2021 BIG TEN MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Tuesday, March 2nd to Saturday, March 6th | Prelims 11am | Finals 5pm Tues, 6:30pm Wed-Sat (ET)
- Where: Ohio State University (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Michigan (1x) (2020 results)
- Streaming: Big Ten Network
- Championship Central
- Live Results
The Big Ten Conference Championships wrap up tonight, and it’s going to be an electric finish. Indiana leads Michigan by 26.5 points and Ohio State by 36.5 points, while the Wolverines and Hoosiers project to score roughly the same amount of points in tonight’s finals, 1650 free included.
Watch closely, as this could come down to a single-digit margin at the end, much like it did when Louisville claimed their first-ever ACC crown last week by two points over NC State. Swimmers moving up from the bottom of a final, or falling flat after holding a top seed in a final, will make all the difference.
The race for fourth is also going to be tight, as Purdue leads Wisconsin and Northwestern, but the Badgers and Wildcats have three milers apiece to the Boilermakers’ one. NU has 1/2/5 in the A/B/C finals tonight (not including the mile), Purdue 1/2/3 and Wisconsin 0/3/2, with Purdue 61.5 points head of NU and 44.5 ahead of Wisconsin.
NU is projected to move up to fourth, ahead of Purdue by a half-point and ahead of Wisconsin by only nine.
100 FREE – FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 41.43, Blake Pieroni (Indiana) – 2018
- Big Ten record – 40.83, Bowe Becker (Minnesota) – 2019
- 2020 NCAA invite time – 42.57
- Defending champion: Bruno Blaskovic (Indiana) – 41.88
The team race is tight and the energy at Ohio State’s natatorium tonight is rowdy. For the conference crown, Ohio State’s Sem Andreis just beat out Nikola Acin of Purdue at the wall, 42.23 to 42.31. Andreis adds to his hardware collection, as he won the 50 free on night two.
The Buckeyes had two podium finishers here, as Hunter Armstrong clocked a 42.37 for third, while Michigan’s Gus Borges tied for fourth with IU freshman Tomer Frankel and teammate River Wright, all three of them going 42.50.
Indiana’s Jack Franzman was seventh in 42.60, ahead of Michigan sophomore Cam Peel (43.14).
The B-final went to Wisconsin freshman Andrew Benson (42.93), a new lifetime best for him. In the C-final, Michigan freshman Bence Szabados got up and raced out of lane one for the win at 43.39, ahead of Northwestern senior Robert Cecil (43.67) as both went lifetime bests.
Michigan now owns a 30-point lead over Indiana, while the Hoosiers are ahead of OSU by 27. The Wolverines had a massive push here to move past IU, scoring over 100 points.
1650 FREE – TIMED FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 14:29.25, Felix Auboeck (Michigan) – 2017
- Big Ten record – 14:22.88, Felix Auboeck (Michigan) – 2017
- 2020 NCAA invite time – 14:57.07
- Defending champion: Felix Auboeck (Michigan) – 14:30.10
- Michael Brinegar (Indiana) – 14:38.26
- Jake Mitchell (Michigan) – 14:42.60
- Charlie Clark (Ohio State) – 14:45.24
Indiana’s Michael Brinegar opened up an early lead on the field, with Michigan freshman Jake Mitchell sitting second.
Brinegar didn’t let up, cruising to the Big Ten title with a 14:38.26, four seconds ahead of Mitchell’s 14:42.60. Brinegar was over ten seconds off of his best, but the time is still good for #6 in the nation this year. Mitchell dropped over 15 seconds from his old best, and he’s now #8 in the nation.
Another freshman, Ohio State’s Charlie Clark, dropped huge time, going from 15:07.84 in high school to a podium-placing time of 14:45.24. Clark is now the first Buckeye swimmer under 14:50 in this event, smashing the OSU record by over five seconds.
In fourth, Wisconsin’s Josh Dannhauser snagged key points for the Badgers in their team race for fourth, as he was 14:46.76.
Out of the early heats, Michigan’s Will Roberts pinned down a 14:59.87 to lead the way going into the last heat swimming with finals. He led a 1-2 with teammate Danny Berlitz (15:03.97) among early heats, and they were fast enough to place fifth and seventh, respectively, after the final heat swam.
In a tight race that came down to the finish in heat four, Northwestern senior Jeffrey Durmer hustled over the last 150, splitting 26.9, 26.6 and finally 25.0 to run down Minnesota freshman Christopher Nagy at the wall. Durmer was 15:06.96, a hundredth ahead of Nagy. Durmer dropped almost nine seconds off of his old best from 2019, while Nagy destroyed his old best of 15:32.74. Durmer finished eighth in the final results.
Michigan is clinging to a 50-point lead, as Indiana is just 19 ahead of OSU with the mile finished. Purdue still holds fourth, but they had zero scorers in the event, so Wisconsin and NU pull nearer.
