In the first of six Arena Series matchups this academic year, the Golden Gophers had the opportunity to compete against the best swimmers in the nation. Even better, the series uses the short course format, which allows swimmers to gain greater velocity through more frequent turns, thus keeping the crowd on their toes.
With five events taking place on day one, the Maroon and Gold swam with purpose in their home pool. In the morning’s preliminary swims, Kyler Van Swol took third place in the 100 yard butterfly (47.37). The senior finished ahead of his time from last year, when only Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte touched the wall first. Teammate Daryl Turner finished close behind (47.87) earning a fifth place finish.
In the 200 yard individual medley, four Golden Gophers swam their way to a to top 10 finish, led by senior Luke Bushman who took second place (3:49.95). Just behind was freshman Jakub Maly (3:50.86). The Gopher pair finished only behind Olympic medalist Conor Dwyer. Teammates Brandon Hantanaka (3:54.91) and Jason Hartbarger (3:55.46) placed eighth and 10th respectively.
The morning swims wrapped up for the host with a win in the 400 yard free relay comprised of Kyler Van Swol, Derek Toomey, Daryl turner and Carl Newenhouse (2:55.52).
In the evening’s finals’ swims, Van Swol improved his time in the 100 yard butterfly to 47.19, a fourth place finish. Turner swam into eighth place with a time of 48.32. Times continued to improve in the 400 individual medley with Maly’s fourth place time of 3:48.94 being tops for Minnesota. Bushman (3:49.90) and B. Hantanaka (3:56.43) finishing sixth and seventh. Hartbarger rounded out the top 10 in a time of 3:54.78).
The conclusion of day one saw the Maroon and Gold team of Van Swol, Toomey, Turner and Newenhouse held serve to win the 400 yard free relay in 2:52.52.
The series continues Friday and Saturday at the University Aquatic Center.