2017 Big Ten Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap – Michigan Wins The Title


Last night was a monumental night for Big Ten swimming, as Indiana sophomore Lilly King smashed the first American record of the 2017 collegiate postseason. She chopped a full half-second from her own American record set at 2016 NCAAs to go from 56.85 to 56.30, winning the event by 2.6 seconds over a packed field.

The same session saw another pair of Big Ten record swims from Indiana senior Gia Dalesandro in the 100 fly, who went 50.45 for fifth in the all-time rankings, and Michigan sophomore Siobhan Haughey in 200 free, who defended her title in the 200 free and cut a half second to take the conference, meet, and pool record trifecta. That swim brought on some redemption for the Hong Kong Olympic semi-finalist, who finished first but disqualified the 200 IM the night before.

At the end of the night yesterday, Michigan had made up for the points lost in that IM swim, retaking a narrow overall lead with 805.5 to second-place Indiana’s 791. Minnesota sits third with 753 and Wisconsin fourth with 741.

Tonight, we will see the conclusion of the 2017 Big Ten Championships fraught with exciting races. First up, distances aces Rose Bi and G Ryan out of Michigan will take on Wisconsin’s Olympian Cierra Runge and Ohio State’s Lindsey Clary in the 1650 free. Then, we’ll see Kennedy Goss, Beata Nelsonand Clara Smiddy battle out the 200 back. After prelims this morning, the 100 free has shaped up to be a tight race between Ohio State’s Li ZhesiHaughey, and Minnesota’s Zoe AvestruzThe 200 fly could however be the tightest race of the night, as Gia Dalesandro fights for a perfect record with her fourth Big Ten title in the 200 fly. But, she’ll have to hold off seven worthy challengers; this morning the field was separated by only .7 between first and eighth. We’ll also see platform diving prelims and the 400 medley relay.

However, even given all that excitement, the race to watch tonight will be a showdown between Olympic gold medalist and American record holder Lilly King of Indiana and Minnesota’s Canadian Olympic finalist Kierra Smith in Smith’s specialty, the 200 breast. Given Smith’s redshirt season last year, this will be the first (and only) time the two will face off in the 200 breast in Big Ten Conference competition.

1650 Free – Finals

  • B1G Record: 15:44.00 12/3/2016 Brooke Zeiger, Minnesota
  • B1G Meet: 15:49.98 2/20/2016 Lindsey L Clary, Ohio State
  • Pool: 15:46.94 2005 Flavia Rigamonti, SMU
  • 15:53.50 A NCAA Qualifying
  • 16:30.59 B NCAA Provisional
  1. G Ryan, Michigan: 15:44.93
  2. Cierra Runge, Wisconsin: 15:51.72
  3. Danielle Valley, Wisconsin: 15:53.16

G Ryan took their second individual title of the weekend in tonight’s 1650 freestyle, this one in Big Ten meet record time. Ryan outswam the meet record set by Lindsey Clary of Ohio State last season and the pool record set by Flavia Rigamonti of SMU way back in 2005 with their 15:44.93 tonight. They just missed the conference record by .93.

Ryan came in well ahead of the competition, nearly eight seconds ahead of second-place Cierra Runge of Wisconsin, who, in turn, was another second-and-a-half ahead of her teammate, third-place Danielle Valley (15:53.16).

Conference record holder and defending champion Clary came up fourth with 15:58.29. Valerie Gruest Slowing of Northwestern was fifth (16:01.44), followed by Ohio State’s Molly Kowal (16:02.35), and Cassie Jernberg of Indiana (16:04.33). The top seed going into the event, Rose Bi of Michigan, finished eighth in 16:07.31.

200 Yard Back – Finals

  • B1G Record: 1:49.92 2010 Kate Fesenko, Indiana
  • B1G Meet: 1:51.32 2010 Kate Fesenko, Indiana
  • Pool: 1:49.92 2010 Kate Fesenko, IND
  • 1:51.95 A NCAA Qualifying
  • 1:59.19 B NCAA Provisional
  1. Kennedy Goss, Indiana: 1:50.95
  2. Clara Smiddy, Michigan: 1:51.39
  3. Beata Nelson, Wisconsin: 1:52.51

In the second meet and pool record swim of the night, last year’s runner-up Kennedy Goss of Indiana took the 200 back conference championship in 1:50.95 to turn the tables on last year’s champion Clara Smiddy of Michigan, who came up second in 1:51.39. Both women were faster than their times last season, a 1:51.57 for Smiddy and a 1:52.18 for Goss.

