2016 Women’s Big Ten Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


  • When: Wednesday, February 17th to Saturday, February 20th | Prelims 11am | Finals 6:30pm
  • Where: Canham Natatorium, Ann Arbor, MI (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Minnesota Gophers (4x) (results)
  • Meet Preview
  • Live Results
  • Streaming: Big Ten Network
  • Championship Central: here

The battle for first place between Michigan and Indiana is heating and has no choice but to boil over during tonight’s final session in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines stand just 45.5 ahead of the Hoosiers with a handful of events to determine the 2016 conference champion.

Top 5 Team Scores Through Day 3:

  1. Michigan, 891
  2. Indiana, 845.5
  3. Minnesota, 612.5
  4. Ohio State, 577
  5. Purdue, 498.5

Headed into the final night of the Big Ten Championships, both Michigan and Indiana look to return a huge amount of swimmers to scoring positions tonight. Michigan will see 16 swimmers return to Indiana’s 15, although the Hoosiers claim the most A-Final slots with 6 total. Plus, we have the ever-intense 400 freestyle relay tonight, which add major points to the winner’s kitty and very well may be the deciding factor in this heated race to the finish.

1650 FREESTYLE (Last Heat, Timed Final)

Top 3:

  1. Lindsey Clary, Ohio State – 15:49.48
  2. Yirong (Rose) Bi, Michigan – 15:50.56
  3. Gillian Ryan, Michigan – 15:59.35

With last year’s Big Ten Champion Rebecca Stoughton (Iowa) having graduated, the 1650 title was ripe for the taking tonight and a Buckeye stepped up to grab it. Last year’s runner-up, Lindsey Clary of Ohio State broke through the stacked final to claim the win in a time of 15:49.98, her best time by over 11 seconds.

Clary’s mark tonight came after an extremely hard-fought battle with Michigan’s Yirong (Rose) Bi who finished just behind in a time of 15:50.56. Both women slid under the previous meet record of 15:51.20 held by Indiana graduate-turned-American National Teamer Lindsay Vrooman, which stood at 15:51.20 from 2013.

Clary now owns the pool record and her Buckeye program record with her impressive outing tonight. She won the 400 IM earlier, so that’ two individual titles for the Ohio State junior. As a credit to her will to win, Bi’s final 50 split was a 26.86, super swift for the end of a mile race, but not enough to take over the Clary at the end. Bi and Clary were in a league of their own tonight, as the next best finisher touched almost 9 seconds later.

Still, with top seeded Gillian Ryan claiming the 3rd spot on the podium in the event tonight (15:59.35), the Wolverines picked up a huge 55 points from the night’s first A-Final. Ryan was in the lead through the first 200 or so, but didn’t take off when Clary and Bi started to pick up the pace, staying in the 29 range for her 50’s, as opposed to Clary’s and Bi’s 28-mids and highs. Ryan did get under 16:00 and clock the 4th-fastest of her career.

The top ten in the 1650 all slid under the 2015 Invite time of 16:17.36, while Clary and Bi nabbed NCAA A cuts with their ultimate dual.


Top 3:

  1. Clara Smiddy, Michigan – 1:51.57
  2. Kennedy Goss, Indiana – 1:52.18
  3. Halime Zulal Zeren, Ohio State – 1:54.52

And Michigan’s Clara Smiddy scored her second Big Ten title of 2016, sweeping the backstroke events with her win tonight in the 200m event. Smiddy owned the race from start to finish, clocking splits of 26.32/27.85/28.21/29.19 for the victory over 2nd place Kennedy Goss from Indiana.

Smiddy was able to improve upon her 2nd place finish from last year, as well as drop almost two tenths from her time at that edition of the meet to notch her 3rd sub-1:52 mark of her career.

Goss put up a big fight, especially towards the end where she out-split Smiddy on her final 50, closing in 28.08. But the Hoosier sophomore just ran out of real estate and settled for 2nd place tonight, touching in 1:52.18, still a career-best.  Ohio State got on the board again, this time courtesy of Halime Zulal Zeren, who rounded out the top three with her swim of 1:54.52, about .4 of a second swifter than her morning swim.

