Women repeat at Rutgers Invitational

The Gophers brought a small team to N.J. but still won handily.

Samuel Gordon

The Minnesota womenâÄôs swimming and diving team took home the team championship at this weekendâÄôs Rutgers Invitational for the second straight year, despite taking only 13 athletes to the competition.

The Gophers finished the weekend with 274 team points. Harvard finished in second with a team score of 250.

âÄúThe performances were a bit of a rollercoaster, up and down,âÄù co-head coach Kelly Kremer said in a statement, âÄúbut what we were really pleased about was the energy level.âÄù

Minnesota swimmers won five events Friday and took the lead into SaturdayâÄôs portion of the event. Juniors Ashley and Kristen Steenvoorden had impressive showings in their homecoming. The New Jersey natives took the top two spots in the 500-yard freestyle with Ashley winning the event in a pool record 4:46.04.

Sophomore Haley Spencer broke a pool record as well in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.01. Junior Hannah Whitehead won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:59:51. Spencer and Whitehead teamed with seniors Kaylee Jamison and Meagan Radecke to win the 400-yard medley relay in a time of 3:45.15, more than six seconds ahead of the second place team.

Freshman Maggie Keefer won the 1-meter dive, the fifth victory for the Gophers on the evening.

Then on Saturday, Ashley Steenvoorden broke her own pool record in the 1,650-yard freestyle in a time of 16:10.93, shattering her previous record by more than 15 seconds. Spencer set another pool-record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.74.

Whitehead won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke, and led off the 200-yard medley relay that finished first in 1:43.31. She finished the weekend with three individual wins, and contributed to two victorious relay teams.

Jamison gave Minnesota its final victory Saturday, winning the 100-yard butterfly in 55.30 seconds.