MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, October 8. THE Minnesota women's swimming and diving team used a strong opening day and four wins on Saturday afternoon to defeat visiting Michigan, 200-150, in Big Ten season-opening action at the University Aquatic Center.
"We came out last night with a lot of energy, we were ready to race and we had some awesome performances," head women's coach Terry Nieszner said. "I think today the energy level was just a little bit down and that is a bit tough to come back from, but I think we did an outstanding job competing. We kept the energy level as high as we could and we had some outstanding performances once again. Overall we came out with a Big Ten victory."
The Golden Gophers opened day two of competition strong with a victory in the 400-yard medley relay, with Tess Behrens, Haley Spencer, Rebecca Weiland and Jessica Plant defeating the field with a time of 3:44.82. Hannah Whitehead, Lauren Greenberg, Annalise Colton and Erin Caflisch finished fourth in a time of 3:53.02, while the team of Katie Anton, Emma Jackson, Devin Ste. Marie and Marissa Davies finished in fifth (3:54.12).
With the victory in the 400-yard medley relay, both Behrens and Spencer moved each of their win totals to four, which included three victories on Friday night. But, Behrens moved her total win to five with a first-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke, clocking in at 2:00.74. Anton and Plant followed in third and fourth place, respectively, with times of 2:02.81 and 2:03.32.
Senior Ashley Steenvorden claimed a victory in the 500-yard freestyle (4:49.25), before Spencer upped her wins to five for the meet with a first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:14.92.
"I thought it was great how the team responded after the first day," Steenvorden said. "We came out here and were ready to race the second day, as if it was the first day again. We did a great job keeping our energy up. I couldn't be happier with the team."
Maggie Keefer won both diving events during the meet with her 3-meter diving score of 304.20 Saturday afternoon. Sarah McCrady and Katie Grunawalt finished in third and fourth, respectively, with scores of 288.45 and 279.67.
On Friday night, the Gophers took a commanding, 123-63, lead over the Wolverines after winning seven of the nine swimming events and also taking first in 1-meter diving.
The Golden Gophers are back in action Oct. 15 when they take on Iowa State on the road, before returning home to host Kansas Oct. 21.
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