400 yard medley relay
Wisconsin’s Maggie Meyer got her relay off in a great split of 51.88, nearly 2 seconds ahead of Minnesota’s Hannah Whitehead. From that point, the Gophers began to slowly reel the leaders back in, thanks to a 58.2 breaststroke split from Jillian Tyler and a 52.0 butterfly split from Kaylee Jamison. This put them in a perfect position headed into the freestyle leg, where Allison Eggers hit the water right on the hip of Wisconsin’s Beckie Thompson. Unfortunately for the Gophers, Thompson shifted over just to the far side of the lane, and had enough on the finish to hold on to the win for the Badgers. The final times were 3:32.47 for Wisconsin and 3:33.69 for Minnesota. Wisconsin’s time is the second-best in the country thus far, behind only the NCAA favorites USC.
Indiana was third with a time of 3:34.68. Other notable splits from the race were matching 48.0’s from Penn State’s Samantha Palser and Ohio State’s Megan Detro. These marks set up both of these swimmers as contenders in the women’s individual 100 free.
400 yard IM
In this morning’s preliminary rounds, Indiana’s Allysa Vavra broke the Big Ten record by almost a second. Not being satisfied by this result, she decided that she’d give things a little extra gas in finals, where she lowered the record by almost another full second: touching in first in 4:04.59.
By the 200 yard mark, she already had almost a two body-length lead, and after pushing through a 1:09 breaststroke, had stretched the lead to nearly 8 yards. With a huge lead, Vavra came back to the field a little bit on the freestyle leg, but still won by (exactly) 3 seconds ahead of Michigan’s Mattie Kukors (little sister of World Record holder Ariana) who went 4:07.59.
Vavra’s teammate Ashley Jones, along with Kukors, both had huge 4 second improvements from their prelims times. Jones was third in 4:07.83. Minnesota was without an A-finalist in this event, and so lost roughly 35 more points to Indiana. Wisconsin’s Monika Stitski was fifth in 4:14.84.
100 yard butterfly
By this point in the meet, the Indiana Hoosiers had begun to put a big gap between themselves and the rest of the Big Ten, but without them entering a single A-finalist, Minnesota had a big opportunity here. Kaylee Jamison was the third seed after prelims, but only a couple of tenths separated her from the leader. The race came down to the final touch, and Jamison just didn’t have the timing to pull off the mild upset, and instead was third in 52.95. Still, she couldn’t be disappointed with the swim, as it was the first time in her career that she had broken the 53-second barrier.
The winner of the race was Michigan’s Caitlin Dauw. Her 52.41 was .02 off of the meet record, and was a career-best time for her as well. In between those two was Penn State’s MacKenzie Powers in 52.72.
Wisconsin’s Rebecka Palm and Karlyn Houghan finished fourth and fifth in an event that the Badgers had to win (and definitely had the potential to). With this race, they’re probably unofficially-officially out of contention for the Big Ten Championship, leaving Indiana and Minnesota (hanging by a thread) to duke it out.
Though Indiana was without an A-finalist, Minnesota again couldn’t slam home a golden opportunity, as the Hoosiers finished 9th and 10th (Brittany Barwegen and Brenna MacLean respectively) to hold on to their big lead.
200 yard freestyle
Ohio State’s Sam Cheverton had a big-time bounceback swim, after a bit of a slide in the 500 free final last night, to take the 200 free (her best event) in 1:44.56, which lowered her own school record. In the process, she fought of a race loaded with Indianans, as the final also included 5 Indiana Hoosiers, a Purdue Boilermaker, and a teammate that rounded out the A-final.
In second was Brittany Strumbel, who had a sizable lead headed into the last 50 before Cheverton kicked hard. She was outtouched, just back, in 1:45.63, and her teammate Margaux Farrell was third in 1:45.39. The Hoosiers put up an incredible 73 points in this event, which all but sealed the meet for them (barring DQ’s and disaster) after Minnesota could secure only 8.
100 yard breaststroke
Jillian Tyler is an absolute model of the perfect, modern breaststroke. She is low to the water, without a single unnecessary motion or wasted momentum with her upper body, and powerful legs that carry her through. Her time of 58.08 in this meet was the third-fastest swim ever, suits or not, moving her head of Rebecca Soni. Now all that’s left are Annie Chandler’s NCAA record of 58.06, set last year, and the U.S. Open (aka world) record nabbed by Tara Kirk in 2006 at 57.77. This was truly a world-class performance and one of the best you will ever see in yards.
Ashley Wanland was able to earn a little redemption for the Badgers, who have not had their best meet, by jumping Tyler’s teammate Haley Spencer and taking second. Wanland touched in 59.65, and Spencer was third in 59.75. Those are both good for NCAA automatic bids. Indiana’s Ashley Specht was fourth in a lifetime best of 1:00.72.
100 yard backstroke
The Wisconsin Badgers finally got the break that they’ve been seeking the whole meet when Maggie Meyer picked up a big win in the 100 backstroke. While her competitors all lunged for the wall, Meyer seemed to have eyes in the back of her head and swam right through it. She almost appeared to swim right under the finishes of the lanes around her, and that perfect touch was just enough to get her under the fifty-two second barrier (and pool record) in 51.99.
Indiana’s Taylor Wohrley had a great last 25, but was unable to recover from a slow start, and finished second in 52.28. Purdue’s Allison Smith was third in 52.81.
Diving Results and Final Team Scores will be updated after the conclusion of the 3-meter.
Team Scores through 3 Days (without 3-meter finals)
With well over a 100 point lead headed into the final day of competition, Indiana seems to have things sealed up. The Gophers would have to make up about 20 points per event, which seems unlikely given how good Indiana is in the 200 back (three out of the top 5 seeds) and 100 back (two out of the top 5 seeds). At this point, the teams seem to be swimming for individual titles and NCAA Championship berths. Wisconsin, who some had even picked to win this meet, is still lingering back in seventh place. They should move up from there, but much higher than 5th is going to be a tall order. Ohio State and Penn State should continue to be a great battle in the scoring column. Both teams have strong events and weak events on the last day, but Penn State could pick up wins in both the 200 fly (Alexandra Young) and 200 back (Amy Modglin), which makes me give them the slight edge, despite a small deficit.
1. Indiana 490
2. Minnesota 365
3. Ohio State 287
4. Penn State 275
5. Michigan 245
6. Purdue 233.5
7. Wisconsin 226.5
8. Northwestern 130
9. Iowa 104
10. Illinois 68
11. Michigan State 67