Third went to national high school record and age group record holder Beata Nelson of Wisconsin in 1:52.51.

Michigan also grabbed some crucial points from Gabby Deloof in fourth with 1:52.86.

100 Yard Freestyle – Finals

  • B1G Record: 47.24 2015 Ivy Martin, Wisconsin
  • B1G Meet: 47.58 2/21/2015 Ivy Martin, Wisconsin
  • Pool: 47.50 2005 Kara Lynn Joyce, UGA ****
  • 47.69 A NCAA Qualifying
  • 49.99 B NCAA Provisional
  1. Li Zhesi, Ohio State: 47.50
  2. Siobhan Haughey, Michigan: 47.70
  3. Zoe Avestruz, Minnesota: 48.37

Li Zhesi of Ohio State completed her sprint free sweep tonight, adding a 100 freestyle title to her conference record-tying 50 performance from Thursday. Tonight’s swim of 47.50 took down the Big Ten meet record set in 2015 by Wisconsin’s Ivy Martin. It also just edged out Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey, who ended up second with 47.70. Third went to Minnesota’s Zoe Avestruz in 48.37.

200 Yard Breaststroke – Finals

  • B1G Record: 2:03.59 3/19/2016 Lilly King, Indiana
  • B1G Meet: 2:05.98 2/23/2013 Haley Spencer, Minnesota
  • Pool: 2:06.81 2/18/2017 Kierra Smith, Minnesota
  • 2:07.33 A NCAA Qualifying
  • 2:15.99 B NCAA Provisional
  1. Lilly King, Indiana: 2:04.03
  2. Kierra Smith, Minnesota: 2:04.37
  3. Maria Carlson, Wisconsin: 2:08.15

Lilly King put up the second-fastest 200 breaststroke in history tonight with a 2:04.03 to hold off Minnesota’s Kierra Smith, whose 2:04.37 was the fifth-fastest swim in history. With that swim, King now holds the two fastest 200 breaststrokes in history (the other is her American record 2:03.59 from last year’s NCAAs). Smith, meanwhile, bypasses Breeja Larson of Texas A&M (2:04.48) to become the third-fastest swimmer in the history of this event, just behind Emma Reaney of Notre Dame’s then-American-record 2:04.06.

Third place went to Wisconsin’s Maria Carlson in 2:08.15, nearly four seconds back from Smith.

200 Yard Butterfly – Finals

  • B1G Record: 1:53.95 2014 Gia Dalesandro, Indiana
  • B1G Meet: 1:53.95 2/23/2014 Gia Dalesandro, Indiana
  • Pool: 1:52.39 2010 Elaine Breeden, STAN
  • 1:54.01 A NCAA Qualifying
  • 1:59.59 B NCAA Provisional
  1. Gia Dalesandro, Indiana: 1:53.95
  2. Vanessa Krause, Michigan: 1:55.74
  3. Astrid Swenson, Michigan: 1:56.02

Gia Dalesandro of Indiana powered through a Big Ten conference record to win the 200 fly tonight in 1:53.67, rounding out her senior year with a perfect scorecard of Big Ten championship titles in this event. The four-time 200 fly champion came in .28 under the previous record, her own 1:53.95 from back in 2014. She also finished two seconds ahead of the field.

The Michigan team racked up some major points in this event, sweeping second and third. Freshman Vanessa Krause took the silver medal in 1:55.74, and sophomore Astrid Swenson was third in 1:56.02. After this event, Michigan has extended their lead to 1170 to second-pace Indiana’s 1043. Wisconsin is third with 1020.5, and Minnesota fourth wit 969.

Platform Diving – Finals

  • B1G Record: 424.45 2015 Jessica Parratto, Indiana
  • B1G Meet: 424.45 2/21/2015 Jessica Parratto, Indiana
  • 225.00 A NCAA Qualifying
  1. Jessica Parratto, Indiana: 378.60
  2. Olivia Rosandahl, Northwestern: 368.05
  3. Yu Zhou, Minnesota: 362.25

Jessica Parratto of Indiana finished at the top of the field in the platform diving competition, scoring ten points over second-place Olivia Rosandahl. Parratto finished with 378.60 points, and Rosandahl scored 368.05. Third went to Minnesota’s Yu Zhou with 362.25 points.

