2021 Big Ten Men’s Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Despite a DQ in the 100 fly A-final last night, Michigan used an otherwise massive night three to pull from third to first, albeit by just a few points over the Indiana Hoosiers.

This morning will run prelims of the 100 back, 100 breast and 200 fly, with the Big Ten’s deep breaststroke field finally now able to get some individual swimming in. Five different men went under 51 seconds on their 400 medley relay splits on Wednesday night, while we saw the fastest 50 breast split ever on Tuesday night, courtesy of Minnesota’s Max McHugh.



  1. Michigan – 767
  2. Indiana – 763.5
  3. Ohio State – 748
  4. Purdue – 483.5
  5. Wisconsin – 444
  6. Northwestern – 413
  7. Penn State – 360.5
  8. Iowa – 325.5
  9. Minnesota – 287
  10. Michigan State – 107


  • Big Ten meet record – 44.65, Shane Ryan (Penn State) – 2017
  • Big Ten record – 44.65, Shane Ryan (Penn State) – 2017
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 46.22
  • Defending champion: Gabriel Fantoni (Indiana) – 44.92

Top 8

  1. Jacob Steele (Indiana) – 45.39
  2. Gabriel Fantoni (Indiana) – 45.57
  3. Wyatt Davis (Michigan) – 46.17
  4. Hunter Armstrong (Ohio State) – 46.24
  5. Eric Storms (Michigan) – 46.37
  6. Michael Daly (Penn State) – 46.47
  7. Nadav Aaronson (Michigan) – 46.52
  8. Wes Jekel (Wisconsin) – 46.57

The final heat saw Indiana’s Gabriel Fantoni and Ohio State’s Hunter Armstrong match up, but Fantoni got the job done, going 45.57 ahead of Armstrong’s 46.24.

In heat five, Jacob Steele of Indiana swam a huge 45.39 to break 46 for the first time, with Wisconsin’s Wes Jekel taking second in the heat (46.57).

Michigan’s Wyatt Davis took heat four, going 46.17 with teammate Eric Storms in second (46.37).

Out of lane eight in heat three, Michigan’s Nadav Aaronson crushed the heat win, going a lifetime-best 46.52.

Michigan put three up into this A-final, the most of any other team, while Indiana holds the top two spots going into tonight. Last year, the highest Wolverine finisher was 15th in this event.


  • Big Ten meet record – 50.60, Ian Finnerty (Indiana) – 2019
  • Big Ten record –  49.69, Ian Finnerty (Indiana) – 2018
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 52.46
  • Defending champion: Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 50.67

Top 8

  1. Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 50.19 *MEET RECORD*
  2. Will Chan (Michigan) – 51.03
  3. Jason Mathews (Ohio State) – 51.30
  4. Zane Backes (Indiana) – 51.38
  5. Hudson McDaniel (Ohio State) – 51.68
  6. Kevin Houseman (Northwestern) – 51.75
  7. Will Myhre (Iowa) – 51.81
  8. Trent Pellini (Purdue) – 51.85

Max McHugh was the clear winner in the final heat, setting a new Big Ten meet record with a lifetime best 50.19, which is also a Minnesota school record. It took a 51.8 to make it back in the A-final, and at 51.93, Michigan’s Mason Hunter went a lifetime best but still missed the championship heat.

McHugh improves his time as the #4 performer in history with that swim. He could be the second man ever under 50 tonight, as Ian Finnerty’s NCAA/American/U.S. Open record sits at 49.69.

In heat five, Will Chan of Michigan clocked a 51.03, with OSU’s Jason Mathews (51.30) and IU’s Zane Backes (51.38) right behind him. For Chan, that breaks Richard Funk’s school record, while both Mathews and his teammate Hudson McDaniel (51.68) went under Mathews’ OSU record, the first two men under 52 in school history.

Chan is now tied with Louisville’s Evgenii Somov for the #2 time in the nation behind McHugh. There are now over 20 men nationwide under 52 seconds in this event, with nine of them being from the Big Ten.

Northwestern’s Kevin Houseman went under 52 in heat five, too, going a 51.75 for fourth in the heat and a lifetime best. Houseman is just off of Mike Alexandrov’s school record of 51.56.

Iowa’s Will Myhre became the first Hawkeye under 52 seconds in this event, going a school-record 51.81.

Heat four was all Trent Pellini, dropping a 51.85 for Purdue to just miss his school record. At the time, that was the fastest heat swim by almost a second.

Ohio State was the only team with more than one A-finalist here, getting two up for tonight’s championship final.

Swim-off: For a spot in the B-final, AJ Bornstein of Michigan beat Gary Kostbade of Indiana, 53.21 to 53.22. They had tied at 53.41 for 16th during the prelim heats.


  • Big Ten meet record – 1:39.28, Vini Lanza (Indiana) – 2019
  • Big Ten record – 1:39.28, Vini Lanza (Indiana) – 2019
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 1:43.18
  • Defending champion: Brendan Burns (Indiana) – 1:40.98

Top 8

  1. Brendan Burns (Indiana) – 1:40.36
  2. Van Mathias (Indiana) – 1:42.88
  3. Corey Gambardella (Indiana) – 1:43.63
  4. Connor LaMastra (Northwestern) – 1:43.91
  5. Ben Miller (Northwestern) – 1:44.35
  6. Spencer Carl (Michigan) – 1:44.87
  7. Zac Zwijacz (Penn State) – 1:45.12
  8. Elliot Cooper (Purdue) – 1:45.68

Brendan Burns of the Hoosiers dominated the final heat of the 200 fly prelims, going 1:40.36 for a new lifetime best and an A-cut. Burns, the defending champion, was more than a half-second quicker here in prelims than he was in the 200 fly final last year to win the conference crown.