Smiddy was the only swimmer to clinch an NCAA A cut with her outing tonight, although both Goss and Zeren dipped under the 2015 NCAA D1 Invite time of 1:54.66

Team Score Watch Through Event 16: Michigan 1050, Indiana 968.5.


Top 3:

  1. Siobhan Haughey, Michigan – 47.71
  2. Zhesi (Liz) Li, Ohio State – 47.72
  3. Ali DeLoof, Michigan – 47.96

Holy sprinting – the 100 freestyle came down to the finest of time differences, as just .01 of a second separated the 1st and 2nd place finishers, while all of the top 3 swimmers overtook the pool record in a memorable race.

Heading to the top of the podium tonight is Wolverine Siobhan Haughey, who as a freshman, just earned her third Big Ten title. Haughey is the first Michigan swimmer to accomplish a triple-title feat since Kaitlyn Brady in 2006. Haughey proved she is a huge threat across multiple events, having already racked up wins in the 200 IM and 200 freestyle.

47.71 is what it took for Haughey to blast to the wall first, surging in the final 12 yards when it looked like the race was going to come down to Ohio State’s Zhesi (Liz) Li and Michigan’s Ali DeLoof. Haughey held back during the first 50, only to unleash a final 25 of 12.13 to steal the win away from Li and score an NCAA automatic-qualifying time.

For her part, Li was ahead of the pack for most of the race, albeit slightly, characterized by beautiful, stand-out underwaters after each turn. However, Li scored a final 25 split of 12.39 to ‘fade’ to 2nd place – by just .01. Li’s time of 47.72 marks a new Buckeye program record and an NCAA A cut.

Right in the mix from start to finish was last year’s runner-up DeLoof, who wound up touching in a time of 47.96. DeLoof’s outing was still phenomenal, as the swim marks first time this senior has ever been sub-48. In fact it’s the first time each of the top 3 swimmers notched sub-48 second times.

Last year’s invite time was 48.89, so the top 6 in this race exceeded that mark. Besides the top 3, Minnesota’s Lauren Votava (48.48), Penn State’s Alyson Ackman (48.67) and Wisconsin’s Chase Kinney (48.70) also clear 2015’s invite mark.

Team Score Watch Through Event 17: Michigan 1138, Indiana 1009.5.


Top 3:

  1. Lilly King, Indiana, 2:05.58
  2. Miranda Tucker, Indiana – 2:06.52
  3. Emily Fogle, Purdue – 2:08.07

Huge points for Indiana in the best-case scenario for the Hoosiers in this 200 breaststroke race. Freshman Lilly King stepped up again, successfully sweeping the meet’s breaststroke events by nabbing the 200m title tonight in a new conference championship meet record of 2:05.58. King surged to the lead early and held on, splitting 59.60, the only sub-minute opening 100 of the field. Her 2nd 100 came in at 1:05.98, making King’s overall time so swift, it would have taken 2nd place at last year’s NCAA Championships. King’s effort also makes her the 8th-fastest performer of all time in the event.

Right behind her was teammate (another freshman breaststroking phenom) Miranda Tucker, who stopped the clock less than a second later in 2:06.52. Tucker opened in 1:00.44 and closed in 1:06.08 to give Indiana much-needed 2nd place points in the race. Tucker’s time also was faster than last year’s 2nd place swimmer at the NCAA Championship meet.

Both King and Tucker claimed NCAA automatic qualifying times, as well as slid under the pool record mark.

Purdue’s Emily Fogle improved her 6th place position from this same meet last year in spades, notching the 3rd place position tonight in 2:08.07. Even if Fogle swam her season-best time of 2:07.30 from last November, she wouldn’t have caught the Hoosier leaders tonight.

2:11.23 was the time needed to get the invite to last year’s NCAA Championships, so tonight’s top 6 swimmers dipped under that mark as a testament to how fast this discipline is in the Big Ten.

