better every day.”
The men’s divers also put together a tremendous performance, capturing the top five spots in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards.
“They push each other real well,” Chen said.
Though the meet proved to be a great success, with Iowa coming up this week, Kremer said there’s still work to be done.
“We’ve got to get better at relay exchanges, and we have to get better coming in and out of walls,” Kremer said. “Iowa’s going to come in and give us tough races.”