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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Badgers set to clash with Minnesota in Border Battle

The Wisconsin swim and dive team heads 250 miles west on Thursday for one of its most anticipated meets of the season: the Border Battle against Minnesota.

Last Saturday, the Badgers fell to national powerhouse Auburn in the overall standings, but had some nice individual swims and relays, including two new pool records by senior Cannon Clifton in the 50-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay. Seven athletes already provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in March, and more are hoping to be added to the list in Minneapolis.

The Golden Gophers were supposed to start their season on the road last weekend at Florida State, but the trip was cancelled due to the danger of Hurricane Matthew and will not be rescheduled.

When the Gophers came to Madison last season, the UW dominated the swimming portion of the meet—but Minnesota was lacking two dominant athletes who chose to redshirt for the 2015-’16 season in Kierra Smith and Logan Redondo. The diving portion was another story, as the Gophers swept the boards on both the men’s and women’s side.

It will be interesting to watch how this meet unfolds, as the Badgers and Gophers have nearly opposite strengths—Minnesota is strong in the breaststroke events, individual medley and diving, whereas Wisconsin lights out in the freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events across the board.

There are many Badger swimmers hoping to lower their best times and qualify for NCAA’s, including seniors Dana Grindall, Brett Pinfold, Danielle Valley and Matt Hutchins, all of whom swam at the national meet last year. Juniors Victor Goicoechea and Abby Jagdfeld, who are making their Wisconsin debuts after transferring, will also look to qualify, as well as sophomore Cierra Runge, who is coming off an impressive summer that culminated in an Olympic gold medal.

The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and will be televised on BTN Plus.

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