Team Score Watch Through Event 18: Michigan 1217, Indiana 1069.5.


Top 3:

  1. Gia Dalesandro, Indiana – 1:54.77
  2. Danielle Nack, Minnesota – 1:56.55
  3. Dana Grindall, Wisconsin – 1:56.60

Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro crushed her 3rd consecutive Big Ten title in the 200 butterfly, charging into the wall in a final time of 1:54.77. Although her personal best stands at the 1:53.95 she scored back as a freshman, the now-junior Dalesandro hacked over a second off of her morning mark of 1:56.13 and led start to finish in what looked like her race to lose. Just shy of the NCAA A cut of 1:54.22, Dalesandro added an important 32 points to the Indiana team total in the super close race with the Wolverines.

Minnesota notched a repeat runner-up swimmer in the form of Danielle Nack who zoomed into the 2nd place spot all the way from entering tonight’s race as the 5th seeded swimmer. 1:56.55 was Nack’s time tonight, just slightly slower than the 1:56.31 she same at this meet to finish in 2nd place as a freshman.

Last year’s 6th place finisher found herself in the 3rd place position tonight, as Wisconsin Badger Dana Grindall grinded out a 1:56:60, the 2nd-best time of her career.

With last year’s NCAA invite time sitting at 1:56.97, only tonight’s top 3 finishers claimed times beneath that line.

Team Score Watch Through Event 19: Michigan 1234, Indiana 1132.5.


Top 3:

  1. Yu Zhou, Minnesota, 363.20
  2. Olivia Rosendahl, Northwestern, 321.45
  3. Calli Head, Iowa, 312.20

Through Event 20, Michigan maintains the untouchable lead with 1297 points, with Indiana still close behind, in 1159.5. Minnesota overtook Ohio State for the 3rd spot in the team standings, totaling 875.5 to Ohio State’s 805.


Top 3:

  1. Michigan, 3:13.81
  2. Penn State, 3:15.88
  3. Ohio State, 3:16.65

A new pool record for the University of Michigan, as the Wolverines clinch their 15th Big Ten Championship with a win in the 400 relay. The combination of Siobhan HaugheyClara Smiddy, Gabby DeLoof and Ali DeLoof scored the gold medal-winning time of 3:13.81, highlighted by Ali’s final leg of 47.66. The women earned an NCAA A cut with their solid win to conclude a thrilling 4-day meet.

Splits were as follows for the Wolverines: Haughey 48.22, Smiddy 49.21, G. DeLoof 48.72, A. DeLoof 47.66.

Also earning an NCAA automatic qualifying time was 2nd place Penn State, whose foursome of Alyson Ackman (49.18), Nicole Price (49.18), Haley Sinatro (49.24), and Kaitlin Jones (48.68) collected a time of 3:15.68 to rack up 56 points and clench 6th place in the team standings.

Final team standings at the 2016 Women’s Big Ten Championships:

  1. Michigan – 1361
  2. Indiana – 1207.5
  3. Minnesota – 927.5
  4. Ohio State – 859
  5. Purdue – 766.5
  6. Wisconsin – 712
  7. Penn State – 687.5
  8. Northwestern – 467
  9. Nebraska – 411.5
  10. Rutgers – 385
  11. Iowa – 369.5
  12. Illinois – 234
  13. Michigan State – 210



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Gopher fan

A new conference record in 200 BR? thought smith went 2:04 to win ncaa last year.


HUGE props to the UM staff for containing the scare from early in the week. No outbreak that I heard of.

Congrats to all teams on a few days of amazing, and intense racing.

bobo gigi

Thanks Loretta for the “technical” improvements.

Back to that meet, once again an impressive Lilly King in the 200 breast with a big new PB. Great job by her teammate Tucker too. Both girls must push each other in training. Hopefully they were not fully tapered for that meet, which would be idiot, and can go faster at NCAAs. But I have some doubts…. 🙂


They will both go faster at NCAA’s.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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