Cahoy qualifies for U.S. National team

by Jim Schortemeyer

Embracing a better-late-than-never attitude, members of the Gophers men’s and women’s swimming teams are showing signs of rebounding from subpar performances at the recent NCAA Championships.
Competing in the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships on Thursday at the Aquatic Center, Minnesota men’s swimmer John Cahoy turned in what could be the swim of the year for either team.
Cahoy placed fourth in the 100-meter freestyle, and earned an elusive spot on the U.S. National team that will compete at the Goodwill Games. The result was a surprise, as Cahoy didn’t manage a top-16 finish at last week’s NCAA Championships.
“I never even dreamed I could make top eight,” Cahoy said. “Basically, I’ve just been going to class all week, and not thinking about (racing).”
The Gophers women had some unexpected results as well, though they were somewhat overshadowed by Cahoy’s performance. Jenny Hennen, a sophomore, cruised to the fastest time ever swum by a Minnesotan in the preliminary heats. Hennen also placed in the top 16 in the 200-meter butterfly, while Ann Cahoy and Emily Deppe had top-16 finishes in the 200-meter backstroke.
The men had some lofty goals for this meet, especially after last weekend’s Titanic-like effort at the NCAA Championships, where the team placed 14th. The men’s coaches were very pleased with the team’s efforts, which included a sixth-place finish from Yoav Meiri — who set an Israeli National Record in preliminaries — and a 13th-place finish from Jeremy Rients.
“When you come to a meet like this, it’s your third taper, and you never know what you’re going to get,” said Minnesota head coach Dennis Dale.
The men are currently in sixth place for the team competition, with three more days of swimming ahead of them. Minnesota has 31 points, trailing the leader by 45 points.
The women are in a different situation than the men. While most of the men are required to compete, the women have only six swimmers competing. Tomorrow, Minnesota’s women’s swimmers will have no individual competitors, with the 800-meter freestyle relay being their only race.
“I let them choose if they wanted to swim it or not,” coach Jean Freeman said. “It’s good for their development to know they can do their best in a more relaxed atmosphere.”