For anyone keeping track at home, going into the final relay, Michigan’s point total has them winning the conference championship (1231), and Indiana is out of range of its competitors in second place (1075). However, this final relay will determine the third-place finisher between Wisconsin (currently third with 1037.5) and Minnesota (currently fourth with 1032).

400 Yard Free Relay – Finals

  • B1G Record: 3:12.96 2015 Wisconsin, Wisconsin
    (Chase Kinney, Ivy Martin, A Van Hout, A Tamblyn)
  • B1G Meet: 3:12.96 2/21/2015 Wisconsin, Wisco
    (Chase Kinney, Ivy Martin, A Van Hout, A Tamblyn
  • Pool: 3:12.32 2010 Stanford (Dwelley, Woodward, Webb, Smit)
  • 3:15.78 A NCAA Qualifying
  • 3:17.11 B NCAA Provisional
  1. Wisconsin (Chase Kinney, Emmy Sehmann, Marissa Berg, Cierra Runge): 3:13.33
  2. Michigan (Catie DeLoof, Siobhan Haughey, Becca Postoll, Gabby DeLoof): 3:13.59
  3. Minnesota (Danielle Nack, Zoe Avestruz, Chantal Nack, Tevyn Waddell): 3:15.91

The Wisconsin team of Chase Kinney, Emmy Sehmann, Marissa Berg, and Cierra Runge prevailed tonight in a tight battle for the 400 free relay Big Ten Championship. Kinney and Runge were the major players for the team, with Kinney swimming the fastest flat-start of the field (48.55) and Runge bringing it back with an anchor leg split of 47.72 (only Ohio State’s Li Zhesi was faster with 47.55).

This swim secured the overall third place for Wisconsin, who could have lost the spot if beaten by Minnesota by a big enough placement-margin.

Michigan just got outswam by the Badgers, and their team of Catie DeLoof, Siobhan Haughey, Becca Postoll, and Gabby DeLoof came up second with 3:13.59.

Third went to Minnesota’s Danielle Nack, Zoe Avestruz, Chantal Nack, and Tevyn Waddell in 3:15.91.


  1. Michigan, University of 1287
  2. Indiana University 1125
  3. Wisconsin, University of, Madi 1101.5
  4. University of Minnesota 1086
  5. Ohio State University 837
  6. Purdue University 656
  7. Northwestern University 534
  8. Pennsylvania State University 453
  9. Rutgers University 446
  10. University of Nebraska-Lincoln 385
  11. Iowa, University of 357
  12. University of Illinois 197
  13. Michigan State University 195.5

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5 years ago

What type of diversity efforts does the Big Ten or individual universities have to partner with local YMCAs, YWCAs, USA Swimming local swim clubs, etc. to encourage minority participation in the sport… from Omaha to Minneapolis to Chicago to Waterloo to Detroit to Cleveland to Milwaukee, we have plenty of midwest fertile ground to be actively promoting youth swim lessons and youth swim team participation in our black, brown, and minority communities. Every year, the photos from the Big Ten Championships look very white, as do the roster sections of each individual university. Where are the Lia Neals and Simone Manuels and Natalie Hinds. Where are the Asphalt Greens? The leadership of the Big Ten, the head coaching staff of… Read more »

Iceage Swimmer
Reply to  Hawkeye
5 years ago

Your outreach is a good idea, but I also think it is a matter of economics as well. The cost of college is out of reach for many people, unless they are willing to take on burdensome student loan debt. Scholarships are available for some (probably more so for those with decent grades), but that is also impacted by poor public schools in some of these areas. I am NOT saying that we should give up– just that the picture is somewhat complicated.

Reply to  Iceage Swimmer
5 years ago

“Complicated” is code word justifying apathy or inaction. I speak having lived on both sides of economic spectrum. My grandfather and father were foundry workers in the midwest. A local university professor and a local engineer started a youth swim program in our town in the late 1960s through the YMCA which was accessible and affordable to all. Children of foundry workers, maids, street sweepers swam on the same team as children of engineers, professors, and accountants. That racially, econonomically, and educationally diverse team produced state champions, all americans, NCAA DI/II/III swimmers, olympic trials competitors, Pan Pacific and World Champions, and even a world record holder. When the AAU decentralized in the late 70s/early 80s and United States Swimming was… Read more »

Reply to  Hawkeye
5 years ago

I’m also curious as to why the Big Ten rosters look so white, given that USA Swimming implemented the Diversity Select Camps over 10 years ago. Are these diverse young swimmers choosing to swim in other power conferences, DI mid majors, DII, DIII instead? Are there any stats out there tracking progress that Big Ten swimming is making in attracting a more diverse group of athletes.

