2022 Men’s B1G Fan Guide: IU Primed to Dethrone Back-to-Back Champions Michigan

2022 MEN’S B1G SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

WEDNESDAY (2/23)

  • 200 Medley Relay (Timed Finals)
  • 800 Free Relay (Timed Finals)

THURSDAY (2/24)

  • 500 Free
  • 200 IM
  • 50 Free
  • 1-Meter Diving
  • 400 Medley Relay (Timed Finals)

FRIDAY (2/25)

  • 100 Fly
  • 400 IM
  • 200 Free
  • 100 Breast
  • 100 Back
  • 3-Meter Diving
  • 400 Medley Relay (Times Finals)

SATURDAY (2/26)

  • 1650 Free (Timed Finals)
  • 200 Back
  • 100 Free
  • 200 Breast
  • 200 Fly
  • Platform Diving
  • 400 Free Relay (Timed Finals)

PREVIEW

Big Ten men’s swimming & diving is now down to just 8 teams, as both Michigan State and Iowa no longer sponsor men’s swimming & diving programs. Despite the meet losing 2 of its 10 teams from last year, the 2022 championships is shaping up to be just as exciting as ever.

2021 FINAL STANDINGS

  1. Michigan – 1401
  2. Indiana – 1357
  3. Ohio State – 1322
  4. Purdue – 732
  5. Wisconsin – 729
  6. Northwestern – 722
  7. Penn State – 619.5
  8. Iowa – 566.5
  9. Minnesota – 564
  10. Michigan State – 196

The Michigan Wolverines are the 2x defending champions, after ending a 3-year run by Indiana in 2020. Since 2011 Only Michigan and Indiana have taken the men’s Big Ten title – the Wolverines 8 times, Indiana 3. Last year’s championships resulted in a tight 3-team battle between Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio State.

With the addition of 5th year athletes, coupled with significant losses from all 3 teams has shaken up the picture quite a bit. Indiana and Ohio State in particular are benefitting from 5th years this season, not to mention both teams have a star swimmer re-entering the fold after not competing at last year’s championships. All 3 teams are also benefiting from relatively large and deep freshmen classes this year as well.

All but two 2021 Big Ten individual champions return this year. Only Ohio States Paul DeLakis, who won the 200 IM and 200 free last year, and Purdue’s Brandon Loschaivo, who won platform diving, aren’t returning this year.

STARS

Indiana – Brendan Burns (junior butterflier/backstroker), Michael Brinegar (redshirt junior distance specialist), Bruno Blaskovic (5th year sprinter), Mikey Calvillo (junior distance specialist), Gabriel Fantoni (5th year backstroker), Rafael Miroslaw (freshman freestyler), Tomer Frankel (sophomore sprinter), Andrew Capobianco (redshirt senior diver) — Brendan Burns, now a junior, is the reigning Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships. He earned those honors after winning the 200 fly and 200 back at last years championships, as well as taking 2nd in the 100 fly. Olympic diver Andrew Capobianco is in the mix yet again, alongside Michael Brinegar, who was a 2020 U.S. Olympian in both the 800 and 1500 freestyles. Perhaps the most important thing the Hoosiers have going for them is the return of Bruno Blaskovic, who missed the end of last season after fracturing his back. Blaskovic has as good a chance as anyone at winning the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly this season. Considering Michigan beat Indiana by just 44 points last year, it’s very reasonable to say that if Blaskovic had been healthy and able to compete at that meet, Indiana would have won.

MichiganGal Groumi (freshman butterflier/IMer), Patrick Callan (senior freestyler), Jake Mitchell (sophomore freestyler) Mason Hunter (senior breaststroker)River Wright (junior sprinter), Will Chan (senior breaststroker)Michigan lost Gus Borges and Will Roberts, two of their top swimmers from last year, but they have a large freshmen class, many of whom are in position to score significantly at this meet. One such swimmer is Gal Groumi, who has posted the top time in the conference in both the 100 fly and 200 IM this season, as well as the #2 time in the 200 fly. Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympian Jake Mitchell is always a title threat in the distance free events, as well as the 400 IM. Patrick Callan is in a similar boat, and is leading the conference in both the 200 free and 500 free this season.

MinnesotaMax McHugh (senior breaststroker), Sawyer Grimes (sophomore distance specialist), Kaiser Neverman (sophomore butterflier), Lucas Farrar (sophomore butterflier), Bar Soloveychik (freshman freestyler) — McHugh has been one of the greatest stars of the Big Ten conference since arriving in Minneapolis. Now a senior, McHugh is the reigning the 100 and 200 breast Big Ten champion and NCAA champion. He leads the NCAA in the 100 breast this season, already having swum a 50.58, and he’s the top Big Ten swimmer in the 200 breast this season by a huge margin. Freshman Bar Soloveychik towards the top of the conference this season in the 200 free, 500 free, and 1650 free.