Indiana could go 1-2-3 here tonight. The fourth heat went to Corey Gambardella of Indiana in 1:43.63, overtaking Northwestern’s Connor LaMastra over the final 50. LaMastra took second in 1:43.91.

In the antepenultimate heat, Indiana’s Van Mathias clocked a 1:42.88, with Northwestern’s Ben Miller in second at 1:44.35.

Last year, Gambardella, Spencer Carl (Michigan), Zac Zwijacz (Penn State), and Miller all swam in the B-final, so this year they’ve upgraded to the championship heat.

Following Indiana, NU has two A-finalists here, while Michigan, Penn State and Purdue each got one. Ohio State just missed getting one up here, as freshman Jean-Pierre Khouzam was 1:46.07, dropping six seconds from his seed time but placing ninth overall.

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Unknown Swimmer
10 months ago

I haven’t really scored out the seedings or anything, would imagine IU needs a decent lead today as Michigan will have a big day tomorrow? I think the winner will be one of them, not sure if OSU can hang now that their diving lead has been wiped out. Thoughts?

Strangest thing
Reply to  Unknown Swimmer
10 months ago

Don’t sleep on the bucks

flex tape cant fix that
10 months ago

Everyones only here for mchugh’s 100 br

10 months ago

I for one enjoy BIG10’s 5 day schedule

Bingo Bongo
Reply to  Nobody
10 months ago

The only hole I see is people who normally do 100 fly/100 back/200 fly have a much harder double now but besides that it seems to work really well

Reply to  Bingo Bongo
10 months ago

100Fr Individual same day as 400 Free relay. It would be nice for those to be separated… or maybe without Prelims and Finals to swim for the relay it doesn’t matter.

10 months ago

Armstrong boutta tear it up!

10 months ago

seems like Michigan has overcome their backstroke problem with 3 in the a-final

Reply to  frizzaly
10 months ago

they have been getting guys who are now developing into 46s. Plus Wyatt is a huge add for this year!

Coach Chackett
10 months ago

OSU 1-4-1
Indiana 2-1-0
Michigan 3-1-0
Wisconsin 1-0-2

Should I pay attention to Purdue?

I think there is a sprinting relay tonight.

Coach Chokeonnutts
Reply to  Coach Chackett
10 months ago

Purdue Flyers: hold our beer

Last edited 10 months ago by Coach Chokeonnutts
Reply to  Coach Chokeonnutts
10 months ago

8th, 16th, and 2 Purdue swimmers at 23rd 👀 nowhere to go but up tonight in the 2fly for the Boilers

Coach Chackett
10 months ago

Gary Kostblade Enters with 55.41. AJ Bornstein enters with 55.41. They tie for 16th at 53.41. SwimOFF for 16th. Mostly Guaranteed 11 Points vs. 9, 7 or 6? Indiana vs. Michigan. Swimoff!

Coach Chackett
Reply to  Coach Chackett
10 months ago

Bornstein 53.21
Kostblade 53.22

Borntein into the B Final.

tea rex
Reply to  Coach Chackett
10 months ago

Personally I think Bornstein should have tried to go .01 slower in the swim-off

Psu fan
10 months ago

Someone broke 52 and didn’t make the final in the 100 breast, that is insane

Coach Chackett
Reply to  Psu fan
10 months ago

But the ACC is way better than the B1G
(sarcasm) ACC 8th: 52.47

B1G baby!
Reply to  Psu fan
10 months ago

Weren’t people posting yesterday that the ACC and SEC are soooo much faster and deeper? The B!G men just proved them wrong.

Reply to  B1G baby!
10 months ago

This is the only event so far where the Big 10 is faster…

Reply to  B1G baby!
10 months ago

It’s been one event….

Reply to  B1G baby!
10 months ago

SEC took a 53.7 to make finals, B1G took a 54.2

Reply to  B1G baby!
10 months ago

B1G breaststroke is stupid fast this year. Blew everyone out of the water but look at the other 2 events today. 16th seed in both 100 back and 200 fly for B1G wouldn’t have made it back top 24 in the ACC. The ACC depth has gotten pretty impressive

Reply to  B1G baby!
10 months ago

Looking at results for what it took to make A/B/C finals in each, it seems the ACC has the most depth in the back/fly events, SEC in the freestyle events, and B1G in the breaststroke events.

Reply to  Huh
10 months ago

All the conferences are respectfully top heavy in some events. SEC has overall best depth though.

Reply to  swammer
10 months ago

Normally you would be right but this year, the depth in the backstroke and butterfly was much better in the ACC than the SEC. For example, the 24th place qualifier in the ACC in the 100 butterfly would have qualified 9th in the SEC and only the top 12 qualifiers in the 100 back in the SEC would have qualified for a second swim in the ACC. ACC were marginally better in the 200s of the events as well.

Reply to  Psu fan
10 months ago

Also, the 8th place qualifier was faster than the 8th place 100 Breast qualifier at the 2019 NCAA meet.

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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