Gophers take Big Ten Triple Dual in Evanston

The women’s and men’s teams won seven of the eight relays at the event.

by Thomas Jaakola

The men’s swimming and diving team kept their winning streak alive over the weekend in the Big Ten Triple Dual.
The Gophers defeated Northwestern 230-122 and Purdue 224-129 in Evanston, Ill., giving the team seven straight victories after losing their first three meets of the 
Minnesota started out the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:28.40. 
Three of the relay’s members, juniors Daryl Turner and Paul Fair and freshman Bowe Becker, also helped the Gophers win the 400 freestyle relay, the 400 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.
The men’s team has now won 12 of the last 15 relays it has entered.
“Everything seems to be firing on all cylinders, which is a good sign heading into the championship season,” Fair said. “The team did really well attacking their races with
intensity. That’s crucial when competing at Big Tens.”
The relay team members also each took home an individual title, with Becker winning the 50 free in 20.22, the team’s fastest time in the event this season.
Fair won the 100 free in 44.59, while Becker took second.
“I feel really good about where I am at right now based on the meet,” Fair said.
Turner swam season-best times in the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly to win both events.
Sophomore Conner McHugh took part in two of the Gophers’ winning relays and also won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 55.61.
Senior Manny Pollard led the team on the diving board, winning the 1-meter event with a personal record of 388.55 points. 
Women rack up two more victories
The women’s team also picked up two victories over the weekend, defeating Northwestern 245-108 and Purdue 191-162 at the Big Ten Triple Duel.
Freshman Zoe Avestruz, sophomore Danielle Nack and senior Lauren Votava competed in every relay for the Gophers, winning three of the four.
“Really pleased with the effort across the board,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “From the very start of the meet I think we were aggressive in how we approached our performances.”
Nack also won both butterfly events, with a 54.80 in the 100 fly and a 1:59.21 in the 200.
Votava picked up another victory for the Gophers in the 100 freestyle, swimming a time of 50.01.
The Gophers picked up other individual victories from senior Samantha Harding, who won the 1000 free in a season-best 9:48.97, and sophomore Brooke Zeiger, who won the 200 and 400 individual medleys. She won the latter with a season-best time of 4:17.26.
“Having the wins was a good confidence booster for everyone,” Zeiger said. “We had a lot of energy, and we were involved in each other’s swims, which helps us set up how to work as a team before Big Tens where we will need even more energy for each other.”
Junior Yu Zhou won on both the 1-meter and 3-meter board on diving for the Gophers.
Kremer said he was pleased with the team’s performance, with the Big Ten Championships just more than two weeks away for the women’s team and three weeks away for the men’s team.
“That type of effort to start a competition and making sure we can carry it through the entire meet is going to be really important as we transition here to the championship season,” Kremer said.