Wisconsin Bests Minnesota in Friday Night Dual Meet

Wisconsin Generic Team
Photo Courtesy: Wisconsin Athletics

The Wisconsin Badgers bested their border rivals Friday night 159-141 on the men’s side, and 152-148 on the women’s.

Wisconsin Press Release:

Minnesota has always provided a great dual meet each season it appears on the schedule for the Wisconsin swimming and diving program. Not just a Border Battle rival, but an established and consistent opponent.

The Badgers took another step in evening things up in the rivalry’s history, as the Wisconsin men topped Minnesota for the second straight season and the UW women knocked off the defending Big Ten champions at the UW Natatorium on Friday night.

“One of the girls came up to me and said, ‘You know, my freshman year I was told by two seniors that we’d never beat Minnesota,'” UW head coach Whitney Hite shared.

“Well, that just happened.”

An exhilarating season opener, the men came out on top with a final team score of 159-141, while the women used a relay win in the night’s final event to edge the Gophers in dramatic fashion, 152-148.

Three pool records fell for the men and a handful of Badgers captured event titles for each side. Winning two individual titles each were distance swimmers Matt Hutchins and Jess Unicomb, sprint specialists Chase Kinney and Brett Pinfold, plus butterfly swimmer Harrison Tran.

“I’m just proud, because they competed. They were Badgers,” Hite said of his team. “I think this was a really good meet. Minnesota is such a good, high-quality program and they’re so well coached. They’ve been good for a really long time.

“I knew that if we were going to have a chance, we were going to have to be really good. We were.”

Wisconsin started and ended its night by sweeping relay events, as the men’s and women’s ‘A’ teams claimed both sides of the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

The men rewrote two relay pool records in the process. In the 200 medley relay, Pinfold, Jake Mandli, Tran, and Cannon Clifton out-touched the Gophers in 1:29.88 to break a pool record that had been in place since 2004. The men’s winning 400 free relay team of Pinfold, Ryan Stack, Hutchins and Clifton won in 2:57.97 also reset the pool record held since 2004 by Minnesota.

Clifton had the third pool record of the night, winning the 50 freestyle in 20.16 seconds to rewrite the record that had stood since 2011.

Another individual standout for the men was Hutchins, who stole the show in distance events with titles in both the 500 freestyle (4:25.50) and 1000 freestyle (9:13.48).

For the women, Danielle Valley had three finishes in the top two. Valley won the 500 freestyle by edging out reigning Big Ten Swimmer of the Week, Samantha Harding, in 4:48.83, which ranks second in the nation this year. Valley finished runner-up in the 1000 freestyle at 9:54.95, which ranks third in the nation this year. She also finished in second place in the 200 individual medley in 2:03.93.

Kinney took home two individual titles of her own, winning both the women’s 50 freestyle (22.62) and 100 freestyle (49.90).

Unicomb made the most of her collegiate debut, winning both the women’s 100 and 200 backstroke titles. The freshman from Gold Coast, Australia, won the 100 back in an impressive 54.60 seconds and the 200 back in a time of 1:57.45.

Tran captured the men’s 100 butterfly title in 48.15 and the 200 butterfly crown in 1:49.19.

Pinfold won a pair of freestyle titles in the men’s 100 (44.61) and 200 (1:38.24).

Wisconsin swept the top three spots in the 200 backstroke, as Austin Byrd took home the title in 1:47.48, Todd McCarthy was right behind in second (1:47.80) and Ryan O’Donnell was third (1:49.80).

In a close women’s 100 breaststroke race, Anna Meinholz finished second in 1:03.38 and was just out-touched by Minnesota’s Rachel Munson. Meinholz was also runner-up in the 200 breaststroke, touching the wall at 2:18.00.

Wisconsin returns to the pool in November for a pair of Big Ten dual meets, as the Badgers will travel to face Indiana on Nov. 13 and Northwestern on Nov. 14.

