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) / Diving @ Purdue University
- Defending Champion: Ohio State (1x) (results)
- Live Results
- Streaming: Big Ten Network
- Championship Central
It’s not even the start of day two finals, but Ohio State looks like they’re running away with this one at an alarming rate. The Buckeyes dominated this morning’s session, and project to score roughly 150 more points than the next-best team, Indiana.
Maggie MacNeil is the class of the field in the 50 free, but the 200 IM and 500 free are very crowded in A-finals without a clear favorite. Meanwhile, as we see the 1-meter diving and 400 medley relay finals run, the team race between Indiana, Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin will start to become clearer. The 400 medley relay should be a blockbuster event, too, between the top five teams.
200 IM – FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 1:51.66, Beata Nelson (Wisconsin) – 2019
- Big Ten record – 1:50.79, Beata Nelson (Wisconsin) 2019
- 2020 NCAA invite time – 1:57.31
- Defending champion: Beata Nelson (Wisconsin), 1:51.66
- Kristen Romano (Ohio State) – 1:54.19
- Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:55.55
- Olivia Carter (Michigan) – 1:56.32
Wisconsin freshman Phoebe Bacon and Ohio State senior Kristen Romano battled in the 200 IM final, with Romano taking a lead after the breaststroke. From there, Romano took it home strong and collected the big win at 1:54.19, moving to #5 in the nation right now. That’s a shiny new OSU record for Romano, taking down Meg Bailey’s 1:56.05 from 2018, while the senior destroyed her old best by over two full seconds.
In the B-final, Josephine Panitz dropped a second from prelims for the win at 1:58.46, the OSU sophomore getting ahead of Iowa sophomore Mallory Jump (1:58.93). Jump hit a lifetime best.
50 FREE – FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 21.28, Zhesi Li (Ohio State) – 2018
- Big Ten record – 21.28, Zhesi Li (Ohio State) – 2018
- 2020 NCAA invite time – 22.21
- Defending champion: Maggie MacNeil (Michigan), 21.30
- Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 21.44
- Daria Pyshnenko (Michigan) – 21.88
- Maddie Smith (Northwestern) – 21.94
The whole podium went under 22 tonight in the 50 free, led by defending champion Maggie MacNeil at 21.44, just off of her lifetime best of 21.30. Contrary to the prelims, she did not negative split this race, going 10.63/10.81. MacNeil moves to #2 in the country.
Out of lane eight, Daria Pyshnenko of Michigan made it a Wolverine 1-2 finish with a second-place time of 21.88, just off of a best. Northwestern senior Maddie Smith broke 22 for the first time in her career, blasting a 21.94 to snag third and make the podium. Last year, Smith was 27th in prelims and missed finals altother. She also set a new NU record after breaking it this morning with her 22.06.
Ohio State took literally all five of the other spots in the A-final, led by senior Taylor Petrak at 22.06.
In the B-final, Indiana sophomore Ashley Turak nabbed the win at 22.26.
500 FREE – FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 4:34.40, G Ryan (Michigan) – 2017
- Big Ten record – 4:34.28, G Ryan (Michigan) – 2017
- 2020 NCAA invite time – 4:41.20
- Defending champion: Kathrin Demler (Ohio State), 4:37.04
- Sally Tafuto (Ohio State) – 4:39.58
- Kaitlynn Sims (Michigan) – 4:40.29
- Ella Ristic (Indiana) – 4:42.06
Kaitlynn Sims had the lead going into the final stretch, but Ohio State’s Sally Tafuto had building momentum on her side. Tafuto, holding 28-lows after the first 50, dipped to a 27.8 on the penultimate 50 and then a big 26.9 on the final 50, splitting a 54.77 to virtually match her first 100, with 56s in-between; really impressive splitting from her.
Tafuto now ranks #9 in the country in a tie with Stanford’s Brooke Forde.
Sims, who was 4:37.31 at this meet last year, tried to pull away with 27.9s on both 50s of the fourth 100, but she went up to 28.1 and then was only 27.9 on the last 50, running out of gas at the end. Sims was still 4:40.29, climbing to 14th nationally.
IU finished third and fourth here, as freshman Ella Ristic (4:42.06) took an additional 1.6 seconds off of her previous best; she was 4:46.68 pre-meet, then 4:43.72 in prelims. Senior Josie Grote was fourth in 4:43.16.
Nebraska senior Autumn Haebig touched fifth in 4:43.30, while sixth went to Wisconsin freshman Emily Ecker, who sliced another 1.8 seconds off of her best with a 4:43.66. Ecker was 4:45.52 in prelims and 4:49.59 pre-meet.
Ohio State freshman Maya Geringer and Northwestern freshman Lola Mull went 1-2 in the B-final, going respective times of 4:44.74 and 4:45.87. Geringer’s 4:46.38 from prelims was her first time under 4:50, and she drops that down even more here.
1-METER DIVING – FINALS
- Big Ten meet record – 370.30, Kelci Bryant (Minnesota) – 2011
- Big Ten record – 370.30, Kelci Bryant (Minnesota) – 2011
- Defending champion: Mackenzie Crawford (Ohio State), 320.65
400 MEDLEY RELAY – TIMED FINAL
- Big Ten meet record – 3:26.09, Indiana – 2018
- Big Ten record – 3:26.60, Indiana – 2019
- NCAA automatic qualifying standard – 3:31.66
- Defending champion: Michigan, 3:27.68
- Ohio State – 3:29.39
- Northwestern – 3:29.58
- Michigan – 3:29.84
In the penultimate heat, Ohio State threw down a 3:29.39, a time that would hold up at the end of the heats. Emily Crane had a 51.85 leading off for OSU, followed by a 57.49 from sophomore Hannah Bach, a 52.52 from senior Katie Trace and a 47.52 anchor from senior Taylor Petrak.
In a very tight battle in the last heat, Northwestern topped Michigan, 3:29.58 to 3:29.84. Michigan had a 50.08 lead-off from Maggie MacNeil, just off of her lifetime best, and 200 backstroke specialist Mariella Venter turned in a respectable 1:00.88 on the breast leg. Emma Lepisova was 52.87 leading off for NU, but Sophie Angus dropped a 57.77 to pull NU ahead going into the fly. Olivia Carter was 51.36 to Miriam Guevara‘s 51.94, giving Michigan back the edge, but Maddie Smith had a heroic 47.00 anchor leg for the Wildcats to pull ahead of Daria Pyshnenko (47.52).
Smith was 21.91 going out on the first 50 of her anchor leg for the Wildcats. The top three times punched NCAA tickets with automatic qualifying cuts.
Wisconsin touched fourth in 3:33.96, getting a 51.49 lead-off from Phoebe Bacon. Rutgers didn’t enter a relay, and Penn State didn’t finish the race, their butterflier not diving in after allegedly slipping on deck moments prior.
TEAM SCORES (through 400 medley relay)
- Ohio State University 526
- Michigan, University of 358.5
- Indiana University 310.5
- Northwestern University 258
- Wisconsin, University of, Madi 237
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln 184
- Iowa, University of 169
- University of Minnesota 164
- Pennsylvania State University 149
- Purdue University 120
- Michigan State University 104
- University of Illinois 96
- Rutgers University 30