2020 Women’s B1G Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

2020 WOMEN’S B1G CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Women’s Big Ten Championship kicks off tonight at 5:00 Central Time in Iowa City, Iowa. Tonight will feature finals of the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay. The Indiana Hoosiers are the defending Big Ten Champions, snapping a 3-year streak by Michigan. The Swimulator is projecting Michigan to win the meet this year, although it still projects a tight battle between Michigan and IU, with Ohio State close behind.

Last year, Indiana drew first blood with a win in the 200 medley relay, where they swam a 1:34.71 to win the event for a second year in a row. The Hoosiers, however, lost 3 of their 4 legs from last year, including the fastest breaststroker the NCAA has ever seen in Lilly King. IU still has their anchor from last year, Shelby Koontz, and we’ll likely see Grace Haskett, who was a member of the Big Ten Record-holding 200 medley relay, make an appearance on thi relay tonight. IU also brought in freshmen sprint free/flyers Cora Dupre and Ashley Turak, as well as breaststroker Emily Weiss. It’s the Michigan Wolverines, however, that look to be in the best position for the 200 medley relay tonight. Michigan finished only .27 seconds behind Indiana last year, and lost only their lead-off leg. Fortunately for Michigan, they gained butterfly Olivia Carter with a mid-season transfer. Carter can now take the fly leg on the medley relay, and allow sprint star Maggie MacNeil to take the backstroke leg.

Michigan has had a stranglehold on the 800 free relay for the past 4 years, during which time they also broke the Big Ten Conference Record. Michigan won the race by 6 seconds last year, but lost all 4 of their legs, including Siobhan Haughey who is one of the fastest 200 freestylers in NCAA history. With Michigan rebuilding their relay, we could see an exciting race develop tonight between a handful of teams.

TEAM SCORES THROUGH DAY 1

  1. Michigan – 118
  2. Ohio State – 112
  3. Wisconsin – 108
  4. Northwestern – 102
  5. Minnesota – 98
  6. Purdue/Iowa – 92
  7. Penn State – 84
  8. Michigan State – 76
  9. Nebraska – 72
  10. Rutgers – 66
  11. Illinois – 58
  12. Indiana – 50

200 MEDLEY RELAY – FINALS

  • Meet Record: Indiana (2018) – 1:34.16
  • B1G Record: Indiana (2018) – 1:33.89
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:36.40
  • Defending Champion: Indiana – 1:34.71
  1. Michigan – 1:34.21
  2. Ohio State – 1:35.17
  3. Northwestern – 1:36.37

Maggie MacNeil got the Wolverines out to an incredible start, posting a 23.05 on the lead-off leg for, as far as we can tell, the fastest backstroke split in history. It didn’t slow down there, as Miranda Tucker dove in next for a 26.20 on the breastsroke leg, leading all breaststroke splits from any conference meet so far this season. Michigan had built up an insurmountable lead after the first 100, and was brought home by Claire Maiocco (23.64), and Daria Pyshnenko with a blistering 21.32 anchor leg. The Wolverines were just off the Meet Record set by IU last year, and they did it without using Olivia Carter on the fly leg.

Ohio State charged into 2nd thanks to a heroic anchor leg from Freya Rayner, who brought the Buckeyes home in 21.05, leading the field. Ohio State was able to overtake Northwestern and IU on the last leg. Northwestern got out to an excellent start, sitting in 2nd for the majority of the race, and breaking their school record with the swim. IU touched in 3rd, although they were ultimately DQ’d, giving Northwestern the bronze medal. Minnesota was right behind the Wildcats, touching in 1:36.57.

IU was 3rd into the finish at 1:36.29, but freshman Emily Weiss jumped 0.09 seconds early on the start, leading to the disqualification. Notably, this IU squad consisted of none of the members of last year’s record-setting relay. Morgan Scott led off last year, but transfered to Alabama over the Summer. Lilly King and Christine Jensen swam breast and fly, but both graduated. Shelby Koontz anchored for the Hoosiers last year, but freshman Ashley Turak got the nod tonight.

