Minnesota Swimming: Underclassmen shine as Gophers out swim North Dakota

Minnesota Gophers Men's Swimming blocks

The visiting Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s swimming team handed North Dakota their first loss of the season with a 179-113 win Saturday in Grand Forks. This marks the seventh victory for Minnesota against zero losses all time to their western neighbors.

Having touched the wall first in 13 of 16 swims, including five wins from freshman, seventh ranked Minnesota began the day with the 200-yard medley relay. The first place finish from foursome Jimmy Rafter, Nick Hatanaka, Sandy Whitaker and Ryan Miksch clocked a time of 1:33.21.

This meet served as a platform for the future of Golden Gopher swimming to shine. The team’s underclassmen proudly carried the team to a third consecutive win. Hatanaka remained atop the standings in the 100-yard breaststroke swimming in a time of 56.97. The freshman also won this event in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers.

In the distance freestyle, sophomore Logan Rodondo took top honors in both the 500 and 1000-yard swims. His time in the latter of 9:28.72 beat the next fastest competitor by a full 10 seconds. Teammate Jonathan Thielen impressed by winning three events beginning with the 100 backstroke in a time of 52.41.

Jack Tribble (53.05) and Noah Busch (53.26) finished second and third respectively in this event. All three are in their first year swimming for the Maroon and Gold. Thielen also touched the wall first in the 200-yard backstroke (1:51.80) and 200-yard individual medley (1:55.51).

Minnesota also earned the top three finishes in the 200 butterfly, led by junior Drew Johnson who clocked a time of 1:52.98. The Maroon and Gold previously did the same earlier against Wisconsin and have swam to two of the top three finishes in this event in each meet on the year.

Sophomore Dylan Zoe swept the diving competition earning a score of 348.35, a season best, in the three-meter and 324.90 in the one-meter. Both scores top the hosting school records.

The Golden Gophers closed the dual with a win in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:21.43. Minnesota finally returns to the Aquatic Center to host a three day swimming event, the Minnesota Grand Prix, beginning Thursday, November 14.

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