If the first two…

Ryan Schuster

If the first two weeks of the season are any indication, the Gophers women’s swimming and diving team should once again be a force.
Minnesota set 10 records at its annual intrasquad meet Oct. 26 at the University Aquatic Center. Senior Jessica Grass and freshman Jenny Hennen both won multiple events in the team’s first scored meet of the season.
A week later, Minnesota beat No. 16 North Carolina 158-142 in a dual meet. Junior swimmer Olga Spichalova and senior diver Carrie Hansen each won two events. The women’s squad already has as many NCAA automatic time considerations (8) as events won at Chapel Hill, N.C.
Tonight, Minnesota tangles with Iowa State on the road, and Saturday the Gophers travel to No. 23 Penn State in their first Big Ten meet of the season.
“The toughest part about (this) weekend is just keeping on competing week in and week out,” Coach Jean Freeman said. “We will be favored at both Iowa State and Penn State.”
Iowa State is 1-1 on the year, while the Gophers are 1-0 this season. Minnesota is 14-1 lifetime against the Cyclones, including 11 straight victories. The No. 15 Gophers will look to extend that streak this weekend in Ames, Iowa.
Penn State will be competing in its first meet of the year Saturday. Since the Lions joined the Big Ten, the two teams have a 1-1-1 record against each other. Last year the Gophers tied with Penn State at 150 points.
“This season we’re swimming much better than last year,” Freeman said. “This gives us a real good indicator that our NCAA team should be real strong.”
Last year the Gophers finished third in the Big Ten and 15th at the NCAA meet. Since 1986, Minnesota has placed in the top three in the Big Ten seven times and in the top 15 at the NCAAs twice.