800 FREE RELAY – FINALS

  • Meet Record: Michigan (2019) – 6:54.58
  • B1G Record: Michigan (2018) – 6:50.03
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 7:00.86
  • Defending Champion: Michigan – 6:54.58
  1. Wisconsin – 6:55.84
  2. Ohio State – 7:00.30
  3. Michigan – 7:01.22

Wisconsin made sure Beata Nelson was fresh for this relay by having her sit out the 200 medley relay, and boy, did it pay off for the Badgers. Sophomore Lillie Hosack led the relay off in a lifetime best 1:44.00, and was followed by a 1:45.50 from Alana Palmer, keeping the Badgers right in the lead pack at the halfway point. Megan Doty kept Wisconsin in the fight with Ohio State on the 3rd leg, splitting a 1:44.37, and setting up Beata Nelson for the anchor. Nelson threw down a 1:41.97 to bring the Badgers home, posting the only sub-1:44 split in the field, and roaring past Ohio State to finish over 4 seconds ahead of the Buckeyes. With the win, Wisconsin snapped a 4-year win streak by Michigan in this event.

The Buckeyes were the only team in the field to have their first 3 legs come in under 1:45, with Kahtrin Demler leading off in 1:44.88. She was followed by Lucija Jurkovic-Perisa in 1:44.49, and Georgia White in 1:44.00, leaving Ohio State with the lead heading into the final leg. Katie Trace was unable to match Nelson’s speed on the front half of the race, and Ohio State fell to 2nd, holding off Michigan.

Michigan was a little bit behind after Kaitlynn Sims 1:46.40 on the lead-off leg, but battled their way back with a 1:44.32 from Chloe Hicks, 1:45.53 from Sierra Schmidt, and 1:44.97 from Olivia Carter. The Wolverines were battling with Iowa through the first 3 legs of the relay, as Iowa got out to a quick start thanks to a 1:45.29 fro lead-off Hannah Burvill, and 1:44.70 from 2nd leg Allyssa Fluit. The freshmen duo of Emilia Sansome (1:47.04) and Macy Rink (1:47.67) brought the Hawkeyes home, keeping them in the top 4, and touching ahead of the Iowa school record by over 4 seconds.

Nebraska set a school record en route to winning the B final in 7:10.77. Autumn Haebig got the Huskers out to a fast start, leading off in 1:44.94.

 

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frizzaly
8 months ago

great start for Michigan! I did wonder if they’d put a sprinter in the fly spot rather than Olivia Carter since she leans towards the 200

Random123
Reply to  frizzaly
8 months ago

yeah, not a great split though i wonder what Carter’s potential is there anyway

frizzaly
Reply to  Random123
8 months ago

looks like she split a 23.57 for Georgia at ncaas last year (in prelims)

Admin
Reply to  Random123
8 months ago

Carter was 23.57 at NCAAs last year for Georgia. So, while on paper it looks like she could be better, it’s not a slam dunk. Maybe they’ll think about it at NCAAs, but with the format of conference meets where it’s a double, probably the right choice.

Bsswimc
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 months ago

Braden….for real though….do you just constantly study swimming and fact check comments or do you have minions that do the leg work? I love diving into the facts of this sport so I have an appreciation of your consistent corrections of comments.

Admin
Reply to  Bsswimc
8 months ago

We’ve got a great team here and everyone is constantly digging for new facts and figures, new information, new angles, new superlatives, new ways to cover the sport. Often our readers ask good questions, have good “I wonders.” Sometimes they’re things we’re already discussing on our team Slack so I already have it handy, sometimes they’re things I haven’t thought of. Answering those questions in the comments can be a good, compact, way to quickly build off the narrative of the article without having to start over with a whole new article! So we’re always appreciative of people thinking out loud in the comments.

Go Blue
Reply to  frizzaly
8 months ago

Do not need her on the relay to win. Need her on the other relays.

N P
8 months ago

23.0 on backstroke! *eyes pop out*

Disqualified
8 months ago

Is that the fastest 50 yard back for women ?

Admin
Reply to  Disqualified
8 months ago

Yes. By 3-tenths. Details coming shortly.

Disqualified
Reply to  Braden Keith
8 months ago

DIS-COS-TANG