Gophers swimming and dancing into Big Tens

There may be some teams intimidated by the Minnesota womenâÄôs swimming and diving team this week, but it wonâÄôt be limited to what is going to happen in the pool. Apparently, the Gophers have some dance moves to show off as well. As they warm up and stretch, Minnesota sings and dances to their favorite songs, annoying and intimidating other teams. âÄúWe always have so much fun at meets and we donâÄôt let the pressure get to us,âÄù senior Meredith McCarthy said. âÄúWeâÄôre always laughing and dancing and having a really good time. We know weâÄôve worked hard and weâÄôre going to do the best we can.âÄù The Gophers swimmers will continue to sing and dance at the Big Ten championship meet in Ann Arbor, Mich., tomorrow through Sunday. Minnesota will take 26 swimmers to defend their title from last year. Co-head coach Kelly Kremer said the depth on the team makes it hard to choose who to bring. Teams are restricted to a travel squad of 26 athletes with each diver counting as half of a competitor as they participate in limited events. âÄúI donâÄôt think we have one athlete on our team that I wouldnâÄôt consider an elite athlete,âÄù Kremer said. âÄúAt some schools they could be on a full scholarship somewhere. It makes it difficult every time to decide exactly who we are going to take based on our strengths and weaknesses.âÄù The Gophers also take an undefeated dual meet season with them into the meet. Minnesota recorded wins against North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin, ending the BadgersâÄô dual meet winning streak at 45. Kremer said the season has been consistent and solid and, hopefully, it will lead to a conference championship. Winning wonâÄôt be easy though, as the Big Ten has âÄúone of the deepest and strongest conferences in swimming,âÄù Kremer said. On paper, he said, Indiana is the team to beat, while keeping an eye on Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern is a good idea. âÄú[Indiana is] the most balanced,âÄù Kremer said. âÄúIâÄôm going to guess they are going to put up a number of points in diving that we are going to have to make up for in the pool. And by a number, I mean a lot. They won the championship two years ago.âÄù In writing, the Gophers also have talent in the pool, posting the best times this season in nine of the 21 events. Sophomore Jillian Tyler tops the list in three events . With many swimmers competing in more than one event, the coaches tell the swimmers to take it one race at a time. âÄúThey tell us âÄòyou canâÄôt let yourself get too high or too low. If you have a bad swim, let it go. If you have a good swim, let it go.âÄô ItâÄôs always getting yourself back to that neutral position,âÄù McCarthy said. She will compete in six events, giving her many opportunities to fulfill a team goal of having everyone score in at least one of her events. Also on the GophersâÄô list of goals at the Big Ten championship is to be âÄúthe loudest there, the team that has the most fun,âÄù senior Stacy Busack said.