2018 Women’s B1G Ten Championships
- February 14-17, 2018
- Columbus, Ohio
- McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion
- Live Results
- Championship Central
- Live Stream (BTN Plus subscription required)
The 2018 Women’s B1G Ten Championships continue this morning from Columbus, Ohio, with the first session of individual events underway.
Indiana and Michigan split the two relay events last night, but the Wolverines have some ground to make up following a DQ in the 200 medley relay. Both teams have some fire power today, with B1G meet and conference record holder G Ryan looking to defend her 500 free title for Michigan. Indiana has multi-time Olympic and NCAA champion breaststroker Lilly King in the 200 IM–an event she won a year ago at this meet.
In addition, B1G 50 freestyle meet and conference record Zhesi Li of Ohio State is a heavy favorite in the 50 freestyle, though freshman teammate Freya Rayner split a field-best 21.40 to anchor the Buckeye 200 medley relay last night.
Women’s 500 Freestyle
- Championship Record: 4:34.40, G Ryan (Michigan), 2017
- Defending Champion: 4:34.40 (G Ryan, Michigan)
Top 8 finishers:
- Kaersten Meitz – Purdue – 4:37.66
- Sierra Schmidt – Michigan – 4:38.03
- Kennedy Goss – Indiana – 4:38.48
- Rose Bi – Michigan – 4:38.88
- G Ryan – Michigan – 4:39.27
- Cassandra Jernberg – Indiana – 4:39.83
- Allyson McHugh – Penn State – 4:39.95
- Molly Kowal – Ohio State – 4:40.73
Seven swimmers broke the 4:40 barrier this morning, including defending champion G Ryan of Michigan and Purdue senior / top seed Kaersten Meitz, leveraged a strong backhalf to secure the middle of pool for finals tonight. Meitz’s time of 4:37.66 is just off her third-place finish of 4:37.45 a year ago, and a bit slower than her seed coming into the meet.
Ryan is one of three Michigan swimmers who will be in the hunt tomorrow, along with stud freshman Sierra Schmidt and Rose Bi, who is the second fastest performer in Big Ten history. Kennedy Goss of Indiana, who recorded a 4:37.83 at this meet in 2015, should also be in the mix.
Women’s 200 Individual Medley
- Championship Record: 1:54.97, Siobhan Haughey (Michigan), 2016
- Defending Champion: 1:55.90 (Lilly King, Indiana)
- Beata Nelson – Wisconsin – 1:55.20
- Siobhan Haughey – Michigan – 1:55.53
- Lilly King – Indiana – 1:56.03
- Meg Bailey – Ohio State – 1:56.45
- Clara Smiddy – Michigan – 1:56.80
T-6. Christine Jensen – Indiana – 1:56.97
T-6. Miranda Tucker – Michigan – 1:56.97
8. Megan Doty – Wisconsin – 1:57.45
Beata Nelson continued her excellent sophomore senior this morning by touching first in 1:55.20—just off her seed time of 1:55.16—for the top spot. She will be in battle tonight to hold off B1G conference record holder Siobhan Haughey of Michigan, as well as 2017 defending champion Lilly King. Haughey will be looking to avenge her finals DQ from last season.
In the team race considerations, Michigan will have two other A-finalists, including Indiana transfer Miranda Tucker, while the Hoosiers have just one other finalist outside of King (Christine Jensen).
Women’s 50 Freestyle
- Championship Record: 21.48, Zhesi Li (Ohio State), 2017
- Defending Champion: 21.48, Zhesi Li (Ohio State), 2017
- Zhesi Li – Ohio State – 21.67
- Danielle Nack – Minnesota – 22.17
- Marissa Berg – Wisconsin – 22.33
- Macie McNichols – Ohio State – 22.34
- Zoe Avestruz – Minnesota – 22.35
- Catherine Deloof – Michigan – 22.36
- Grace Haskett – Indiana – 22.38
- Freya Rayner – Ohio State – 22.42
Zhesi Li rocketed to a very fast 21.67, putting herself a full half-second ahead of the field going into tonight. That’s the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season, and solidifies Li as the heavy favorite tonight to become a three-time champion. Interestingly, if Li wins tonight, three women will have won the 50 free at the B1G level in the last decade. Li has two teammates tonight in the final heat: Macie McNichols finished fourth (22.34), and freshman Freya Rayner snuck in eight (22.42).
Minnesota put two swimmers of their own in the top eight, with Danielle Nack finishing second (22.17) and Zoe Avestruz finishing fifth (22.35).
Interestingly, last year’s third, fourth, and seventh place finishers (Mary Warren, Emmy Sehmann, Racheal Bukowski) all missed the championship final, perhaps speaking to the greater degree randomness that can occur.