2018 Women’s B1G Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap

Karl Ortegon
by Karl Ortegon 8

February 15th, 2018 News


The big story of the day is the return of Michigan star Siobhan Haughey, as it wasn’t clear if she would be competing at Big Tens at all. Haughey has been reportedly dealing with an undisclosed injury, and there was no definitive word on her participation for this week’s Big Ten Champs.

After being notably absent from last night’s competition, where she was presumed to swim at least the 800 free relay (though Michigan won that anyways), Haughey dropped a 1:55.53 to take the 2nd seed going into the 200 IM A final tonight.

Right behind the Wolverines are the Indiana Hoosiers and Ohio State Buckeyes. IU’s Lilly King is looking to upset in the 200 IM, while OSU’s Liz Li is favored to defend her 2017 Big Ten 50 free title. Purdue’s Kaersten Meitz, meanwhile, put up the fastest time in a 500 free prelims that saw seven swimmers dip below 4:40, and she will look to conquer a loaded field for a title.


  • Championship Record: 4:34.40, G Ryan (Michigan), 2017
  • Defending Champion: 4:34.40 (G Ryan, Michigan)
  1. Rose Bi (Michigan) – 4:35.09
  2. Kaersten Meitz (Purdue) – 4:37.15
  3. G Ryan (Michigan) – 4:37.37
  4. Ally McHugh (Penn State) – 4:38.44
  5. Sierra Schmidt (Michigan) – 4:38.68
  6. Cassy Jernberg (Indiana) – 4:39.22
  7. Molly Kowal (Ohio State) – 4:40.21
  8. Kennedy Goss (Indiana) – 4:42.51

Michigan showed up tonight, taking three of the top five spots. The winner also represented the maize and blue, as Rose Bi posted the top time tonight with a 4:35.09. G Ryan, the defending champion, finished third in 4:37.37, and freshman Sierra Schmidt touched fifth in 4:38.68.

Purdue’s Kaersten Meitz grabbed second in 4:37.15, and Penn State’s Ally McHugh touched in 4:38.44 to take fourth. Indiana’s Cassy Jernberg was also under 4:40 tonight with a 4:39.22 showing.

The Wolverines also snagged a win in the B final, as Becca Postoll dipped under 4:40 to register a 4:39.56.


  1. Siobhan Haughey (Michigan) – 1:53.59
  2. Beata Nelson (Wisconsin) – 1:53.85
  3. Clara Smiddy (Michigan) – 1:55.35
  4. Meg Bailey (Ohio State) – 1:56.05
  5. Christine Jensen (Indiana) – 1:56.76
  6. Lilly King (Indiana) – 1:56.81
  7. Megan Doty (Wisconsin) – 1:57.04
  8. Miranda Tucker (Michigan) – 1:57.06

This race did not disappoint, as the returned Siobhan Haughey unleashed a 26.98 final 50 to come back and beat Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson to the wall. Nelson, who expectedly was out to the lead at the 100, was 52.94 at the halfway point compared to Haughey’s 53.81. Nelson was then 33.22 compared to Haughey’s 32.80 on breast, and Nelson was then 27.69 coming home, a respectable closing 50 in its own right.

Either way, Haughey was just off of her Michigan school record, while Nelson crushed her own Wisconsin program record of 1:55.16 from December. If Nelson keeps up this kind of improvement, we could see some serious drops from her already fast backstroke season bests of 50.79 and 1:51.21 from the same meet that she went a 1:55.16 at.

Both Haughey and Nelson were under Haughey’s old meet record of 1:54.97.

Michigan picked up third with Clara Smiddy‘s 1:55.35, as well as eighth with Miranda Tucker‘s 1:57.06.


  • Championship Record: 21.48, Zhesi Li (Ohio State), 2017
  • Defending Champion: 21.48, Zhesi Li (Ohio State), 2017
  1. Liz Li (Ohio State) – 21.28
  2. Danielle Nack (Minnesota) – 22.10
  3. Macie McNichols (Ohio State) – 22.14
  4. Catherine Deloof (Michigan) – 22.16
  5. Freya Rayner (Ohio State) – 22.19
  6. Marissa Berg (Wisconsin) – 22.22
  7. Zoe Avestruz (Minnesota) – 22.30
  8. Grace Haskett (Indiana) – 22.35

Liz Li of Ohio State absolutely dominated this race, winning by over eight tenths, a huge margin of victory for a race as short as the 50 free. Her time of 21.28 is two tenths faster than her own meet record, set at this meet last year, and it’s a new PR by one hundredth.