NorthwesternKevin Houseman (junior breaststroker), Manu Bacarizo (senior backstroker), Marcus Mok (junior breaststroker) Federico Burdisso (junior butterflier), Connor LaMastra (senior freestyler/butterflier), Emils Jurcik (senior multi)  — Kevin Houseman is the #2 100 breaststroker in the conference this year, behind only Max McHugh. Federico Burdisso is a great 200 flyer, and has clocked the #4 time in the conference in that event this season. Manu Bacarizo will be seeded highly in the backstroke events. Also keep an eye out for Connor Morikawa, a sophomore who is ranked highly in the breast events within the conference this season.

Ohio StateRuslan Gaziev (senior freestyler), Sem Andreis (senior sprinter), Alex Quach (freshman multi), Fabio Dalu (junior distance specialist), Hunter Armstrong (junior sprinter), Joey Canova (5th year diver), Charlie Clark (sophomore distance specialist) — The Buckeyes lost Paul DeLakis, the 2021 200 IM and 200 free, as well as Jason Mathews, a top breaststroker within the conference. However, the Buckeyes were able to keep Joey Canova, one of the best divers in the conference, for a 5th year. Sem Andreis is the reigning 50 and 100 free Big Ten champion, and he returns for Ohio State. They also benefit from the return of Ruslan Gaziev, a Tokyo 2020 Olympian for Canada, who will be a big threat in the 100 and 200 free, and will be a massive help on relays. The Buckeyes also have Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympic 100 backstroker Hunter Armstrong on the roster. Armstrong is just as good in the yards 100 free as he is in the 100 back, so we’ll be looking for him to make a splash. Additionally, Ohio State picked up Fabio Dalu, who transferred to the program after shattering NCAA DII distance freestyle records last season. Australian Alex Quach is one of the top freshmen in the conference this year, and could make some noise in a handful of events.

Penn StateMichael Daly (senior IMer), William Roberson (senior sprinter), Daniel Raisanen (junior breaststroker), William Lulek (senior breaststroker/IMer), Jake Houck (sophomore sprinter), Zac Zwijacz (senior butterflier) — Daly is an exceptionally versatile talent, one who we can expect to see in at least a couple A finals at these championships. Roberson had a great meet last year, finishing 3rd in the 50 free, and competing in the B final of the 100 free. Daniel Raisanen is seeded to make the A final in both breaststroke events this year, and Jake Houck is ranked fairly high in the 50 free this year. The Nittany Lions have a solid group of sprinters, so keep an eye on them in the relays, particularly the 200 free relay.

Purdue Nikola Acin (senior sprinter), Nicholas Sherman (senior sprinter), Ben Bramley (junior diver), Greg Duncan (5th year diver), Ryan Hrosik (senior sprinter), Brady Samuels (freshman multi), Michael Juengel (junior multi) — Purdue’s sprint group is exceptional again this year, so first and foremost, be on the lookout for them in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Nikola Acin is ranked in the top 3 in the conference in both the 50 and 100 free so far this season, while Nick Sherman is ranked in the top 10 in both the 50 free and 200 free. The Boilermakers have received a huge boost from freshman Brady Samuels, who is ranked 3rd in the 100 fly, 6th in the 100 back, and 8th in the 100 free this season.

WisconsinAndrew Benson (sophomore sprinter), Wes Jekel (junior multi), Jake Newmark (sophomore sprinter), Erik Gessner (senior backstroker/butterflier), Yigit Aslan (freshman distance specialist), Caleb Aman (senior IMer), Tazman Abramowicz (senior diver) — Wisconsin’s roster is looking really good, as they keep building year over year. After watching how well the Badger women performed at Big Tens last week, we would be remissed to discount Wisconsin in any way for this meet. Wes Jekel is ranked in the top 8 in both backstroke events. Jake Newmark is one of the top 200 freestylers in the season this year. Freshman Yigit Aslan is the #2 1650 freestyler in the conference this year, and is seeded to make the A final in the 500 free as well.

SHOWDOWNS

100 BACK

Gabriel Fantoni is the two-time defending champion in the event, after clocking a 45.34 last year. Ohio State’s Hunter Armstrong, who would go on to qualify for the Olympics in the 100 back, came in 2nd last year. That’s not to mention Indiana’s Brendan Burns, who is the defending 200 back champion, as well as guys like Wisconsin’s Wes Jekel and Michigan’s Wyatt Davis. Indiana 5th year Jacob Steele took 3rd in the race last year, and he’s as live as anyone to claim victory in this race.

