Minnesota men, women outswim Wisconsin

Both men and women had weekend victories over Wisconsin.

Betsy Helfand

The Gophers menâÄôs swimming and diving team opened its season with a 183-105 victory over Wisconsin on Oct. 29 in Madison, Wis.

Minnesota won 13 of 16 events.

Head menâÄôs and womenâÄôs coach Kelly Kremer was satisfied with the season opener.

âÄúI was really pleased,âÄù Kremer said. âÄúIt was our first real competition on the menâÄôs side, and against a quality opponent like Madison, they did an outstanding job of really competing from start to finish.âÄù

Sophomore Kyler Van Swol led the team with four wins. Van Swol won the 200-yard butterfly, the 100-yard butterfly and was part of both the 400-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard medley relay that placed first.

Junior Josh Hall set a pool record at the Natatorium in the 100-yard breaststroke.

âÄúTo see a guy like Josh Hall step up and break a pool record in that pool âÄî a very old pool âÄî IâÄôm very happy,âÄù Kremer said.

HallâÄôs time of 55.18 seconds was also an NCAA automatic qualifying time.

Kremer also said that he was impressed with the freshman class. Freshman C.J. Smith contributed a win in the 1,000-yard freestyle, posting a time of 9:18.36.

Coming off the win, KremerâÄôs expectations for the season are high.

 âÄúI think weâÄôre going to surprise people and thatâÄôs our goal. People are probably not going to give our men the type of respect that they deserve; I think weâÄôll earn it,âÄù Kremer said.

Gophers women best Badgers, move to 4-0

The Minnesota womenâÄôs swimming and diving team rolled over Wisconsin 177-121, winning nine of 16 events and pushing its record to 4-0 (2-0 Big Ten).

Freshman Tori Simenec contributed another strong performance, winning the 200-yard freestyle, the 100-yard butterfly and placing first in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Simenec also contributed three victories during the GophersâÄô last meet.

Sophomore Maggie Keefer posted NCAA Zone Diving qualifying marks in the one-meter dive (315.30) and three-meter dive (301.80).

Sophomore Tess Behrens and senior Ashley Steenvoorden also contributed two wins apiece.

Head coach Terry Nieszner cited this as an example of the teamâÄôs balance.

âÄúTo have freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors winning events âÄî that just makes us a solid, well-balanced team,âÄù Nieszner said.

The 400-yard relay team, comprised of freshman Jessica Plant, Simenec, senior Marissa Davies and sophomore Erin Caflisch, finished at 3:23:15, edging out WisconsinâÄôs highest-finishing team by more than three seconds.

âÄúEnding up with the 400-yard freestyle relay âÄî thatâÄôs kind of always our goal, and this year again we had two freshmen, a sophomore and a senior, and we came out and beat them handily in the event,âÄù Nieszner said.

Moving forward, Kremer acknowledged that both the menâÄôs and womenâÄôs teams have to focus on the âÄúlittle things,âÄù such as relay exchanges and starts.

Both teams return to action Nov. 4 to take on the Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa.