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Gophers Open Minnesota Challenge With Fast Swimming -- February 7, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn, February 6. THE No. 24 University of Minnesota women's swim team hosted the Minnesota Challenge at the University Aquatic Center tonight on the Golden Gopher campus and came up big. Meanwhile the Gopher men dominated their non-scoring competition.

Women's Meet
The Maroon and Gold started the night with the top three finishes in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Gophers' winning relay of Lindsay Somrock, Lauren Guzuskas, Heather Harris and Caroline Schik combined for a time of 1:38.49. The Minnesota 'B' Team of Melissa Schold, Erika Bjorklund, Mary Patrek and Megan Moore finished second in 1:39.57. The Gopher 'D' relay of Amy Cahoy, Megan Peters, Colleen Morgan and Sara Vine finished third with a time of 1:39.98.

Jennifer led the Gophers in the 500 free race when she finshed with a time of 5:04.53. Lindsay Marko clocked a lifetime best of 5:06.09 finishing second overall. Sarah Perrott rounded out the top three finishing in 5:14.93. Also finishing in a lifetime best was Cecile Lamour in 5:20.80, respectively.

Guzauskas won the 200 individual medley when she finished with a lifetime best in 2:06.40. Juleen Rodakowski added a second-place finish in the same event (2:07.64), while Moore finished third (2:07.73). Lindsey St. Martin won her heat in a lifetime best time of 2:09.31, placing fourth overall.

Katy Coombe won the 50 free in a time of 23.80, while Jennifer Hasling clocked a time of 24.17, good enough for second place out of 45 participants. Sara Vine placed third in 24.31.

The Gophers concluded the night with the top two spots in the 400 medley relay. St. Martin gained another lifetime best when she swam the first leg of the winning relay. Katie Proell, Kate Hardt and Abby Ruess swam the other three legs, earning a time of 4:01.28. Minnesota's Julia Quinn, Schold, Thea Fleming and Jessica Crawford took second with a time of 4:03.91.

"I'm happy with tonight," head coach Jean Freeman said. " It's fun for our seniors to be at home in front of their friends and family. Since this is a small meet we weren't looking for the fastest times, but for quality times."

Men's Meet
The Golden Gophers recognized their senior class in the first night of the two-day meet. The Gophers introduced Adam Apprill, Ben Baumann, Brian Gettelfinger, Ben Herdt, Ryan Plummer and Diego Urreta before the start of the first race.

In the pool, the Gophers dominated the competition. There were no team scores, in the event and the meet consisted of teams from the Twin Cities Swim Club Team, St. John's and South Dakota State. Swimmers were allowed to swim unattached as well.

Minnesota set the tone for the night with a time of 1:20.25 in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The foursome of Terry Silkaitis, Neil Osten, Ales Volcansek and Igor Cerensek finished over :14 over the next team, St. John's. Minnesota's 200 free relay is the 11th-fastest relay in Division I.

Travis Beckerle led the Maroon and Gold in the 500 free event when he clocked a time of 4:32.77. David Moulder followed Beckerle finishing in 4:34.16, while Andrew Knoechel finished third in 4:35.71.

Silkaitis went on to claim his second, first-place finish, this time in the 200 individual medley. Silkaitis, who usually competes in the sprint free and middle free events, won the race with a time of 1:51.21. Plummer added a second-place finish with a time of 1:54.03, while Lucas Peterson rounded out the top three spots with a time of 1:55.61.

Mario Delac clocked a season-best time in the 50 free, posting a time of 20.56. Delac, a second-semester addition to the Gophers, won the event. Igor Cerensek and Ales Volcansek swept the second and third places in the event, finishing in 20.60 and 20.88, respectively. Cerensek's time was a season best for the freshman.