2021 BIG TEN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
- When: Tuesday, February 23rd to Saturday, February 27th | Prelims 11am | Finals 6:30pm (5pm Tuesday) CT
- Where: Minneapolis, MN (Central Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: Ohio State (1x) (results)
- Live Results
- Streaming: Big Ten Network
- Championship Central
The Big Ten Women’s Championships kick-off tonight, starting with the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay timed finals. The meet is running for 4.5 days this season due to COVID-19 protocols, and a couple of interesting wrinkles note the season; Michigan recently dealt with a two-week training, practice & competition ban due to too many positive COVID-19 tests, while Rutgers is redshirting the vast majority of its roster.
Meanwhile, Iowa and Michigan State both learned of program cuts in 2020, although the Iowa women have successfully had their program reinstated.
200 MEDLEY RELAY – TIMED FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 1:34.16, Indiana (2018)
- Big Ten record – 1:33.89, Indiana (2018)
- NCAA automatic qualifying time – 1:36.40
- Defending champion: Michigan (1:34.21)
- Ohio State – 1:34.46
- Northwestern – 1:36.20
- Michigan – 1:36.34
The top three teams were the only teams able to get under the automatic qualifying time for NCAAs, led by the Ohio State women in a huge victory. The Buckeyes were the class of the field, posting a 1:34.46 to rattle the meet record and win by almost two seconds over Northwestern’s 1:36.20 and Michigan’s 1:36.34.
OSU was led off by junior Emily Crane in a big 23.66, followed by Hannah Bach (26.03), Kit Kat Zenick (22.87) and Freya Rayner (21.90). Zenick is also a freshman, and the Buckeyes smashed their school record of 1:35.17. Bach, meanwhile, was blazing; her split was the #10 split in history, and she’s the #4 50 breast split in history behind Lilly King, Jorie Caneta and Kasey Carlson.
OSU is now third in the nation this season with that swim, behind only Virginia and NC State. This is the Buckeyes’ first 200 medley win since they won titles in 1982 and 1983, the first two years of conference championships history.
In second, Northwestern set a new school record, with Emma Lepisova (24.54), Sophie Angus (26.76) and Miriam Guevara (23.45) running the first three legs. Senior Maddie Smith dropped a hammer, splitting 21.45 to anchor and pass Michigan for second.
For Michigan, Maggie MacNeil dropped the fastest 50 back in history, going 23.02 to edge her own 23.05. They were only 28.33 with freshman Claire Tuttle on the breaststroke leg, giving up the lead by the breast-to-fly exchange, though Olivia Carter (23.26) and Daria Pyshnenko (21.73) were strong on the back-end to get the Wolverines an auto cut for NCAAs.
In the third heat, Indiana posted a 1:37, but was disqualified for their backstrokers’ toes being above the gutter on the start. Penn State broke through for a fourth-place finish at 1:38.14, getting a 21.88 anchor from Madeleine Cooke, while Wisconsin also went under 1:39 for fifth (1:38.65) without using their star freshman Phoebe Bacon.
800 FREESTYLE RELAY – TIMED FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 6:54.58, Michigan (2019)
- Big Ten record – 6:50.03, Michigan (2018)
- NCAA automatic qualifying time – 7:00.86
- Defending champion: Wisconsin (6:55.84)
- Michigan 7:02.22
- Indiana 7:02.62
- Ohio State 7:03.76
In heat three, Wisconsin got two very strong front legs from Lillie Hosack (1:45.03) and freshman Phoebe Bacon (1:45.75). Michigan hit back with a big 1:44.24 from sophomore Megan Glass, and Sierra Schmidt anchored in 1:46.01 to push Michigan past Wisconsin, as well as the top two teams from heat two, Indiana and Ohio State.
Michigan freshman Sophie Housey was 1:45.46 leading off, a lifetime best by almost two seconds and her first best in that event since way back in 2018. Wisconsin finished second in the heat at 7:04.91, good for fourth overall.
In heat two of three, Indiana and Ohio State battled it out. The two teams were pretty even all race, but Indiana anchor Noelle Peplowski was too strong on the final leg, pushing IU ahead of the Buckeyes, 7:02.62 to 7:03.76. IU had a 1:45.33 lead-off from freshman Ella Ristic, a 1:45.19 second leg from senior Josie Grote, a 1:46.20 third leg from senior Abby Kirkpatrick and a 1:45.90 from anchor Peplowski.
Kristen Romano was 1:45.42 leading off for OSU, who also got 1:45.7’s from sophomore Amy Fulmer and Kit Kat Zenick.
Northwestern was the only other team under 7:10, going 7:06.00. Ally Larson led off in 1:45.60, a best by over a second, while freshmen Annika Wagner (1:46.09) and Selen Ozbilen (1:47.01) made up the back-half of the relay. Their time marked a school record, their second of the night.
Down in seventh was Nebraska in 7:14.12, getting one of the best lead-offs in the field (1:45.48).
- Ohio State University/Michigan 118
- Northwestern 106
- Wisconsin 102
- Penn State 96/Minnesota 96
- Nebraska 92
- Iowa 84
- Michigan State 70
- Purdue 68
- Illinois 64
- Indiana 56
- Rutgers 30