Quad and triple duals give Gophers a unique opportunity for multiple wins

ItâÄôs a tough concept to grasp if youâÄôre new to swimming. Over the weekend, the Gophers menâÄôs swimming team won a Big Ten âÄútriple dualâÄù and the women won a Big Ten âÄúquad dual.âÄù That is, in the case of the women, a team competing individually against three other teams âÄî at the same time. The men beat Purdue 205-148 and beat Wisconsin 237-116. The women beat Wisconsin 191-160, Purdue 222-121 and Illinois 232-110. So, in the span of what would normally be just one competition, five wins were actually decided. âÄúIt gets confusing, but itâÄôs nice,âÄù womenâÄôs co-head coach Terry Nieszner said. âÄúIt gives opportunities to go against three other Big Ten teams at the same time, which is nice âÄî makes for a great atmosphere.âÄù In most sports that pit several teams against each other concurrently with multiple events (swimming, track and gymnastics, for example), the teams earn points based on their finish in each event, and those points are added together at the end of the meet. Simple enough. In a triple or quad dual, however, each team scores points in relation to each other. For example, a Minnesota swimmer may finish fifth, but they will receive points for first place in their score against Purdue if no Purdue swimmer finishes in front of them. By hosting several dual meets at once (this specific triple/quad dual has been around since the mid-1960s), teams can cut down on travel and event costs. The Gophers women got three of their eight dual meets out of the way, and the men got two of their six. And with no admission charged for the two-day event, there isnâÄôt much of a financial downside. âÄúFrom a financial standpoint, itâÄôs a great deal for everybody,âÄù associate athletics director Marc Ryan said. âÄúBut itâÄôs also an event that has a lot of history and tradition. ItâÄôs just a positive thing all around.âÄù From a swimming standpoint, the meet is a dress rehearsal for the Big Ten championships later this month. Both teams still have a meet left âÄî the Minnesota Challenge, next weekend at the Aquatic Center âÄî but most swimmers wonâÄôt compete in their main event. âÄúWeâÄôre still working really hard right now, in the pool and in the weight room,âÄù said junior Alex Wold, who won the menâÄôs 400-yard individual medley by more than five full seconds. âÄúBut IâÄôm happy about where we are right now, headed into Big Tens.âÄù Both Minnesota teams were the highest ranked in the dual âÄî the women are ranked No. 10 and the men No. 11 âÄî but are coming off of a nearly three-week training stint in Hawaii. âÄúThis meet always comes right after our training weeks, so weâÄôre usually a little worn out,âÄù senior Jenny Shaugnessy said. âÄúI was happy we came out and everybody swam like they did.âÄù The women led Wisconsin by just 10 points coming into the final day, but had a few key wins early on in the second day to pull away. They took the top four spots in the 1,000-yard freestyle and were boosted by ShaugnessyâÄôs win in the 400-yard individual medley. The win over Wisconsin was their first since 1999. âÄúAt this meet, thereâÄôs a little more pressure because of the history of Wisconsin,âÄù Shaugnessy said. âÄúWe were feeling their pressure today but, obviously, weâÄôre happy with how it went.âÄù