Minnesota Men Command Lead, Women in 4th

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, November 17. THE Minnesota men took a 276-point lead, while the women fell behind to fourth place. The Badgers are in first with 254 points after the first day of competition at the Minnesota Invite.

The University of Minnesota women's swimming and diving team opened the first day of the three-day Minnesota Invitational, tonight at the University Aquatic Center. The Gophers are currently in fourth place with a score of 168, while Wisconsin leads after the first day with 254 points. Notre Dame is second (245) followed by Tennessee (243).

Minnesota opened the meet with a third-place finish in the 200 free relay. The relay of Jenny Hasling, Stacy Busack, Erin Holtmeyer and Roxane Akradi combined for a time of 1:33.74. Jenny Shaughnessy led the Gophers in the 500 free with a 12th-place finish and a time of 4:57.89. Erin O'Neil competed in the same event with a 19th-place finish in 5:01.41.

Deidre DeWall led the Gophers in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:06.68 and a 12th-place finish, while Hasling chipped in a time of 2:08.17. Busack and McCarthy each competed in the 50 free A Final, placing fourth and eighth overall. Busack touched the wall in a time of 23.82 for fourth place. McCarthy added a finals time of 24.20 to place eighth. Her preliminary time of 24.07 was a season-best. The Gophers also had three make the B Final in Linzey Bachmeier, Krista Kezbers and Roxane Akradi. Bachmeier placed 14th overall in 24.28, followed by Kezbers in 15th (24.34) and Akradi (24.44).

The Gophers finished the first day with a sixth-place finish in the 400 medley relay. Akradi, Kim Kazika, Shaughnessy and McCarthy combined for a time of 3:51.49.

In diving action, Erica Schiffler led the Gophers in the 3-meter event. Schiffler had a finals score of 255.00 to place sixth overall. Brianna Hubbard finished 11th overall (226.80), followed by Hillary Provo in 15th (191.35).

On the men's side, the Gophers took a commanding lead after the first day of the three-day meet. The Golden Gophers won all six events contested and hold a 276-point lead on second-place Wisconsin. The Gophers finished the first day with 488 points, followed by the Badgers with 212 and Florida Atlantic with 136.

Minnesota's night began with a win and a second-place finish in the 200 free relay. The Minnesota A relay of Colin Lee-To, Mike Woodson, Tyler Schmidt and Igor Cerensek combined for a time of 1:21.42. The Gophers' B relay of Jason Timmer, Ales Volcansek, Mario Delac and Matt Engel finished second in a time of 1:22.33.

The Gophers dominated the 500 free, placing 17 swimmers in the three finals, including seven in the A Final. Ray Betuzzi won the event in a time of 4:27.56, followed by Zach Wood in second (4:30.47), Evan Bernier in third (4:31.33) and Mike Holmes in fourth (4:33.18). Wisconsin's Tom Molzahn finished fifth, but was the only non-Minnesota swimmer to finish in the top eight in the event. The Gophers' Michael Daup placed sixth (4:37.21), while Drew Knoechel finished seventh (4:37.37) and Nico Zebley placed eighth in a time of 4:38.62. The Gophers placed another six in the B Final and four swimmers in the C Final.

Timmer won the 200 individual medley event with a time of 1:50.91. Mark Solfelt touched the wall in a time of 1:54.85 and finished fifht, while David Plummer rounded out the A Final qualifiers with an eighth-place finish in 1:55.95. Cerensek won the 50 free in a time of 20.40 and Woodson placed third in the same event in a time of 20.72. Lee-To added a fifth-place finish (20.76), followed by Schmidt in sixth (20.85) and Engel in seventh (20.93).

Just as they started the night, the Gophers placed first and second in the 400 medley relay. Minnesota's A relay of Plummer, Lee-To, Bernier and Cerensek combined for a time of 3:18.07. Minnesota's B relay of Dan Berve, Knoechel, Engel and Delac chipped in a second-place time of 3:20.50.

Shaun Kennedy led the Gopher diving corps with a first-place finish in the 1-meter event. Kennedy added a finals score of 312.00 to take first place over Florida Atlantic's Andrew Scully, who finished with a score of 280.30. Cole Young added a third-place finish and a score of 274.75, while Tyler Jepsen placed 10th overall with a score of 212.35.

Competition begins again tomorrow with the prelims at 11 a.m., followed by the finals at 6 p.m. Sunday's action is slated for 10 a.m. prelims and 3 p.m. finals.

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