Li’s 21.28 is now tied with Abbey Weitzeil for the sixth-fastest performance in history.

  1. Abbey Weitzeil 21.12 (2016)
  2. Simone Manuel 21.17 (2017)
  3. Olivia Smoliga 21.21 (2016)
  4. Olivia Smoliga/Lara Jackson 21.27 (2017/2009)
  5. *
  6. Abbey Weitzeil/Liz Li 21.28 (2016/2018)
  7. Liz Li 21.29 (2017)

The Buckeyes went big in this final, with Macie McNichols (22.14) taking third and Freya Rayner grabbing fifth (22.19). Minnesota’s Danielle Nack went a PR 22.10 for second place, while Michigan’s Catherine Deloof was 22.16 for fourth.


  • Championship Record: 370.30, Kelci Bryant (Minnesota), 2013
  • Defending Champion: 362.65, Yu Zhou (Minnesota)
  1. Sarah Bacon (Minnesota) – 353.80
  2. Addison Walkowiak (Rutgers) – 340.25
  3. Jessica Parratto (Indiana) – 330.20
  4. Olivia Rosendahl (Northwestern) – 327.55
  5. Fu Xiao (Minnesota) – 309.25
  6. Morgan Meixner (Purdue) – 301.70
  7. Christy Cutshaw (Michigan) – 294.60
  8. Samm Reese (Purdue) – 291.95

Minnesota continues their diving legacy. After Yu Zhou graduated, Gopher sophomore Sarah Bacon carries the torch, winning this year’s 1 meter crown with a score of 353.80.

Rutgers’ Addison Walkowiak was 2nd with 340.25, and Indiana’s Jessica Parratto third with 330.20.


  • Championship Record: 3:28.89, Indiana, 2017
  • Defending Champion: 3:28.89, Indiana
  1. Indiana 3:27.81
  2. Minnesota 3:28.96
  3. Michigan 3:29.90
  4. Ohio State 3:30.36
  5. Wisconsin 3:31.22
  6. Purdue 3:34.72
  7. Nebraska 3:36.03
  8. Iowa 3:37.71

The IU women won in a new Big Ten record of 3:27.81, but the show was stolen after the lead-off leg, when Wisconsin’s Beata Nelson touched with the only time under 51 seconds– a 49.78 that is the second-fastest time in history. Read more about Nelson’s swim here.

IU had a fantastic race, though, with Ali Rockett (51.25), Lilly King (56.92), Christine Jensen (51.01), and Grace Haskett (48.63) taking down IU’s own conference record, which was set last year. Rockett and Jensen were exceptional– last year, Rockett was 52.58 leading off the relay, and Jensen wasn’t even fast enough to make the relay (she was 52.98 and 53.08 in prelims and finals of the individual 100 fly).

Minnesota was 3:28.96 for 2nd, almost faster than IU’s old conference record. Lindsey Kozelsky had a great 57.51 breast split there.

Gabby Deloof‘s 47.29 on the end of Michigan’s relay was the quickest anchor leg of the field, and Liz Li‘s 50.18 was the best fly split.


  1. Michigan 430
  2. Indiana 396
  3. Ohio State 370
  4. Minnesota 355
  5. Wisconsin 300
  6. Purdue 258
  7. Northwestern 186
  8. Penn State 170
  9. Iowa 160
  10. Rutgers 152
  11. Nebraska 147
  12. Michigan State 109
  13. Illinois 91

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Tea rex
2 years ago

Only slightly off topic: is Ali Deloof still swimming?
What a family

Reply to  Tea rex
2 years ago

Yes, 3 oldest girls very good. Youngest a sophomore was a walk on at MI & not the swimmer others are.

John the Baptist
Reply to  Tea rex
2 years ago

It has its pluses and many negatives.

40 Flat
2 years ago

Beata Nelson 49.7 leadoff ??

Reply to  40 Flat
2 years ago


Old Swimmer
2 years ago

Looks like a Big Ten record for B. Nelson! Perhaps an NCAA Championship for her also? My predictions for this meet may not have been accurate? Looks very close between Michigan, Ohio State and Indiana!

Reply to  Old Swimmer
2 years ago

In the end, Michigan wins big, not close at all!!

Big D
Reply to  Old Swimmer
2 years ago

Should be one heck of a 100 Back at NCAAs. Likely three of the four women < 50 all-time in one race.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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