MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, October 13. MINNESOTA freshman breaststroker Jillian Tyler tallied three wins and notched two NCAA A cut times, but it wasn't enough as the Gopher women fell to sixth-ranked Florida 168-132 Saturday at the Dorothy L. Sheppard pool at the University Aquatic Center. The Gopher men also suffered defeat at the hands of the eighth-ranked Gators by a final score of 158-142.
On the women's side, Tyler combined with teammates Roxanne Akradi, Megan Braun and Stacy Busack to win the 200 medley relay to start this afternoon's meet, as the team touched in 1:42.76. Tyler's victories in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.46) and 200 breaststroke (2:13.47) were each good enough to punch her ticket to the NCAA meet in March.
After the Gophers' victory in the first event, the Gators imposed their will in the next three events, finishing 1-2 in the 3-meter springboard, the 1650 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle, staking themselves to a significant early lead. The Gophers bounced back in the 100 breaststroke, as Alicia Jensen (3rd, 1:04.67) and Kim Kazika (4th, 1:06.07) followed Tyler to a 1-3-4 finish. The Gophers got a boost from another freshman one event later, as Molly Belk won the 200 butterfly in 2:01.65.
After Florida claimed victories in the next four events, Tyler had teammates Kait Strickland (2:19.51) and Jensen (2:19.6) followed her into the wall for a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 breaststroke.
Three events later, the Gophers had another big event in the 400 IM, as they claimed the top three spots. The Minnesota contingent was led by junior captain Jenny Shaughnessy, who won in 4:20.62. Strickland (4:24.02) and Tyler (4:28.52) would follow Shaughnessy to mark the Gophers' second 1-2-3 finish of the meet.
Although the Gophers would finish two relays in the top three in the meet's final event, the Gators' 400 freestyle relay team of Elizabeth Kemp, Caroline Burckle, Natalie Pike and Stephanie Napier would seal the meet for the Gators, finishing in 3:24.78.
The tenth-ranked University of Minnesota men's swimming and diving team lost despite leading 92-77 following freshman Curt Carlson's victory in the 100 freestyle. Florida won four out of the last five events to clinch the meet. The Gophers' Cole Young captured both the 1- and 3- meter diving titles to lead the Gophers.
The Gophers opened the meet with an impressive showing in the 200 medley relay, as the team of David Plummer, Jon Roberts, Colin Lee-To and Michael Woodson touched first at 1:28.86. Following Young's 1-meter victory, the Gators came back to score the lion's share of the points in both 1650 and 200 freestyle races.
The Gophers rebounded in the 100 breaststroke, as Gopher swimmers Jon Roberts, Ivan Gutesa, Jason Timmer and Mark Solfelt all finished in under :58. Roberts notched to his first victory as a Golden Gopher in 54.89.
The Gators would respond in the 200 butterfly, as they captured the top three spots and vaulted to a 62-50 lead. The Gophers returned the favor in the 50 freestyle, as Colin Lee-To touched out the Gators' Daniel Penniman to win in 20.47. Gophers' freshman Michael Richards was third in 20.91 and the Gophers reclaimed the lead at the first diving break by a 78-72 score.
Freshman Curt Carlson touched out Penniman to win the 100 freestyle in 45.21 and buoyed by teammates Woodson and Tyler Schmidt third and fourth place finishes, Carlson and the Gophers had what would be their largest lead of the day at 92-77.
The 200 backstroke belonged to the Gators as Roland Rudolf, Omar Pinzon and Rex Tullius took the top three spots over Minnesota's Russ Payne and David Plummer, narrowing the Gopher lead to 95-93. The Gators carried that momentum into the next event, finishing first and third and the Gators' Clark Burckle touched out the Gophers' Roberts to win in 2:00.82. The victory by Burckle helped the Gators reclaim the lead for good – and for the first time since the conclusion of the 200 freestyle – at 105-102.
The Gators' Tobias Work recorded his second victory of the afternoon in the 500 freestyle, cruising in 4:26.80. The Gophers' Ray Betuzzi and Mike Holmes finished 2nd and 3rd, but the Gators increased their lead. Florida would deliver a big blow an event later in the 100 butterfly, taking the top two spots and extending their lead to a meet-high seventeen points at 131-114. The Gators continued to pour it on in the 400 IM, recording a 1-2 finish that set up long odds for the Gophers in the 400 freestyle relay.
With the Gophers needing a 1-2 finish to win the meet, the Gators' Roland Rudolf put an exclamation point on the Florida win, swimming his anchor leg in 44.96 and coming back to touch out the Gophers' Stephen Miller to win the event for the Gators in 2:59.51.
Special thanks to Minnesota athletics for contributing this story.