Minnesota Press Release:

The University of Minnesota swimming and diving teams both fell to the border-state rival Badgers on Friday night in Madison, Wisconsin. The women’s team lost a tight race, 152-148, while the men lost 159-141.

Minnesota diving continued its dominance, capturing the win in both the men’s and women’s 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. In the racing pool, the Gopher women won seven out of 12 individual swimming events, but were unable to capitalize on relays. The men’s swimming team took home four first-place marks.

WOMEN – L, 152-148

Yu Zhou captured first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events for the second straight week. Zhou’s 1-meter score of 332.77 broke the UW Natatorium pool record. Teammate Lexi Tenenbaum followed for second (315.67), while Jessica Ramberg placed fourth. In the 3-meter contest, Zhou scored 366.38 points for the gold, and Tenenbaum finished fourth.

Danielle Nack swept the women’s butterfly events against the Badgers. She powered through the 200-yard butterfly with a 1:59.05 to top the field, and posted a 54.32 in the 100-yard event. Both of Nack’s best times this season are currently in the top five times in the nation. Nack was also a member of both leading relays for the Gophers, taking home second in the 200 medley relay (1:40.96) and 400 free relay (3:22.69).

Rachel Munson tallied two gold finishes after sweeping the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. Munson’s 100-yard time of 1:02.65 bested the field, while her 200 time of 2:16.17 broke her out of her 2:19 trend. Rae Bullinger had a 1:04.74 in the 100 breast for fourth place, while Kaela Morris finished third in the 200 breast with a 2:21.73.

Big Ten Swimmer of the Week Samantha Harding won the 1,000-yard freestyle for the third straight weekend for the Gophers. She finished with a time of 9:51.61, her best this season, which is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation. Harding was unable to sweep the distance freestyles for the first time this season, but finished second in the 500 free. Her time of 4:50.19 is a season best, and is currently the third fastest in the nation.

Senior Lauren Votova won the 200 free with a time of 1:50.41. Votava also picked up second in the 100 free with a 50.84 and contributed to the Gophers’ 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.

Freshman Zoe Avestruz picked up four silver finishes in the 100 backstroke and 50 free with times of 55.84 and 23.73, respectively, as well as both the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.

MEN – L, 159-141

Matt Barnard returns to Minneapolis with both men’s diving event wins and two UW Natatorium pool records in his pocket. Barnard recorded a 357.83 on the 1-meter board and was followed by teammates Dylan Zoe (340.72), Manny Pollard (335.62) and Alan LeBlang (300.67). On 3-meter, Minnesota went 1-2-3-4 again, led by Barnard’s 403.12 points.

Sophomore Conner McHugh led Minnesota a breaststroke sweep with a first-place finish in the 100 breast with a team season-best time of 56.07, as well as picking up a gold in the 200 breast with a 2:00.93. Teammate John Bushman followed for third in the 100 breast (57.07) and second in the 200 with a 2:02.58.

Daryl Turner won the 100 back by over a second with a time of 48.78. The junior finished second in the 100 fly (48.54), 50 free (20.59) and 200 medley relay (1:29.99).

Freshman Brian Poon had a powerful event win in the 200 IM with a time of 1:50.18. Poon also led the Gophers in the 200 fly (1:59.53) and 200 back (1:51.46) for second and fourth place, respectively.

Michael Messner led the Gophers in the distance freestyle events, finishing second in the men’s 1000 free with a time of 9:25.90 and third in the 500 free with a 4:34.79.

LOOKING AHEAD
The Golden Gophers will have some time off before heading to Iowa on Friday, Oct. 30 for a dual against the Hawkeyes. The contest is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT at the University of Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

2 comments

  1. avatar
    Skippy

    Are the full meet results available somewhere?

    • avatar
      Taylor Brien

      There is a link on the right sidebar on the landing page of the meet. If you go to “competition-results” > scroll to and click on this meet > it will be there on the right.