2015 B1G Men’s Championships: Day 2 Prelims Real-Time Recap

by Retta Race 8

February 26th, 2015 Big Ten, College, News, Previews & Recaps

Tight races are on the menu for Day 2 of the B1G Men’s Championships, as we will see our first day of individual events after last night’s thrilling night of relays.  On tap today, we first see top seed Anders Nielsen (Michigan) take on Wisconsin’s Matthew Hutchins, Indiana’s Jackson Miller, and Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky in the 500 free.  Last year at B1G’s, it took 4:18.89 to make it into the finals in this event.

The 200 IM heats will showcase the B1G conference’s top swimmer in the event so far this season in Michigan’s Dylan Bosch, last year’s runner-up in this event.  With how Bosch has been throwing down solid times since late October, it seems to be his event to lose at this year’s champinoships.  Teammate Evan White and Minnesota swimmer Jakob Maly will certainly put up a fight and try to successfully position themselves to make tonight’s final.

Two Wolverines rank in the NCAA’s top 20 for the 50 freestyle and, thus, sit as the top two seeds going into prelims this morning.  Senior Bruno Ortiz and freshman Paul Powers will lead heats 8 and 9, respectively, and try to fend off several viable opponents, such as Iowa’s Jackson Halsmer, Northwestern’s Almog Olshtein and Wisconsin’s Cannon Clifton in a race in which anything can happen.


Catching Up


Minnesota won the first 3 heats of the 500 free with its sophomore Michael Nunan representing the first swimmer under the 4:20-mark on the day (4:19.60).  However, Michigan’s PJ Ransford and Indiana’s Jackson Miller took things up a notch as they engaged in a head-to-head battle in heat 5 to drop the newest top time of the morning to 4:17.23 (Ransford).  In that heat Miller touched just .03 behind in 4:17.26.  The result is a 4th and 5th seeded position for the freshman and sophomore, respectively, headed into tonight’s finals.

Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky took control of heat 6, topping the entire field to that point in a swift 4:15.62 to slide into the 8th-fastest time in the country and into the 2nd seed when all was said and done after prelims.  But, Anders Nielsen led wire-to-wire in the final heat with his easy-speed-swim of 4:14.84 to tie the pool record (set by recent graduate Connor Jaeger set in 2012) and move him into 5th-fastest in the nation, beating his previous season best of 4:15.90 (converted).  Jaeger was last year’s B1G title winner in this event with his time of 4:12.52.

Additional swimmers in the top 8: Matt Hutchins (Wisconsin) for 3rd, Brayden Seal (OSU) for 6th, Justin Glanda (Michigan) in 7th, and CJ Smith (Minnesota) for 8th seed.  As a whole, the Wolverines retain 5 of 7 swimmers for tonight’s finals, with 3 up and 2 down to lay claim to a solid point showing in this event alone.


Jon Thielen (Minnesota) held the top time of 1:46.20 through 6 heats this morning, until the trio of Nate Savoy (PSU), Tristan Sanders (Michigan), Steve Zimmerman (OSU) stepped up to the blocks in heat 7 to tear the race wide open.  The three would finish within about two tenths of one another to start the time descension through the remaining heats.  Savoy finished in 5th overall with a time of 1:45.03, while Sanders claimed the 7th seed in 1:45.23 and Zimmerman hung on for the 8th position in 1:45.25.

Michigan freshman Evan White was the first swimmer of the morning to crack 1:45, clocking a super fast 1:44.13 to knock over a second off of his season best.  However, as most expected, Michigan’s Dylan Bosch just dominated the final heat, dropping a 1:42.21 to become tonight’s top seed by over a body length, while at the same time setting a new pool record.

Additional qualifiers within the top 8 is as follows: Guillermo Blanco in 3rd (Purdue, 1:44.57), Blake Pieroni in 4th (IU, 1:44.82), and Mike Hurley in 6th (IU, 1:45.04).  As perspective, last year’s 8th-qualifying time was 1:45.25.


The 50 free was as electrifying as ever, with a young “pool” of talent intermingled with veteran athletes all in the name of fierce, unrelenting speed.  Freshman Wolverine powerhouse Paul Powers raced to the top seed this morning in a blistering 19.21, a time which lowers his won Michigan team record of 19.51 set just last week.  Powers was also the only NCAA automatic qualifier to come out of this morning’s prelims.

Next fastest this morning was another freshman, Indiana’s Ali Khalafalla, who clocked a 19.46 to dip under the 20.00-mark for a career best time.  3rd seed was earned by Wisconsin Badger Cannon Clifton, who clocked a 19.52 to mark a huge time drop for the sophomore who, previous to today, had only dipped under 20.0 once in his college career – a 19.99 at last year’s B1G championships.

Vinny Tafuto from Michigan slid into the 4th seed in a 19.53, almost a full half second faster than where he was at the B1G championships last year (19.94).  Tafuto is joined by senior teammate Bruno Ortiz who touched the wall in 19.63 for the 7th seed.

Others within the top 8 include PSU’s Shane Ryan (19.59) and two Ohio State Buckeyes in Josh Fleagle (19.60) and Michael Disalle (19.72).

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Freshmen go 1-2 in the 50 free. Powers in 19.21 and Khalafalla in 19.46.


Great time for Powers tho I was a little surprised that 19.21 was a Wolverine record, and that’s quite a feat for a freshman given all the good Wolverine sprinters listed by Coach Chackett above.

Coach Chackett

Go Blue! Michigan Rocks the preliminaries. Finals are where points are scored, but here’s scores based on prelim results.
Michigan OSU Indiana Wisc MN NW PSU IA Pur MSU
Wed Sc 80 64 58 56 58 54 22 50 48 32

500 FR 51 22 14 23 17 22 4 2 0 0
131 86 72 79 75 76 26 52 48 32

200IM 49 19 35 14 8 0 14 0 16 0
180 105 107 93 83 76 40 52 64 32

50 FR 50 30 31 16 2 7 14 4 1 0
230 135 138 109 85 83 54 56 65 32

Michigan 230
Indiana 138
OSU 135
Wisconsin 109
Minnesota 85
Northwestern 83
Purdue 65
Iowa 56
Penn State 54
Michigan St 32.

Spartans get no swimmers into the scoring individual events.
OSU / Indiana Divers will probably score.

Coach Chackett

Michigan needs to improve its 50 FR times, and has a new record today! However, there were several Michigan swimmers under 19.51 before last week.

Top Michigan times at 19.51 until today.

1. Bruno Ortiz 19.27 2013 B1G
2. Miguel Ortiz 19.31p 2013 NCAA
3. Brent Lang 19.36 1990
4. Zachary Turk 19.39p 2013 B1G
5. Chris Brady 19.46 2009 B10
6. Gustavo Borges 19.48 1993
7. Bobby Savulich 19.51p 2009 B10

Coach Landon

Expert analysis as always. I expect U of M to at least hold if not improve on their of seeds tonight.

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