MINNEAPOLIS, Minn, November 8. THE 8th-ranked Golden Gopher men’s swimming and diving team hosted the first of a two-day double dual meet against No. 24 North Carolina and North Dakota Friday evening at the University Aquatic Center. The Gophers are ahead in both duals, leading UNC 129-57 and 150-36 over North Dakota.
Placing first in 10 of the 20 events, the Gopher men got off to a strong lead in the first part of this two day meet. Three swimmers earned two first-place finishes each leading their team after Friday’s events. Sophomore Adam Mitchell continues to perform well this season winning the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:50:58. In a time of 49.08, Mitchell also took top honors in the 100 back finishing just ahead of teammate Dan Berve and Diego Urreta.
Travis Beckerle and Sean McCaffrey also earned multiple first-place finishes. Beckerle won the 1000 free in a time of 9:14:10, while McCaffrey placed first in the 200 free with a time of 1:40:11. In addition, they were part of the first place 800 free relay, which also included junior Terry Silkaitis and freshman Igor Cerensek.
The Gophers dominated the 50 free event, placing three in the top three spots. Silkaitis won the event in 20.71, followed by Ales Volcansek in second (20.78) and Neil Osten in third (20.93). Sean Kelly also won the 100 breaststroke event in a time of 57.76, while Alejandro Jacobo placed second in 58.03.
Dale, pleased with his team’s overall performance, commented that he was "most pleased with the performance of our 50 freestylers" adding that the team has "four under the age of 21."
Minnesota diver John Schmidt finished first in the 1-meter diving event earning a score of 302.65.
"Overall, the coaching staff was pleased with the performance tonight," relayed Dale. Looking toward the meet’s conclusion tomorrow at noon, Dale states that the 400 IM "should be a fun race" in addition to himself "looking forward to the 500 Free."
On the women’s side; The Gophers are trailing 106-80 to the Tarheels, but have a 155-30 lead over UND after the first day of competition. Megan Moore had an excellent night finishing first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.72. Moore was also part of the first place 200 medley relay, earning the top time of 1:45:44. Moore swam with Melissa Schold, Sarah Bohlsen, and Sara Vine. "Megan was very, very solid tonight," said coach Jean Freeman. "Megan was worried about her events, but she’s feisty and loves to race.
The Gopher divers took the top three spots in the 1-meter event clearing dominating the visiting competition. Shannon Jackson led Minnesota to a strong finish, earning the top place in the 1-meter dive with a score of 278.95. Rebecca Cornthwaite followed with a score of 264.90, and Abbie Bowden with a 253.95 score, respectively.
Minnesota's Kate Hardt finished the 200 free with a time of 1:51.07, but UNC's Jessi Perruquet won the event by provisionally qualifying for NCAA Championships with a time of 1:48.44. Perruquet won the 50 free event, earning nine points for the Tarheels, but the Gophers' Sarah Perrott and Katy Coombe finished second and third respectively in the event with times of 23:93 and 23:95.
At the close of Friday’s part of the meet, Freeman relayed that "we swam very well for us tonight" and are "really happy this team is racing as well as they are."