Turning it around

Early season injury for Daryl Turner hasn’t held the junior back at all this season

Junior Daryl Turner charges ahead, dominating the 100 freestyle at the Aquatic Center on Oct. 24, 2014, against North Dakota. Turner took first place and finished with a time of 44.75.

Elizabeth Brumley, Daily File Photo

Junior Daryl Turner charges ahead, dominating the 100 freestyle at the Aquatic Center on Oct. 24, 2014, against North Dakota. Turner took first place and finished with a time of 44.75.

Thomas Jaakola

Junior Daryl Turner has been a consistent scorer for Minnesota since returning from a dislocated knee that held him out of the Gophers first dual-meet at Florida State.

 

Turner has produced three individual victories in addition to six second place finishes for the team since his return and has played a key role on the Gophers sprint relay teams.

 

“It kept me motivated to get better and back in the pool,” Turner said. “I’m basically back to normal now, knee’s not bothering me anymore, and I’m doing everything in practice. I feel like I’m finally getting back to where I was in meets.”

 

Turner finished in second in the 100-yard butterfly in his first meet back against Florida on Oct. 10, with a time of 49.22. He also took second in the 50-yard backstroke and third in the 100-yard backstroke.

 

He said after the meet he was still struggling with some underwater maneuvers, like flip turns, because of his knee.

 

The junior improved his butterfly time to 48.18 at the team’s meet at Iowa, which earned him another second place finish. He also took first in the 100-yard freestyle and backstroke and helped the 400-yard freestyle relay team take first at the meet.

 

Turner will have time to rest his knee over the next month, as the Gophers’ swimmers are off from Dec. 4 to Jan. 9, but he has shown signs of progress so far this year.

 

Turner placed just one spot behind Michael Phelps in the 100-meter long course backstroke event on the second day of competition at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Minneapolis Nov. 13, swimming a time of 56.13. He also finished in 15th in the 100-meter long course butterfly the day before, with a time of 54.85.

 

“He has a huge athletic impact on our team. He is not only one of our best sprinters but also one of our best athletes on the team,” junior Jakub Maly said. “He is always ready to go and gives his very best. With that mindset and the goals he has set, I think he can be one of the best sprinters this program [has] ever had.”

 

Turner is improving, though he is still off of his career best times of 46.85 in the 100-yard backstroke and 46.52 in the 100-yard butterfly.

 

“He’s healthy, he’s doing great. He’s exactly where we want him at this point,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “Daryl is absolutely critical to our men’s team success. He’s really a central figure on all of our sprint relays, both the 200 and the 400 relays, [and] also what he does for us individually.”

 

Turner said he’s happy with the way things have gone after a rough start to the season, and has set big goals for himself as he gets healthier.

“I really want to be top three at Big Tens in my individual events and would really like to go the NCAA’s, hopefully individually and in relays,” Turner said. “I wasn’t able to go to NCAA’s last year, so I’m really motivated to get there this year.”