Minnesota Makes a Statement With 12 “A-Finalists” in 5 Events on Friday

The Women’s Big Ten Championships shape up to be yet another dogfight between Indiana and Minnesota, who have combined for the conference’s last 5 championships.

Coming into Friday’s prelims session, Minnesota has a 47-point lead over Indiana, but both teams are swimming extremely well.

The events for Friday are the 400 IM, the 100 fly, the 200 free, the 100 breast, the 100 back, 3-meter diving, and in finals the 400 medley relay.

Minnesota had a big morning, and even though Indiana’s strongest event (the 100 back) comes on Friday night, the Gophers should extend their lead by day’s end.

  • Dates: Wednesday, February 19th – Saturday, February 22nd; Prelims 11AM/Finals 6:30PM
  • Location: University Aquatic Center, University of Minnesota  (Central Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Minnesota (2x) (results)
  • Live Results: Available here 
  • Live Video (If available): Available here
  • Championship Central

Women’s 400 IM – prelims

The defending Big Ten Champion in the 400 IM, Indiana’s Dorina Szekeres, cruised to a 4:09.81 for the top seed in the women’s 400 IM. That’s a full second faster than she was in prelims last season, and a full second faster than Michigan’s Marni Oldershaw, who is the 2nd seed in 4:11.04.

The top 5 from last year’s meet in this event are all back in this A-final again in 2014, including Penn State’s Gabi Shishkoff (3rd seed – 4:11.04), Michigan’s Courtney Beidler (4:12.33 – 5th seed), and Minnesota’s Samantha Harding (6th seed – 4:13.56). Harding was the runner-up in this race last year, when she dropped huge from prelims to finals. Given how well she swam in the 500 free, expect her to contend for another top two finish in finals.

Minnesota got a spectacular performance, from a team perspective, to get three swimmers into this A-final. Freshman Breanne Siwicki is the 4th seed in 4:12.30, and Hailey Szews is the 7th seed in 4:13.65. Purdue’s Nina-Karlina Petric is the 8th seed in 4:14.58.

Running, Cumulative session Up/Downs. “Ups” are A-finals, “Downs” are B-finals. Listed in order of standings at the end of Thursday’s finals.

Minnesota – 3 up
Indiana – 1 up
Penn State – 1 up
Ohio State – 2 down
Wisconsin – 3 down
Purdue – 1 up
Michigan – 2 up, 1 down
Nebraska –
Iowa –
Michigan St. – 1 down
Northwestern – 1 down
Illinois –

Women’s 100 fly – prelims

Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro continued her impressive run as a freshman by taking the top seed in the women’s 100 fly on Friday morning with a 51.76. That crushes the Indiana Record (previously held at 52.44 by the great Kate Fesenko), and was just .15 seconds away from the Big Ten Record set by Minnesota’s Becca Weiland.

Weiland, last year’s champion in this race, will be right next to Dalesandro to defend her title thanks to a 52.24 for the 2-seed. Penn State’s Mackenzie Powers will be on Dalesandro’s other side, with a 51.90 in the morning.

Wisconsin’s Ivy Martin swam a 52.80 for the 4th seed, showing just how much she’s developed as a “swimmer” as compared to just a “50 freestyler” this year. That’s two seconds better than she was coming into this season, and last year she swam in the C-Final of this race.

Minnesota put three into this final: Tori Simenec sits 5th with a 52.92, and Devin Ste-Marie is tied with Penn State’s Kathryn Rowe in 53.24 for the 7th seed. Also finaling is Wisconsin’s Rebecka Palm in 52.99.

Running, Cumulative Up/Downs for the session.

Minnesota – 6 up, 1 down (3 up, 1 down this race,)
Indiana – 2 up (1 up this race)
Penn State – 3 up,  1 down (2 up, 1 down this race)
Ohio State – 3 down (1 down this race)
Wisconsin – 2 up, 4 down (2 up, 1 down this race)
Purdue – 1 up, 2 down (2 down this race)
Michigan – 2 up, 2 down (1 down this race)
Nebraska – 1 down (1 down this race)
Iowa –
Michigan St. – 1 down
Northwestern – 1 down
Illinois –

Women’s 200 Free – prelims

Penn State’s Alyson Ackman snuck down from Canada last year and surprised a lot of people when she won the Big Ten title. This year, she’s got the pressure of the title, and so far she’s handled it well with a 1:44.81 in the 200 yard free for the top seed. She closed in a split of 26.53, which is almost a full second faster than the second-seed Jessica Plant of Minnesota was to win her heat in 1:45.67.

