Despite strong performances, Gophers finish near bottom at Minnesota Invite

The women finished fifth and the men finished sixth.

Sophomore Evan Yoder prepares to enter the water to compete against the University of Florida at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Friday, Oct. 11.

Kamaan Richards

Sophomore Evan Yoder prepares to enter the water to compete against the University of Florida at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Friday, Oct. 11.

Mackenzie Davis

The Gophers hosted their four-day Minnesota Invite this weekend at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished near the bottom of the pack, with the women placing fifth and the men sixth.

Sophomore All-American Max McHugh finished with an NCAA “A” Cut. His time of 1:51:62  was the second-fastest time in the nation this season in the 200 breaststroke. 

Qualifying for the A Final, Tevyn Waddell completed the 200 back in 1:54.89, placing third overall in the event after swimming a 1:53.28 in the finals.

Gavin Olson (200 backstroke), Cameron Kelley (1650 free), Matthew Thomas (200 fly), Abbey Kilgallon (1650 free) and Waddell (200 back) each finished with NCAA “B” Cut times in the pool on Saturday.

“I could not be more proud of our team. There were so many great and special performances at this meet,” head coach Kelly Kremer told Gopher Sports. “Right now, some of the most inspiring stories in the NCAA sports world are occurring on this team and I am simply in awe of our students and what they continue to do in and out of the pool.”

Freshmen Jaclynn Fowler and Hannah Craley represented the Gophers in diving. Fowler finished in 13th while Craley finished 15th. Ryan Phillip was unaccompanied by other Gophers on the men’s side for diving and finished eighth. 

The men’s 400-free relay team of Tim Sates, Thomas, Nick Saulnier and Tuomas Pokkinen swam Minnesota’s fastest time of the day. Sates’ new personal-best time of 44.20 was a major reason for the top finish. 

The women’s team of Jordan McGinty, Waddell, Maggie Summit and Olivia Bloomer set the bar high for the Gopher women in the 400-free relay, finishing with a time of 3:21.40. McGinty also swam a new personal-best time of 49.72 to power the women’s finish. 

Competition will wrap up with a time trial long course day on Sunday. Several Gophers on both teams will be competing for Olympic Trials cuts. 

Following Sunday’s trials, Minnesota will host the USA Diving World Cup Trials from Dec. 14-21. Minnesota will head to Hawaii for their next dual meet on Saturday, Jan. 11, concluding their holiday training trip.