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.
2015 B1G MEN’s CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, February 25th to Saturday, February 28th
- University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium, Iowa City, IA
- Defending Champions: Michigan (results)
- Live Results
- Live Video
- Championship Central
- Thursday morning timeline/heat sheets
500 FREE – PRELIMS
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.
200 IM – PRELIMS
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.
50 FREE – PRELIMS
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).