Indiana’s Lindsay Vrooman, if she puts herself in the position early, will have the endurance to go with Ackman coming home. She’s the 3rd seed in 1:45.73, and Minnesota’s Kiera Janzen is 4th in 1:45.94.

Purdue scored their second A-finalist of the session, with junior Rhi Sheets swimming a 1:46.03 for the 5th seed; Lauren Votava made it three Gophers in the A-final (her teammate Maddie Hoch would make it four as the 8th seed), and Alex Norris raced to her second top-8 prelims finish of the meet with a 1:46.39 as the 7th seed.

Running up/downs for the session:

Minnesota – 10 up, 1 down (4 up this race)
Indiana – 3 up, 3 down (1 up, 3 down this race)
Penn State – 4 up,  2 down (1 up, 1 down this race)
Ohio State – 1 up, 4 down (1 up, 1 down this race)
Wisconsin – 2 up, 4 down
Purdue – 2 up, 5 down (1 up, 3 down this race)
Michigan – 2 up, 2 down
Nebraska – 1 down
Iowa –
Michigan St. – 1 down
Northwestern – 1 down
Illinois –

Women’s 100 breast – prelims

Indiana’s Bronwyn Pasloski led the way into prelims as the only swimmer under a minute in the 100 breaststroke prelims.  She swam a 59.53, which is her lifetime best and the third-fastest swim in Indiana breaststroke history.

She’s well out in front of the field, with a tight group for the 2-8 spots. Michigan’s Angie Chokran is the two-seed in 1:00.54, followed by Minnesota’s 200 specialist Kierra Smith (1:00.69) and Penn State’s Melissa Rodriguez (1:00.71).

Iowa got their first scoring-finalist of the meet with freshman Emma Sougstad tying for 5th with Ohio State’s Ashley Vance in 1:00.90. Sougstad is one of three Hawkeyes who will swim in the A-or-B finals of this race for points tonight.

Ohio State’s Taylor Vargo (1:01.07) and Wisconsin’s Anna Meinholz (1:01.16) were 7th and 8th, respectively.

Running up/downs for the session:

Minnesota – 11 up, 2 down (1 up, 1 down this race)
Indiana – 4 up, 3 down (1 up this race)
Penn State – 5 up,  3 down (1 up, 1 down this race)
Ohio State – 3 up, 5 down (2 up, 1 down this race)
Wisconsin – 3 up, 4 down (1 up this race)
Purdue – 2 up, 6 down (1 down this race)
Michigan – 3 up, 2 down (1 up this race)
Nebraska – 1 down
Iowa – 1 up, 2 down (1 up, 2 down this race)
Michigan St. – 2 down (1 down this race)
Northwestern – 2 down (1 down this race)
Illinois –

Women’s 100 Back – prelims

At last year’s Big Ten Championship meet, Indiana had three swimmers in the A final and four scorers overall. This year, they’ve made an even stronger stand at the end of the Friday morning session, with four swimmers in the A final and 1 in the B final.

That includes sophomore Brooklynn Snodgrass, who is looking to defend her title with a 51.95 (faster than she was to win the Big Ten last season). Also into the A-final was Allie Day (53.36 – 5th seed), plus Justine Ress and Cynthia Pammett (53.84 – tied for 7th). If any of those other three can sneak up into the top half of the A final, it will have a huge impact on Indiana’s chances at this meet.

Penn State’s Mackenzie Powers is the 2nd seed in 52.80, and Michigan’s Ali Deloof is the 3rd seed in 53.21.

Zoe Mattingly pulled the tough 100 fly/100 back double, and was better in this 100 back with a 53.33 for the 4th seed. If she does qualify for NCAA’s, look for Michigan to break up that double.

Minnesota’s lone A-finalists is senior Tess Behrens in 53.52.

Illinois junior Alison Meng was 9th in prelims in 53.94. That crushed her own school record of 55.11, and is lined up to be their first individual scorer of the meet.

Final session up/downs

Minnesota – 12 up, 3 down (1 up, 1 down this race)
Indiana – 8 up, 4 down (4 up, 1 down this race)
Penn State – 6 up,  4 down (1 up, 1 down this race)
Ohio State – 3 up, 5 down
Wisconsin – 3 up, 5 down (1 down this race)
Purdue – 2 up, 7 down (1 down this race)
Michigan – 5 up, 2 down (2 up this race)
Nebraska – 1 down
Iowa – 1 up, 3 down (1 down this race)
Michigan St. – 2 down
Northwestern – 3 down (1 down this race)
Illinois – 1 down (1 down this race)

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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