MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, October 29. DESPITE an incredibly dominant diving performance, the Indiana men's swimming and diving team could not overcome Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. In the end, the Hoosiers fell, 163-137. Overall, Minnesota claimed nine event titles, while Indiana grabbed seven. Senior Sergiy Fesenko paced the Hoosiers with three crowns, including another distance sweep, while the divers snared the top four spots in both diving events.
In the opening event of the meet, the Hoosiers fell behind 15-2 as the Minnesota quartet of junior Dan Berve, freshman Colin Lee-To, senior Neil Osten and junior Mario Delac took the 200-yard medley relay title in 1:29.52. Meanwhile, the Golden Gopher team of sophomore David Plummer, senior Sean Kelly, junior Ales Volcansek and junior Igor Cerensek touched second in 1:30.67. For the Hoosiers, the squad of sophomore Ben Hesen, senior Hank Baldwin, freshman Nick Walkotten and junior Colin Russell took third in 1:30.85.
Senior Sergiy Fesenko collected his third consecutive distance crown of the season with the sixth-fastest time in school history in the 1,000-yard
freestyle. The Kiev, Ukraine native turned in a scintillating 9:09.14 to touch in front of Minnesota senior Travis Beckerle (9:11.52) for first place. IU sophomore Alex Brunfeldt rounded out the top three with a 9:28.14 effort. The distance performance cut the Minnesota lead to 21-15.
The Golden Gophers countered in the 200-yard freestyle to push their lead back to 35-20. Senior Adam Mitchell touched first in a B-cut time of 1:37.45, while sophomore Todd Patrick finished second for IU just .02 seconds shy of a B-cut of his own with a 1:38.48. Sophomore Mike Woodson rounded out the top three with a 1:38.86 for third.
In the one-meter diving break, the Hoosier contingent rolled over the Golden Gophers with a top-four sweep with a quartet of zone-qualifying scores. Sophomore Taylor Roberts moved into sixth on IU's one-meter diving list with a title-winning 362.33 performance, while junior Brian Mariano took second with a 338.25 tally. Meanwhile, senior Jesse Rappaport finished third with a 323.10, while senior Ryan Fagan took fourth with a 305.40. The diving performance vaulted IU into a mere two-point deficit, 38-36.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Indiana took a 48-45 lead on the strength of a blazing swim by Hesen. The Jeffersonville, Ind., native raced to the fourth-fastest effort in school history with a first-place 48.46 that also improved his B-cut time. Meanwhile, Plummer (48.62) and Berve (49.92) took second and third for the Golden Gophers. Notably, freshman Jeff Wood posted a personal-best time of 52.09 for fifth place.
In the 100-yard breaststroke, Minnesota responded to take a 60-52 lead with a one-two sweep. Lee-To finished first in 55.86, while junior Drew Knoechel placed second in 57.14. Russell led the Hoosiers with a 57.27 for third. That effort advanced Russell into 19th on IU's 100 breast chart.
In the 200-yard butterfly, the Hoosiers gouged into Minnesota's lead to trial by one point, 66-65. Fesenko continued his recent run of success by blowing by Minnesota's Mitchell (1:50.14) for a crown-winning 1:49.99 performance.
The Hoosiers tied the meet in the 50-yard freestyle, 75-75, with a strong performance by Patrick. The Chesterfield, Mo., product tied for the 17th fastest Hoosier in school history in the event with a 20.51 clocking. Meanwhile, Delac (20.71) and Cerensek (20.78) rounded out the top three for the Golden Gophers.
The three-meter diving break bounced the Hoosiers out to a 91-78 advantage as IU claimed another top-four sweep in the event. Fagan posted the eighth-best tally in school history with a 357.68. Furthermore, Mariano took second with a 337.88, while Rappaport finished third with a 326.63 and Roberts claimed fourth with a 325.35. All four marks cleared the zone-qualifying standard.
In the 100-yard freestyle, the Golden Gophers cut the deficit to 96-92 with a one-three performance. Delac touched first in a B-cut time of 44.62, while Russell finished just behind in 44.99 for the Hoosiers. Cerensek took third for Minnesota in 45.04.
Minnesota jumped into the lead, 107-100, with a top-two sweep in the 200 yard backstroke. Plummer (1:48.43) and sophomore Mike Woodson (1:49.12) helped the Golden Gophers retake the lead, while Hesen finished third for IU in 1:49.97.
The Golden Gophers stretched their lead to 120-106 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Senior Sean Kelly won the event in 2:04.86, while Knoechel took third in 2:06.07. Meanwhile, sophomore Alec Haley split the difference with a second-place 2:06.04.
Fesenko remained undefeated in the distance events this season with his third win of the meet. He turned in a dazzling 4:28.00 to take first in the 500-yard freestyle. Meanwhile, Brunfeldt took third for IU in 4:33.15, while Beckerle placed second for Minnesota in 4:31.26. At the end of the event, the Hoosiers stood five points behind Minnesota, 125-120.
Minnesota began to pull away from the Hoosiers in the 100-yard butterfly. Berve(49.34) touched-out Hesen (49.81) to win the crown. Meanwhile, senior Neil Osten finished third for Minnesota in 50.19. The Golden Gophers led 138-126 after the event.
In the 200-yard IM, the Golden Gophers held on to a 148-135 lead. Mitchell claimed the title in 1:48.62, while Patrick placed second for IU in 1:52.74 and freshman Steven Murry took third in 1:53.79.
Minnesota then clinched the victory, 163-137, with a top-two sweep in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Woodson, Delac, Mitchell and Cerensek won the event in 2:57.92, while their second team of sophomore Tyler Schmidt, freshman Evan Bernier, sophomore Matt Engel and sophomore Jason Timmer took second in 3:02.74. IU's team of Fesenko, junior Lee Houchin, Russell and Patrick finished in third in 3:08.07.