- When: Wednesday, February 25th to Saturday, February 28th
- Where: University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium, Iowa City, IA (Central Time Zone)
- Defending Champions: Michigan (results)
- Live Results
- Live Video: see Championship Central
- Championship Central
We’re minutes away from the opening events of the 2015 Men’s Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships, the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay. The Michigan Wolverines (winners of both relays last year) are probably the favorites on paper, but both relays are more up for grabs than they were a year before.
200 Medley Relay
Never mind on the “up for grabs” thing; this one was all Wolverines. Bringing three new swimmers to the blocks from last year’s winning relay, Michigan posted the fastest splits across all four legs (excluding Penn State’s DQ) en route to a new pool record and NCAA-leading time of 1:23.47.
Aaron Whitaker – 21.55
Bruno Ortiz – 22.77
Jeremy Raisky – 20.15
Paul Powers – 19.00
Two of the new swimmers were part of a highly-touted Wolverine freshman class (Whitaker and Powers), and the third has been a relative unknown commodity for anyone outside the most intense of swim nerds (Raisky). Ortiz, who was also on the U.S. Open record-setting team from 2013 NCAA’s, was the lone returner from last season.
While the freshmen were good and Raisky was very good, Ortiz’s 22.77 breaststroke was the big difference here. That will keep the Wolverines in clear[er] water heading into the final two legs at NCAA’s.
Archrival Ohio State was a distant second in 1:25.18. Matt McHugh was a solid 20.38 over the butterfly leg for the Buckeyes. Iowa was strong across all four legs for third in 1:25.53, also under the ‘A’ standard.
Note: Penn State was disqualified in the event for an early takeoff from anchor leg Shane Ryan. The Nittany Lions elected to time trial the event, where they finished in 1:25.48, under the NCAA ‘A’ qualifying standard.
800 Freestyle Relay
Freshman Blake Pieroni got the Indiana Hoosiers out in front on the opening leg with a nation-leading 1:33.10, but Anders Nielsen and Michigan were too much for the field. The Wolverines didn’t get under the 6:10 mark like last season (it’s hard to repeat that feat when you lose Michael Wynalda and Connor Jaeger), but their final time of 6:12.20 is good for the top time in the nation this year.
Justin Glanda – 1:34.22
Anders Nielsen – 1:32.19
Jack Mangan – 1:33.46
Dylan Bosch – 1:32.33
Nielsen and Bosch were the standouts from a time perspective here, utilizing excellent underwaters the entire way, but Mangan is the real story. After not being a big contributor in the pool last season, it looks like Mangan could be a big points-scorer for Michigan.
What remains to be seen is if Michigan can come close to duplicating this performance at NCAA’s. The 800 free relay is a completely different beast between the two meets, and the Wolverines don’t have the best history with it in recent years.
Wisconsin jumped into second behind a great anchor leg from Nick Caldwell (1:33.13) to finish second in 6:16.30. Indiana settled for third in 6:16.82 after Pieroni’s stellar leadoff. Ohio State, fourth in 6:22.65, was also under the NCAA ‘A’ standard.
Men – Team Rankings – Through Event 2 (direct from live results
1. Michigan, University of 80 2. Ohio State University 64
3. Indiana University 58 3. University of Minnesota 58
5. Wisconsin, University of, Madi 56 6. Northwestern University 54
7. Iowa, University of 50 8. Purdue University 48
9. Michigan State University 32 10. Pennsylvania State University 22