Women’s swimmers seek revenge

Ryan Schuster

Minnesota’s women’s swimming and diving team will be looking for revenge this weekend at the Big Ten championships in Indianapolis, Ind.
A year ago, when the Big Tens were held at the Gophers’ home pool, Minnesota finished a disappointing third behind conference champion Michigan and runner-up Wisconsin. The Gophers were expected to finish behind 10-time defending champion Michigan, but finishing behind Wisconsin was hard to take.
When asked if the No. 8 Gophers were pumped up to beat Wisconsin this year, coach Jean Freeman responded by saying that Minnesota was looking for “a little payback” as a confident smile crossed her face.
Although Minnesota is more concerned with how well they swim and how high they finish, the Gophers can’t help but look to avenge last year’s defeat.
Last year Michigan set a new Big Ten record with an astonishing team score of 939 points on its way to taking the conference crown. The Badgers barely beat out the Gophers 492.5 to 477 points.
Even though the Gophers have already conceded the top spot to Michigan this season, Minnesota is determined to lash out on its rival.
The Gophers beat Wisconsin soundly in the teams’ only meeting this season during the Quad Duals on Jan. 31.
As many as five teams should be in the thick of the Big Ten championships, which start today and run through Saturday.
“I think the Big Tens is going to be a very big meet for us,” Gophers junior Gretchen Hegener said. “The top four of five teams are so close together, it just comes down to who ends up having a better meet that weekend.”
In a close meet this weekend, Minnesota’s bitter rivalry with Wisconsin could mean the difference between a second and third-place finish for the Gophers.
Minnesota hopes the Wolverines are the only team they will look up to in the standings when the Big Tens are over this year. To the Gophers, that would be as good as a victory.