Michigan looks to be careening towards its fifth-straight Big Ten title on the men’s side, and holds an 81-point lead heading into the final night of action in Iowa City.
The Wolverines are the top seeds in every event. Most notable is defending NCAA champion Dylan Bosch, who leads the 200 fly field. Bosch’s U.S. Open record was broken earlier this week by Texas Longhorn Jack Conger, and this will be Bosch’s first opportunity to fire back before the two potentially meet at the national championships in a few months.
Star breaststroker Richard Funk is the top seed in the 200 breast, leading Indiana’s Tanner Kurz by two tenths.
The 100 free should be a great multi-team battle, with Michigan’s Bruno Ortiz leading Cannon Clifton (Wisconsin), Blake Pieroni (Indiana), Josh Fleagle (Ohio State) and Shane Ryan (Penn State). All four were under 43 seconds this morning, as was Ohio State’s Michael DiSalle. Ryan is the defending conference champ in the event and Fleagle was the conference champ in the 200 free last night.
The final top seed for Michigan is freshman Tristan Sanders, who leads the 200 back over Penn State’s Nate Savoy.
Stay tuned to this page for live, event-by-event recaps of each race, and check out @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for second-by-second updates.
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
- Friday Finals Timeline/Heat Sheets
1650 Free – Timed Finals
Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky provided the opening fireworks of the night with a crushing 1650 freestyle. He trailed Michigan freshman PJ Ransford for the first 600, but his patience paid off as he went right by Ransford with still well over half the race to go.
Wilimovsky smashed the standing pool record in the 1000 to his feet at the flip turn (8:45.66) and ultimately broke Connor Jaeger‘s pool record with a 14:33.50 in the total 1650. That time jumps to #1 in the NCAA by a good five seconds and shook the Big Ten meet record set by Chris Thompson all the way back in 2001.
Ransford held on for second, going 14:49.63. Minnesota’s CJ Smith started reeling in Ransford from about the 1000 on, but just ran out of pool and had to settle for 3rd in 14:52.34. Ransford will rank 7th nationally and Smith 11th.
Also under the big 15-minute barrier: Anders Nielsen of Michigan (14:57.38) and Brayden Seal of Ohio State (14:58.37). Those two teams are the current leaders, with Ohio State needing a monster night to run down the Wolverines.
Wisconsin’s 500 free champ Matt Hutchins was 15:04.07 for sixth before another Michigan Wolverine came in, this time freshman Ian Rainey in 15:09.59. Rounding out the top 8 was Indiana rookie Ethan Curl at 15:10.10.
Former NCAA champ Drew teDuits picked up the Big Ten title and a new pool record with a huge back half, going 1:40.30. The Wisconsin Badger actually turned a the 100-mark tied with Penn State’s Nate Savoy for second in a field with six swimmers within two tenths of a second at the halfway mark.
Ohio State senior Rowan Williams was leading at that point, but only .03 seconds up on teDuits and Savoy. Savoy took the lead at the 150, but teDuits came home in 25.67, the only guy under 26 on the final 50, to go 1:40.30. Savoy was just a tick behind in 1:40.60.
Williams wound up third with a 1:41.17, and his senior teammate Steven Zimmerman was 1:41.43 to finish two spots back. Between the two Buckeyes was a swimmer from rival Michigan, freshman Aaron Whitaker in 1:41.39. Whitaker’s freshman teammate Tristan Sanders went 1:42.19 for 6th behind Zimmerman.
Rounding out the A final were Connor McDonald, the third Buckeye senior in the final, in 1:42.39, and Wisconsin’s Austin Byrd (1:44.09).
Michigan broke through with their first win of the night in the 100 free, with senior Bruno Ortiz rattling off a 42.63 to take home the win.
That didn’t quite match Ortiz’s pool-record morning swim, which was a bit of a theme in this event – quite a few swimmers failed to match their prelims swim.
One who did was Ohio State’s Josh Fleagle, but only narrowly. The 200 free champ went 42.75, taking .04 off his prelims time and leading Ortiz at the halfway-point and winding up second.
Ahead of both Ortiz and Fleagle at the 50-turn was Wisconsin’s Cannon Clifton, looking for two wins in a row for the Badgers. But Clifton fell to 3rd in 42.80, a tick off his morning swim.
Indiana took the next two spots, with Anze Tavcar going 43.08 and freshman Blake Pieroni 43.25. Ohio State’s Michael DiSalle battle Pieroni the whole way but faded to 6th late in 43.29, and just a tick behind was Michigan’s 50 free champ Paul Powers in 43.32.
Meanwhile last year’s Big Ten champ Shane Ryan of Penn State dropped all the way down to 8th, adding over half a second to his morning swim in 43.47.
Wisconsin’s Brett Pinfold won the B final in 43.20 as the Badgers are starting to break away from Minnesota and Purdue in the race for fourth.
Michigan still leads handily, 115 up on Ohio State with Indiana a solid third.
And just as soon as we said Wisconsin was starting to lose Purdue in that team race, the Boilermakers struck back by taking two of the top three spots in the 200 breast. Senior Lyam Dias won the conference title, going 1:53.92 to shatter the pool record and finish just off an NCAA A cut.
Meanwhile freshman Marat Amaltdinov went 1:54.33 for third place. Between the two was Indiana’s Tanner Kurz in 1:54.23 in a new-look 200 breaststroke from years past.
That’s because longtime Big Ten breaststroke dominator Cody Miller has graduated from the Hoosiers, and annual powerhouse Richard Funk faded all the way to 5th in 1:54.77. Funk would appear to be saving some of his rest for NCAAs, finishing well over two seconds off his best.
