Li Zhesi Pops 50 Free Meet Record At Women’s B1G Day 2 Prelims


After a fast relay session last night, the first full day of the 2017 Women’s Big Ten Championships gets underway this morning. In both the 200 medley and 800 free relay last night the B1G Conference, meet, and pool records fell by the wayside.

Minnesota delivered a close win in the medley relay over Indiana, breaking Wisconsin’s six-year-old conference record. In the 800 free relay, Michigan shattered their own conference record by over three seconds in 6:55.34, bettering Stanford’s season-best time in the process.

Not surprisingly Minnesota (118) and Michigan (114) lead the points race after day 1, with Wisconsin (110) and Indiana (108) close behind. Day 1 will feature the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 1-meter diving prelims, with the same events being contested at finals along with the 400 medley relay.

500 Free Prelims

  • B1G Record: 4:34.28, G Ryan, Michigan, 2016
  • B1G Meet: 4:35.19, Haley Lips, Indiana, 2016                
  • Pool: 4:34.13, Allison Schmitt, Georgia, 2010
  1. G Ryan, Michigan, 4:37.62
  2. Cierra Runge, Wisconsin, 4:38.00
  3. Yirong Bi, Michigan, 4:38.32
  4. Lindsey Clary, Ohio State, 4:38.37
  5. Kaersten Meitz, Purdue, 4:38.42
  6. Danielle Valley, Wisconsin, 4:39.66
  7. Rebecca Postoll, Michigan, 4:39.97
  8. Valerie Gruest Slowing, Northwestern, 4:40.23

Conference record holder G Ryan of Michigan led the 500 free prelims this morning in 4:37.62, followed by 2016 Olympian Cierra Runge of Wisconsin (4:38.00) and teammate Yirong Bi (4:38.32). Lindsey Clary of Ohio State and Kaersten Meitz of Purdue also got under 4:39 this morning to place 4th and 5th.

Valerie Gruest Slowing of Northwestern was the only one who advanced to the A-final over 4:40 this morning in 4:40.23. Molly Kowal of Ohio State leads the B-final after a time of 4:41.89 in prelims for 9th overall.

200 IM Prelims

  • B1G Record: 1:54.97, Siobhan Haughey, Michgian, 2016          
  • B1G Meet: 1:54.97Siobhan Haughey, Michigan, 2016        
  • Pool: 1:53.56, Julia Smit, Stanford, 2010
  1. Lilly King, Indiana, 1:55.49
  2. Siobhan Haughey, Michigan, 1:55.67
  3. Clara Smiddy, Michigan, 1:57.73
  4. Meg Bailey, Ohio State, 1:58.10
  5. Emma Sougstad, Iowa, 1:58.36
  6. Melissa Postoll, Northwestern, 1:58.54
  7. Jessica Unicomb, Wisconsin, 1:58.82
  8. Christine Jensen, Indiana, 1:58.85

Two-time Olympic champion Lilly King of Indiana led a loaded 200 IM field this morning in a personal best time of 1:55.49, largely thanks to the fastest breaststroke leg and second fastest freestyle leg of all the A-finalists. She was followed by the two most recent champions in the event, 2016 winner and conference record holder Siobhan Haughey (1:55.67), and her Michigan teammate Clara Smiddy (1:57.73), the 2015 champ. Ohio State’s Meg Bailey sits 4th after prelims in 1:58.10.

King’s Hoosier teammate Christine Jensen nabbed the 8th and final spot in the A-final tonight at 1:58.85, just edging out Wisconsin’s Grace Wold (1:58.98) who will swim in lane 4 of the B-final tonight.

50 Free Prelims

  • B1G Record: 21.70, Zhesi Li, Ohio State, 2016                        
  • B1G Meet: 21.84, Ivy Martin, Wisconsin, 2013               
  • Pool: 21.89, Kara Lynn Joyce, Georgia, 2005
  1. Zhesi Li, Ohio State, 21.75
  2. Chase Kinney, Wisconsin, 22.08
  3. Katie DeLoof, Michigan, 22.28
  4. Kaitlin Saloky, Penn State, 22.39
  5. Emmy Sehmann, Wisconsin, 22.41
  6. Danielle Nack, Minnesota, 22.45
  7. Mary Warren, Northwestern, 22.46
  8. Rachel Bukowski, Michigan State, 22.54

Ohio State’s Zhesi Li broke the meet and pool records this morning en route to the top seed in a time of 21.75, just 0.05 off her conference record set earlier this season of 21.70. The old meet record belonged to Ivy Martin of Wisconsin from back in 2013, while the pool record was set all the way back in 2005 by former Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce.

Wisconsin’s Chase Kinney qualified 2nd in 22.08, and Michigan’s Catie DeLoof took 3rd in 22.28. Wisconsin was the only team to put two swimmers in the A-final, with Emmy Sehmann joining Kinney in 5th place. Rachel Bukowski of Michigan State edged Badger Marissa Berg by one one-hundredth to take the 8th spot in the A-final at 22.54. Berg’s 22.55 puts her in lane four for the B-final.

Another one to watch out for tonight is Minnesota’s Zoe Avestruz. After throwing down a 21.33 anchor leg on the 200 medley relay, she’ll swim in the B-final after going 22.58 this morning.



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5 years ago

For those who are questioning or interested, yes same girl.

Reply to  Hina
5 years ago

She ought to have gotten a TUE for the smog in China impairing her red blood cell’s oxygen carrying capacity .

Reply to  Hina
5 years ago

Once a cheater always a cheater!

Ohio Tom
5 years ago

In 2014 Ivy Martin was a 21.58 in prelims which would stand as the meet record, I believe. And Li was 21.48 last year at NCAA, which would be the conference record. Can anyone second this?

5 years ago

Li Zhesi, banned in 2012 for EPO (blood doping)

5 years ago

Is Li Zhesi same girl who got caught drug cheating before she came to OSU??

5 years ago

The women’s 500 was so deep

Tea rex
5 years ago

Lily King is on the warpath… I believe that is a best time for her in the IM… In prelims

5 years ago

“Gillian” Ryan prefers to be called G Ryan.

Reply to  swimz14
5 years ago

And I prefer to be called “greatest sprinter to ever walk on the face of the earth”
But that is not even remotly true nor my real name

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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