Women dominate, men fall short in dual meet

Sophomore Daryl Turner combined for four event victories at the meet.

by David Nelson

A family emergency kept Daryl Turner from competing against Arizona State in the Gophers’ first dual meet of the season two weeks ago.

However, the sophomore made sure his presence was felt Friday night as Minnesota faced off against Wisconsin — winning all four events he competed in.

“You don’t know how much I missed this environment,” Turner said. “So I just wanted to come here and do all I could for the team.”

Despite Turner’s performances, the Gophers men’s team couldn’t stay with the Badgers, falling by a final of 153.5-146.5.

Though head coach Kelly Kremer said Minnesota still has room for improvement, he added that he’s been pleased with the times the team has recorded in the season’s early stages.

“The early season times that we put up — I’m really proud of them,” Kremer said. “Wisconsin … deserved to come out of here with a win on the men’s side. But … we’ll run into those guys later.”

The Gophers men’s team fell behind early after faltering in the relay.

Needing to boost his team later in the meet, Turner won the 100-yard butterfly event, an event in which he doesn’t normally compete.

“The guy can do it all,” Kremer said. “We could literally put him anywhere, and I think he’d give us a chance.”

Turner was the only Gophers male swimmer to win an individual event on Friday night.

However, the diving team swept both the 1-meter and the 3-meter competitions for the second consecutive meet.

After junior Manny Pollard won both events against the Sun Devils, sophomore Matt Barnard dominated against Wisconsin, winning both events.

Women’s team dominates

While the men’s team struggled to outpace the Badgers, the women’s team had no problems when it came to beating the Badgers in the water.

With a commanding performance, the Gophers women defeated Wisconsin 203-95.

“We’re a tired group,” Kremer said. “Everybody’s really tired, and [we] attacked.”

Minnesota started early, as the 400-yard medley relay team of juniors Kierra Smith and Lauren Votava and seniors Becca Weiland and Tori Simenec set a record for the fastest relay in the country at 3:40.88.

“Tori has really stepped up in backstrokes,” Votava said, “and Kierra Smith is just incredible … and so is Becca. I just basically had to finish.”

Weiland, Votava and Smith combined to win four individual events.

Freshman Brooke Zeiger continued her early dominance in her first year by taking first-place honors in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley.

Like the men’s team, the women’s diving team put together a phenomenal performance, taking the first three spots in both diving competitions.

“Reviewing the results, [we received] the maximum number of points we could have possibly scored in diving,” Kremer said. “That was outstanding.”

In short, the women’s team put forth a memorable performance against the Badgers, who provided a good measuring stick for the Gophers early in the season.

“We’re in a much better spot now than we were a year ago at this time,” Kremer said. “We’re swimming and diving great, and we just need to keep the process going.”