2021 Big Ten Women’s Championships: Day Three Finals Live Recap


  • 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

After a massive first two days, the Ohio State Buckeyes were a bit quieter on the day three prelims session, though they have more than enough cushion to stay atop the team race right now.

Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil is one of the exciting names racing tonight in the 100 fly, looking to defend her title and extend her win streak to three at this meet. Wolverine freshman Kathryn Ackerman was the class of the field this morning in the 400 IM, the only swimmer under 4:10 with a 4:08.79, yet three seconds off of her best. A seasoned group of IMers will chase, including last night’s 200 IM champion Kristen Romano of OSU.

The 200 free, meanwhile, will be a showdown between a slew of evenly matched competitors.

Diving has its first finals session in West Lafayette this evening with the 3-meter, while there won’t be any relays tonight.



  • Big Ten meet record – 49.42, Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 2020
  • Big Ten record – 49.26, Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 2020
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 52.34
  • Defending champion: Maggie MacNeil (Michigan), 49.42

Top 3

  1. Maggie MacNeil (Michigan) – 49.68
  2. Olivia Carter (Michigan) – 51.54
  3. Maddie Smith (Northwestern) – 52.09

Maggie MacNeil turned in another sub-50 performance, defending her 100 fly title for the second time, making it three-straight. She was 49.68, winning by almost two seconds. Her teammate Olivia Carter, another junior, was 51.54 for second, just off of her morning PR.

MacNeil takes over as the nation’s top time this year.

Maddie Smith continues her huge week, dropping an additional .3 from her prelims best of 52.43 to snag the bronze. Smith was 52.09 tonight, establishing a new Northwestern record to edge Miriam Guevara‘s 52.20 record. Guevara took fourth here tonight, just .04 off of her best and the previous school record of 52.20.

Kit Kat Zenick, an Ohio State freshman, nabbed fifth with a 52.73.

Ohio State freshman Catherine Russo dropped a full second to win the B-final in a new best of 52.33.


  • Big Ten meet record – 4:01.41, Alyssa Vavra (Indiana) – 2012
  • Big Ten record – 4:01.35, Calypso Sheridan (Northwestern) – 2019
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 4:10.39
  • Defending champion: Calypso Sheridan (Northwestern), 4:03.18

Top 3

  1. Kristen Romano (Ohio State) – 4:06.75
  2. Katherine Trace (Ohio State) – 4:07.90
  3. Josie Grote (Indiana) – 4:07.99

Kristen Romano of Ohio State looked very strong from the start, the tempo up right out of her dive on the butterfly. The 200 IM champion from last night dominated the longer IM race here, posting a 4:06.75 to move into the national top-10.

The freestyle portion of the race saw three swimmers converge, as OSU senior Katherine Trace came from behind and made it a Buckeye 1-2 finish. Trace was 4:07.90, passing Indiana’s Josie Grote (4:07.99), as Grote passed Michigan freshman Kathryn Ackerman (4:08.37). Ackerman was a few seconds off of her 4:05-plus from November, but .4 better than her prelims swim.

Indiana’s Bailey Kovac and Michigan freshman Claire Donan were neck-and-neck in the B-final, Kovac getting the win, 4:13.18 to 4:13.19.

In the C-final, Kaitlynn Sims dropped a 4:13.35 for the win.


  • Big Ten meet record – 1:41.57, Siobhan Haughey (Michigan) – 2019
  • Big Ten record – 1:40.69, Siobhan Haughey (Michigan) – 2018
  • 2020 NCAA invite time – 1:45.23
  • Defending champion: Cora Dupre (Indiana), 1:43.61

Top 3

  1. Autumn Haebig (Nebraska) – 1:44.39
  2. Ella Ristic (Indiana) – 1:44.89
  3. Lillie Hosack (Wisconsin) – 1:45.42

This was a tight battle, with a bunch of new faces; none of these women were in the A-final of this race last year.

It was a historical win for Nebraska senior Autumn Haebig, who slashed .6 off of her own school record. That’s big for Nebraska – the Huskers hadn’t ever won a Big Ten conference title since joining the conference in 2012. Indiana freshman Ella Ristic had a big swim for second, going 1:44.89 for a best by almost a second and her first best since 2019.

Wisconsin junior Lillie Hosack took the bronze, posting a 1:45.42, as Michigan sophomore Megan Glass was also under 1:46 for fourth at 1:45.95. Glass broke 1:47 for the first time in prelims, then broke 1:46 tonight for the first time.

Sally Tafuto of Ohio State nabbed the B-final win, clocking a 1:46.48.


  • Big Ten meet record – 430.60, Sarah Bacon (Minnesota) – 2019
  • Big Ten record – 430.60, Sarah Bacon (Minnesota) – 2019
  • Defending champion: Emily Bretscher (Purdue), 356.75
  1. Anne Fowler (Indiana) – 373.90
  2. Abigail Knapton (Nebraska) – 372.20
  3. Emily Bretscher (Purdue) – 369.90

Indiana freshman Anne Fowler picked up a huge win in the 3-meter, scoring a 373.90, just ahead of Nebraska’s Abigail Knapton (372.20). Minnesota’s Sarah Bacon, the Big Ten record-holder who took an Olympic redshirt last season after winning the 2019 NCAA 1-meter title, stumbled to fourth (369.00).

Purdue’s Emily Bretscher, the defending champion, was third in 369.90, scoring higher than she did in 2020 but just edged out by Fowler and Knapton.

TEAM SCORES (through 3 mtr diving)

  1. Ohio State 771
  2. Michigan of 650
  3. Indiana 530
  4. Northwestern 424.5
  5. Wisconsin 327
  6. Minnesota 289
  7. Nebraska 276
  8. Iowa 246.5
  9. Pennsylvania State University 189
  10. Purdue University 185
  11. Michigan State University 127
  12. Illinois 109
  13. Rutgers University 30

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1 year ago

That’s big for Nebraska – the Huskers hadn’t won a Big Ten conference title since 2007.”

Is this supposed to be 2017, or is this referencing the last time Nebraska won any conference title? (They were in Big XII until 2012)

Reply to  thezwimmer
1 year ago

My thoughts exactly!

1 year ago

Great to see a Cornhusker win! Congrats to Autumn and Coach Pablo.

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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