5 years ago

Why is Iowa towards the bottom of the big ten every year, with usually few or no ncaa qualifiers? Beautiful aquatic facilities, nice campus, great school, etc. The highest they’ve placed in the Big Ten the last 10 years is 8th.

Reply to  Hawkeye
5 years ago

Could it be poor coaching??

Reply to  SUNY Cal
5 years ago

Nah man, Marc is great. Didn’t you hear he was first at the 50 in the 100 fly at NCAA’s?

UI alumni
Reply to  SUNY Cal
5 years ago

Join the discussion

Swim Data?
Reply to  Hawkeye
5 years ago

Are statistics published on a yearly basis showing average of top 5-10 times by state in each event & age group/high school. I’d interested to see if the quality of the USA Swimming programs and high school swimming correlates approximately to the Big Ten order of finish. Maybe Iowa & Illinois are week K-12 swimming states, and Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are strong K-12 swimming get states.

Reply to  Swim Data?
5 years ago

Minnesota has had a little more top end, but none of those kids are staying in state, or staying in the Big10 (Schilling, Greenburg, and the boys from 2015/16). The structure of Wisconsin swimming is pretty messy (y clubs, all-city stuff, and then non y clubs). Iowa is a touch slower slower overall as a swimming state, but not that much slower to where those kids can’t make an impact by swimming in college. Besides, all three of those states pull heavily from Illinois and recruit heavily int’l. So ya, that would lead you to believe the coaching staff at IA is subpar.

Midwest Swim Dad
5 years ago

Minnesota had an amazing meet even with the absence of their top swimmer Brooke Zieger who wasn’t medically cleared to compete. If they had had her in the pool, the placing would have been a little different. Minnesota would have no doubt been third.its a shame for them but so proud of how well they did! Congrats to all who swam! And it is swim AND dive so yes, good divers do make a difference, just as a good freestylers, good backstrokers and good IMers.

5 years ago

Pretty cool that Wisconsin was third and the second best swim team at the meet. Only reason Indiana and Minnesota hung with them was because of diving. Big jump from 6th last year

5 years ago

MI wins championship & only wins 1 relay & 3 individuals the whole meet!!! Talk about a TEAM effort!! Proving everyone matters, not just the superstars!! Go Blue

5 years ago

Dont mean this offensively, why is G Ryan referred to as “their”, whats up with the pronoun change? Is there something I am missing on her backstory? Absolutely curious that is all

Reply to  Kaez
5 years ago

G is genderqueer, and identifies as non-binary

Reply to  Swimfast
5 years ago

I hope NCAA figures out how to handle this bigger issue. I/we want anyone/everyone to able to compete but in a fair pool. Those who are birth gender female, but at 19,20,21 years old have relative sudden onset of defined male muscle mass, lose breasts, voice significantly deepens and suddenly have whiskers, Change name to a gender neutral name..so don’t identify as female but want to compete as a female with a body that’s binary. If a person is enlisting chemical aids to increase male hormones, while necessary to help gender reassignment, that has to be performance enhancing?
I’m NOT judging the person, but asking how this impacts NCAA so that competition can continue fairly for all?

Reply to  Swimbystander
5 years ago

Their body is female, there is no problem. Gender identity and the biology of athletics are not directly connected.

Reply to  Michael
5 years ago

All kinds of “therapies” change biology….and they change muscle mass and strength. It’s not just organs. Organs don’t change athletic performance, but muscle mass sure does. Testosterone increases lean muscle mass, strength, and energy.

We already have a person who changed biology and gender and is no longer swimming on the women’s team at Harvard, but the men’s team. G says they’re/her/him (sorry just years of English grammar…) is not a woman, but both male/female.

We accept that people are no longer “binary” so we no longer only men or women. People one, the other, can be both, none, have more testosterone, more estrogen while having organs of the lesser hormone. So we have a woman who reassigned… Read more »

Reply to  Kaez
5 years ago

Kaez – you can read more here: https://swimswam.com/swimming-outside-binary/

5 years ago

please someone post a video for last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 years ago

Hoping for a 55.9 from from King SOMETIME this season

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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