2021 Big Ten Women’s Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


Last night, Ohio State and Michigan were off to strong starts in the opening 200 medley and 800 free relay session, with Northwestern not far behind. There was one DQ last night, as Indiana was disqualified in the 200 medley relay, which could have implications as the team race pans out over the next couple of days.

This morning is the first prelims session, with a new order of events after the entire schedule was shifted to follow COVID-19 safety protocol. The 200 IM prelims start us off this morning, followed by the 50 free and 500 free.

TEAM SCORES (through day 1)

  1. Ohio State University/Michigan 118
  2. Northwestern 106
  3. Wisconsin 102
  4. Penn State 96/Minnesota 96
  5. Nebraska 92
  6. Iowa 84
  7. Michigan State 70
  8. Purdue 68
  9. Illinois 64
  10. Indiana 56
  11. Rutgers 30



  • 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 (1:51.66)

Top 8

  1. Kristen Romano (Ohio State) – 1:56.19
  2. Noelle Peplowski (Indiana) – 1:56.29
  3. Phoebe Bacon (Wisconsin) – 1:56.88
  4. Olivia Carter (Michigan) – 1:56.89
  5. Mackenzie Looze (Indiana) – 1:57.68
  6. Katherine Trace (Ohio State) – 1:57.99
  7. Hanna Gresser (Ohio State) – 1:58.35
  8. Victoria Kwan (Michigan) – 1:58.35

Ohio State looked very strong this morning in the 200 IM, led by senior Kristen Romano with a 1:56.19. She battled Indiana junior Noelle Peplowski in heat seven of nine, as the Hoosier was second overall this morning at 1:56.29. Last year, Romano had to win a swim-off after tying for eighth to get into the A-final.

In the ninth heat, Phoebe Bacon of Wisconsin and Olivia Carter of Michigan fought down the stretch, with Bacon getting the touch by a hundredth, 1:56.88 to 1:56.89.

OSU has three swimmers into the A-final, which Indiana and Michigan each have two. Bacon was the only freshman, and only underclassman, to crack the top eight this morning.

Iowa sophomore Mallory Jump, a transfer from Purdue, just missed the A-final with a new lifetime best 1:59.21. She was just 2:01.76 and in 30th place at this meet last year, and she shaved about a half-second off of her old best from 2019.

Ohio State sophomore Sarah Turchanik had a breakout swim in heat four, breaking 2:01 for the first time to go 1:59.23 and earn a spot in at the top of the B-final. Turchanik did not make the OSU conference roster last season, but she’s now primed to contribute points in her first event of the week.


  • 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

Top 8

  1. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 21.88
  2. Madeline Smith (Northwestern) – 22.06
  3. Taylor Petrak (Ohio State)/Daria Pyshnenko (Michigan) – 22.12
  4. Kit Kat Zenick (Ohio State) – 22.24
  5. Amy Fulmer (Ohio State) – 22.32
  6. Freya Rayner (Ohio State) – 22.44
  7. Emily Crane (Ohio State) – 22.45

Maggie MacNeil led the way in the 50 free, going 21.88 in the final heat, her 21.88 the only sub-22 in the field. In second was Northwestern senior Madeline Smith, breaking Taylor Reynolds’ NU record from 2013 and going her first best in that event since 2017.

Ohio State had a massive showing here, taking five of the A-final spots tonight, led by senior Taylor Petrak. At 22.12, Petrak and Michigan senior Daria Pyshnenko tied for third (22.12). Kit Kat Zenick, an OSU freshman, went a new best by .06 for fifth (22.24), while Amy Fulmer and Freya Rayner return after scoring in the B-final and A-final last year, respectively. Junior Emily Crane, a newcomer from Great Britain, clocked a 22.45 to get into the A-final, too, edging out Northwestern freshman Selen Ozbilen (22.48) as they both went bests.

OSU freshman Catherine Russo went her first best time since 2018, going 22.50 to secure a B-final slot.


  • 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

Top 8

  1. Veronica Tafuto (Ohio State) – 4:42.88
  2. Kaitlynn Sims (Michigan) – 4:43.17
  3. Ella Ristic (Indiana) – 4:43.72
  4. Josie Grote (Indiana) – 4:44.58
  5. Caroline Sisson (Michigan) – 4:45.18
  6. Emily Ecker (Wisconsin) – 4:45.52
  7. Nicole Fye (Ohio State) – 4:45.62
  8. Autumn Haebig (Nebraska) – 4:45.80

Veronica Tafuto of Ohio State and Kaitlynn Sims of Michigan were in a heated battle down the back-half of the 500 free final heat, with Tafuto getting it done with late surge, going 4:42.88 to pass Sims (4:43.17.

In the penultimate heat, Indiana freshman Ella Ristic sped ahead of the field early, holding on well and turning in a big best of 4:43.72, a drop of about three seconds. Northwestern freshman Lola Mull was 4:47.51 in that heat to take second, passing Michigan senior Sierra Schmidt (4:47.55) down the final 100. Schmidt was third in this race last year.

Indiana got a second swimmer into the A-final as senior Josie Grote posted a 4:44.58 to snag fourth position going into the final.

In heat two, Michigan junior Caroline Sisson turned in a 4:45.18, dropping a second off of her old best. That time held up through seven more heats to easily put her into the A-final by the event’s end. Sisson was a C-finalist last year.

Emily Ecker, a Wisconsin freshman, had a huge swim to get into the A-final in sixth. Her time of 4:45.52 slashed four seconds off of her old best, which was from a dual meet a few weeks ago.

OSU had another into the A-final thanks to senior Nicole Fye in 4:45.62, while Nebraska senior Autumn Haebig also broke into the A-final (4:45.80).

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Marcy Spann
2 years ago


2 years ago

MacNeil with that negative split 50

Reply to  SeeSee
2 years ago

how is that possible

Reply to  Kwb
2 years ago

Slow reaction and amazing underwaters?

Reply to  DWY
2 years ago

Her reaction time was 0.71 which isn’t too bad, I guess maybe she just cruised the 50? We’ll have to see how she does tonight

2 years ago

OSU looking super deep and awesome today.

2 years ago

Wow, 5 A finalists for OSU in the 50. They brought the speed today!

go bucks
Reply to  N P
2 years ago

buckeye sprinters 🔥🔥

Reply to  N P
2 years ago

Those OSU girls can really get up and go!

Reply to  N P
2 years ago


2 years ago

Great job for the Hoosiers in the 200 IM! Here we come!

2 years ago

A very impressive night for Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State, but the Indiana Hoosiers will be rising like a phoenix from the ashes today!
“Tonight I’m gonna bet on me (IU Hoosiers)
Because I feel like a phoenix from the ashes
Because I feel like a phoenix from the ashes…”

Reply to  Guerra
2 years ago

it looks like Indiana might looze… OSU showing up big in prelims

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Guerra
2 years ago

You got the ashes part right.

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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