Fourth went to the home team, with Iowa’s Roman Trussov. The junior’s 1:54.57 snuck in ahead of Funk.
Wisconsin’s Nick Schafer was 1:55.02, with Ohio State’s DJ MacDonald 1:55.66 for 7th. Meanwhile Minnesota’s IM star Jakub Maly closed down the A final with a 1:55.94 for 8th.
It was Michigan’s Chris Klein who won the B heat, going 1:55.08 to take 9th overall with a pair of Golden Gophers (freshman Conner McHugh and sophomore Spencer Mattox) right behind.
Wisconsin is still up 41 points on Minnesota for fourth, with Purdue now 44.5 back. That should make for an interesting finish as the Gophers and Boilermakers should outscore the Badgers in diving, perhaps bringing things right down to the final relay.
Michigan’s Dylan Bosch wrapped up the 200 fly title and likely the team title for Michigan and the Swimmer of the Meet award with his 1:40.75 in the final individual swimming race of the meet.
Bosch, the reigning NCAA Champ, moves to #2 in the NCAA this season, behind only new American record-holder Jack Conger of Texas, who set the mark in a time trial earlier this week. If Conger elects to swim the event at NCAAs, we could see a showdown of epic proportions that very well could bring the mark down below 1:39 for the first time in history.
(Update: about 20 minutes after Bosch’s swim, Texas freshman Joseph Schooling went 1:40.59 at the Big 12 Championships, bumping Bosch to #3 in the NCAA).
The Wolverines went 1-2 in the event, with Evan White pulling out a 1:42.32 for runner-up honors. They beat Ohio State senior Tamas Gercsak‘s 1:43.81 for that 1-2 punch.
Indiana’s Steve Schmuhl was 1:44.01, solidly in fourth place, and Purdue swept the next two spots with Daniel Conway (1:45.09) and Guillermo Blanco (1:45.32).
Barely behind Blanco were Wisconsin’s Nicholas Caldwell (1:45.37) as well as Indiana’s Max Irwin (1:45.46).
Heading into the diving break, Michigan has grown its lead to nearly 140 over Ohio State, and Indiana is nearly 100 behind the Buckeyes. Meanwhile Wisconsin still runs third with Purdue 31.5 back and Minnesota trailing by 56.
Wisconsin has no divers set to score, while Purdue has 4 up and 1 down, and Minnesota 2 up and 2 down.
Indiana completed a sweep of the diving events with completely fresh Big Ten faces as freshman James Conner took home the platform title with 532.45 points.
Conner also won the 3-meter event, while sophomore transfer Michael Hixon took home the 1-meter title on day 1. Hixon surprisingly missed the championship final entirely, taking 11th.
Purdue freshman Steele Johnson continued a great rookie season with a second-place finish at 510.20. Those two were well ahead of the rest of the group.
Purdue senior Nathan Cox headed that next wave in 463.35, with Minnesota’s Matt Barnard (425.70) just behind. Yet another Boilermaker, Jamie Bissett, was fifth in 401.40, and he wasn’t even the last Purdue diver in the A flight. The final Boilermaker was Sean Mokhtari, who got 8th with 357.60 points.
In between were Iowa’s Addison Boschult (387.20) and Minnesota’s Dylan Zoe (377.40). Zoe’s Gopher teammate Manny Pollard won the B final with 397.10 points.
That shook up the team scores from places 4-6 dramatically. Purdue vaulted into 4th with 383.5, more than 30 ahead of Wisconsin. The Badgers lead Minnesota by just less than 20 heading into the final relay.
400 Free Relay
Punctuating their big weekend, Michigan broke the Big Ten meet and conference record in the 400 free relay with a big 3:50.14 performance. That team included Paul Powers, Justin Glanda, Anders Nielsen and Bruno Ortiz and went faster than the super-suited 2009 Michigan team went to set the record. That 2009 team included Olympian Tyler Clary.
Ortiz was the rainmaker, going 41.62 on his anchor split, out in 19.81 to his feet at the 50. The freshman Powers led off in 42.90 and the other two were solid 42s (Glanda 42.76 and Nielsen 42.86) for the Wolverines.
Indiana took second, getting a 42.07 from freshman Blake Pieroni. That’s a great swim for Pieroni, over a second faster than his individual 100 free from earlier in the night. Sophomore Anze Tavcar was also 42.94 on the leadoff leg as the Hoosiers went 2:51.45.
Ohio State rounded out the top 3, getting a 42.30 anchor leg from Michael DiSalle and a 42.85 from Matt McHugh to go 2:52.50. Wisconsin, meanwhile, took fourth in 2:52.93, beating OSU until DiSalle’s leg. Wisconsin’s top split was the 42.72 leadoff leg of Cannon Clifton.
Penn State was fifth in 2:53.19 and Minnesota sixth with a 2:55.54. The other suitor for fourth place as a team, Purdue, was way back in 9th at 2:57.02, but their diving boost was still enough to earn third-place honors over Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Michigan capped off a dominating night with a win in 760 points, 137 more than Ohio State. Indiana could never make up enough ground at a time on the deep Buckeyes, and wound up third, 72 back of OSU.
Final Team Scores:
- Michigan – 760
- Ohio State – 623
- Indiana – 551
- Purdue – 401.5
- Wisconsin – 382
- Minnesota – 359
- Penn State – 232
- Iowa – 230.5
- Northwestern – 181
- Michigan State – 82