The Gophers women’s team lost their first event to Florida by 0.01 seconds, but they were able to overcome that loss and defeated the No. 8 Gators by a score of 183-117, winning 11 of the 16 possible events in the meet.
Freshman Brooke Zeiger started off the Minnesota victory by placing first in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Junior Lauren Votava, who took first in the 200-yard freestyle, followed that performance.
“We had a really nice meet,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “We swam and dove great. From start to finish, we raced well and it was just an incredible meet.”
Junior Kierra Smith, who sat out the team’s last meet against Iowa, was a huge factor for the Gophers. She won the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, and she placed second in the 200-yard medley relay.
“I was really excited to come into Florida to race such a great team,” Smith said. “I am really happy with my times, [and] they were a season-best for me.”
Senior Rebecca Weiland also had a competitive meet, winning three events: the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard butterfly and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“I am glad to see that I made some NCAA [qualification] meet cuts,” Weiland said. “Hopefully this will continue throughout the rest of the season.”
The divers had the same amount of success as the swimmers in the pool, with sophomore Lexi Tenenbaum winning the 3-meter competition and sophomore Yu Zhou winning the 1-meter.
“[This meet] really shows why the senior class has never lost a dual meet,” Kremer said. “They can swim and dive [with anyone].”
Men fall to Florida
Although the women’s team came out victorious, the men’s team didn’t have the same success against No. 5 Florida.
The Gophers lost to the Gators 167-125, winning just six of the meet’s 16 events.
Despite the loss, senior C.J. Smith won the 1,000-yard freestyle and sophomore Daryl Turner turned in a valiant effort, winning the 100-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Turner also took second in the 100-yard backstroke, but he said he’s still working on his form.
“I don’t think my backstroke is where it should be [yet],” Turner said. “I thought [that] my backstroke in the first half of the meet could [have] really used some improvement.”
Junior Manny Pollard won the 3-meter diving event, and sophomore Matt Barnard won the 1-meter.
Kremer said the team will use this loss, its second of the season, to improve.
“Some of the [swimmers] really did a great job of taking advantage of the opportunities to compete, and some of them had real learning experiences on some of the things that we really have to do a lot better if we want to be at a level that Florida is at right now,” Kremer said.