Gophers swim team beats Denver and Wyoming at weekend competition

The men’s and women’s team set eight new pool records during the two-day meet.

Sophomore Danielle Nack competes in the Women's 100 Yard Backstroke during the 2016 Minnesota Challenge at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016.

Niti Gupta, Daily File Photo

Sophomore Danielle Nack competes in the Women’s 100 Yard Backstroke during the 2016 Minnesota Challenge at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016.

Alyssa Hodenfield

The Minnesota swim and dive teams jumped back into competition over the weekend, beating Denver and Wyoming at the El Pomar Natatorium in Denver.

The men’s team beat Denver 193-122 and Wyoming 219.5-95.5.

The women defeated Denver with a score of 179-136 and beat Wyoming 225-90. The wins were secured with help from three team and two individual pool records.

“I thought it went really well across the board,” said head coach Kelly Kremer. “To be swimming this well coming off a training trip is really impressive. I’m proud of them.”

The women took home wins in all relays during the weekend and set records in the 400 free (3:23.85), 200 medley (1:41.12), and 800 free (7:27.21) relays.

Kierra Smith snagged wins in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. The senior won the 100 by a slim .01 with a time of 1:02.63 and set a pool record in the 200 (2:13.22).

Junior Danielle Nack also took home victories in a pair of events. Nack set the pool record in the 200 butterfly on Friday (2:00.95) and won the 100 on Saturday (54.88).

Senior Lexi Tenenbaum was the leading diver for the Gophers women. She placed second in the 3-meter event (320.95) and won the 1-meter competition (292.25).

Senior Daryl Turner was an asset to the Gophers on the men’s swimming side.

Turner, along with Bowe Becker, Paul Fair and Noah Busch, was a part of both 200 and 400 freestyle record-setting relay teams.

The senior also set his own pool records in the 100 backstroke (47.63) and 100 butterfly (47.51).

“One event after the other, if you look at Daryl Turner, he really shined this weekend,” Kremer said. “Every event he swam was an outstanding swim.”

Becker had strong showings in the sprint free events this weekend and won the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.46 and the 50 free in 19.95.

Sophomore Alan LeBlang won the 1-meter dive on Friday (316.35), and freshman Jeremy Moser took second in the 3-meter dive the following day (300.20).

This meet in Denver was the first for the Gophers after a busy week of winter training, which included a trip to Hawaii.

“For me, I think I was quite happy with [the training],” said senior Jakub Maly. “It was my fourth year there already, so it was more relaxed for me, and we train outdoors. I love that.”

Kremer said the trip went as well as it could have and was satisfied that the team accomplished what they set out to do in those weeks, much of which included focusing on small details.

“When you’re away like that you’re really starting to get more specific in terms of which events each athlete swims and you’re thinking about the championship season,” Kremer said.

Both men’s and women’s teams will take the week off to train before competing against Purdue and Northwestern in Indiana.

“We’ll get into our normal routine back at home and really start to fine tune,” Kremer said. “We’ll start to rest and recover and that will bring out a lot of the speed and power that we’re looking for when we finally get into the championship season.”