200 BACK – FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 1:38.89, Eric Ress (Indiana) – 2014
- Big Ten record – 1:37.58, Tyler Clary (Michigan) – 2009
- 2020 NCAA invite time – 1:41.49
- Defending champion: Gabriel Fantoni (Indiana) – 1:40.31
- Brendan Burns (Indiana) – 1:39.37
- Wyatt Davis (Michigan) – 1:40.68
- Jacob Steele (Indiana) – 1:41.53
Brendan Burns shot out to the lead, turning in 48.49 at the 100 mark, and he opened an even bigger lead on the third 50. Burns finished on top with a huge swim, his first time under 1:40 with a 1:39.37 to move to #5 in the nation this season. His teammate Jacob Steele picked up the bronze, going 1:41.53 for the Hoosiers.
Hitting a new personal best, Michigan freshman Wyatt Davis split the Hoosiers, nabbing second with a 1:40.68.
Ohio State’s Thomas Watkins (1:41.70) and Penn State’s Michael Daly (1:41.85) were both under 1:42, too, while defending champion Gabriel Fantoni gained over a second from prelims to take sixth in 1:42.42.
In the B-final, Colin McDermott of Ohio State posted a big 1:41.81 for the win, using a strong underwater off of the final turn to nab the top time of the heat.
Michigan is still ahead by 41 points, while the Hoosiers look to be clear of the Buckeyes, ahead of OSU by 49. Down in the race for fourth, Wisconsin how now pulled dead-even with Purdue, with Northwestern back 25 of each of them.
200 BREAST – FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 1:50.30, Ian Finnerty (Indiana) – 2019
- Big Ten record – 1:49.41, Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 2019
- 2020 NCAA invite time – 1:54.03
- Defending champion: Thomas Cope (Michigan) – 1:51.44
- Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 1:50.93
- Paul Delakis (Ohio State) – 1:51.78
- Zane Backes (Indiana) – 1:53.18
Zane Backes of Indiana went out like a rocket, pushing the pace with an absurd 24.38 first 50. Backes was 52.67 at the 100, still ahead, but Minnesota’s Max McHugh and Ohio State’s Paul Delakis pulled up, McHugh about even with him.
McHugh and Delakis passed him through the final turn, and McHugh added to his 100 breast gold with a 1:50.93, rattling Ian Finnerty’s meet record. McHugh moves to #2 in the nation, and Delakis’s 1:51.78 is good for fifth in the country.
Backes was able to hold it together for bronze, dropping from prelims to go 1:53.18, while OSU’s Jason Mathews (1:53.71) and Michigan’s Will Chan (1:53.92) also broke 1:54.
In the B-final, Northwestern went 1-2 with Marcus Mok (1:54.06) and Kevin Houseman (1:55.11) as both sophomores hit lifetime bests.
Heading into the final relay, Michigan is locked in for the title as long as they don’t DQ, while Indiana is safe in second if they just finish the relay legally.
Wisconsin is now in fourth, holding a nine-point lead over Purdue, while Northwestern is just four points behind Purdue. The Boilermakers should have the strongest 400 free relay, but they’ll need to do about five places better than Wisconsin to reclaim fourth.
Now, the race is for eighth; Minnesota just passed Iowa for eighth position going into the relay, but they are ahead by only 1.5 points.
400 FREE RELAY – TIMED FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 2:48.29, Indiana – 2017
- Big Ten record – 2:47.11, Indiana – 2018
- NCAA automatic qualifying standard – 2:51.11
- Defending champion: Indiana, 2:48.43
- Indiana – 2:49.20
- Ohio State – 2:49.32
- Michigan – 2:49.66
Ohio State, Indiana and Purdue met in the 400 free relay final heat, as Purdue needed to finish five places ahead of Wisconsin to reclaim fourth.
Indiana pulled out the win in the last heat, claiming the top time with a 2:49.20, getting 42s from Tomer Frankel (42.68), Brendan Burns (42.60) and Jack Franzman (42.16), while Van Mathias dropped a hammer second leg (41.76). Ohio State was second, with Sem Andreis blasting a 41.66 on the second leg and Paul Delakis anchoring in 41.98.
Michigan won heat two, going 2:49.66 with a huge 42.06 lead-off and school record from sophomore River Wright. They had 42s across the board to follow, with Bence Szabados (42.87), Cam Peel (42.47) and Gus Borges (42.26).
Purdue was third in the final heat, going 2:50.32, and they were able to beat Wisconsin and take back fourth-place, as the Badgers finished ninth. Nikola Acin was 41.78 on the third leg for the Boilermakers, while Nick Sherman led off in 42.88 and Trent Pellini (42.77) and Ryan Lawrence (42.89) also split 42s. The Boilers posted a big school record with their effort tonight.
Minnesota won heat one in 2:54.37, but Iowa was faster in the heat after, going 2:53.98. Iowa scores four more points than Minnesota there, as Northwestern finished between them, so Iowa takes back eighth place at their last Big Ten Championships as a program.
In Michigan State’s last swim as a program, Aidan Farley led off their relay in 42.93, which sets a Michigan State record. He previously held it at 43.54 from the 100 free B-final.
TEAM SCORES – FINAL
- Michigan – 1401
- Indiana – 1357
- Ohio State – 1322
- Purdue – 732
- Wisconsin – 729
- Northwestern – 722
- Penn State – 619.5
- Iowa – 566.5
- Minnesota – 564
- Michigan State – 196