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Minnesota Men Win Big in Minneapolis -- November 23, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn, November 23. THE Gopher men dominated the three day Swimming and Diving Invitational which concluded today at the University Aquatic Center.

They topped off a great performance by setting a meet record in the 400 yard freestyle relay. The Minnesota team of Igor Cerensek, Neil Osten, Sean McCaffrey, and Terry Silkaitis completed the relay in a time of 2:59:59. The time also provisionally qualifies the relay team for the NCAA Championships in March. Getting under three minutes in this race was a team goal and coach Dennis Dale was pleased, commenting that they "stepped up" to the challenge and "raced really well."

Minnesota also captured the second and third place finishes in the same event. Brain Gettelfinger, Kiel Ochalek, Anguis Christian, and Joe Herriges (second) earned a time of 3:05:06 and teammates Adam Mitchell, Dan Berve, Andrew VanMeter, and Diego Urreta (third) close behind with a time of 3:05:36.

The 200 backstroke and the 100 freestyle also proved to be strong events for the Gophers as they took the top five spots in each. The 200 back was led by sophomore Adam Mitchell who finished in a time of 1:48:37. Junior Terry Silkaitis won the 100 free with a time of 44.74 seconds.

In addition, junior Lucas Petersen finished the 200 butterfly in a season best time of 1:52:43, enough for a second place finish. Overall, the team performed very well and continue to gain confindence as the season progresses.

"We did a nice job tonight" concluded coach Dale after the meet had come to a close. Next, the Gophers travel to Athens for the Georgia Invitational which begins December 5th. Look for the next home meet in January.

The Minnesota women were successful in the 400 yard freestyle relay earning three of the the top ten places. Katy Coombe, Jessica Crawford, Valerie Tukey, and Kate Hardt led the way finishing second in a time of 3:25:26.

Coombe also swam well individually earning a second place finish in the 100 free with a time of 51.49 seconds. Coach Jean Freeman applauded her performance by saying that she "had a very good meet."

In addition, senior Juleen Rodakowski captured a first place finish in the 200 butterfly in a time of 2:02:82. Freeman said afterward that Juleen is "coming around a the right time."

Moreover, Minnesota's Rebecca Cornthwaite finished first in the platform diving earning a score of 384.45. Teammate Holly Jaktis finished second, just seven points behind. Coach Freeman commented that the divers were "very solid.