Every A finalist from last year’s championships returns this year, making this truly one of the most exciting races of the championships.

1650 FREE

It’s not often that the mile makes it into being one of our showdown events, but the 1650 has one of the most loaded fields of any race at these championships. Leading the way is the defending champion, Michael Brinegar, who is fresh off finishing 17th in both the 800 free and 1500 free at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Behind him, we have Ohio State’s Charlie Clark, an NCAA All-American in the event last year.

Ohio State also has the reigning NCAA DII champion and DII record-holder in Fabio Dalu. Michigan has Jake Mitchell, who finished 2nd in the event last year, and was a U.S. Olympian this past summer in the 400 free. Wisconsin’s Josh Dannhauser took 4th in the event this year, and was just 6 seconds behind Brinegar’s winning time. We also can’t forget Wisconsin freshman Yigit Aslan, who has already been 14:40 in the event this season.

50 FREE/100 FREE

The sprint free events are so interesting this year because we get to see the defending champion, Ohio State’s Sem Andreis, go up against the 2020 champion, Indiana’s Bruno Blaskovic, who missed last year’s championships due to injury. Blaskovic leads the conference this season in the 50 free, but neither Blaskovic or Andreis sits at the top of the 100 right now. Instead, that honor goes to another Hoosier – freshman Rafael Miroslaw. Purdue’s Nikola Acin is 2nd, Ohio State’s Ruslan Gaziev is 3rd, and fellow Buckeye Hunter Armstrong is 4th, then we get to Blaskovic.

There have been 10 guys in the conference this year who have already gone under 43 seconds in the 100 free. The field is deep, and could truly be anyone’s for the taking.

SELECTIONS

SWIMULATOR PICKS

NOTE – this does not include diving, and Swimulator works as an approximation and projection based on 2021-2022 season bests. Not every team tapers the same way, injuries/illnesses come up, and projections are merely projections. 

Indiana 1366.5
Michigan 1169
Ohio St 952
Northwestern 732
Purdue 729.5
Wisconsin 659
Minnesota 595
Penn St 572

SWIMSWAM PICKS

This one is hard to pick…there’s just so much going on with the top 3 teams (IU, Michigan, OSU). That being said, the Swimulator really likes Indiana this year, and considering that doesn’t even take diving (one of IU’s strong points) into consideration, we have to go with the Hoosiers to reclaim the men’s B1G title after 2 years.

Indiana’s roster really is in great shape this year. The impact of Bruno Blaskovic‘s return can’t be overstated, and their 5th years are critical too. Their freshman class is phenomenal, to the point where we didn’t even get to name some of them above. Freshmen Josh Matheny and Luke Barr are both A finals-calliber swimmers, while freshmen divers Quinn Henninger and Carson Tyler both look like the real deal.

we’re departing from the Swimulator for #2, and going with the Buckeyes. Given Ohio State’s giant diving advantage over Michigan, not to mention their depth in every event, it feels like the Buckeyes have the upper hand coming into this meet.

We’re going to depart from the Swimulator again, and put Purdue over Northwestern for 4th this year. This is partially due to Purdue’s diving advantage as one of the premier programs in the NCAAs for divers, and partly because they’ve just simply been racing really well all season. Their group of sprinters is for real, and they could really make some noise in the relays. Do not be surprised if the 50 and 100 free championship finals roll around and we’re seeing 2, or even 3 Boilermakers in the mix.

We also bumped Wisconsin up over Northwestern. The Badgers have a really, really good, deep young roster, and after watching the women’s team outperform expectations last week, it just seems like Wisconsin’s men have something special in store.

  1. Indiana
  2. Ohio State
  3. Michigan
  4. Purdue
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Northwestern
  7. Minnesota
  8. Penn State

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chris
5 months ago

ukraine

SwimFan49
5 months ago

Ouch, Minn and Wisc both DQ in 200 Medley Relays after getting A cuts.

Geronimo
5 months ago

Don’t sleep. I got warren Briggs winning the 1650

snarky
5 months ago

The way the OSU women swam last week makes me think that the men could make some noise.

Coach Chackett
5 months ago

My favorite event is

400 Medley Relay (Times Finals)

Ahh. These times.

IU Kicker
5 months ago

Let’s go HOOOOOSIERS!!!!!

Daaaave
5 months ago

An interesting relay situation with only IU, OSU and Michigan with any A-cuts. Purdue should get one of their short free relays over the line as they are really close in both.

After that, NU could make it through in the 2MR, and PSU is close in the 2FRR.

PSU could still struggle to get an individual qualifier in though (unless I am missing someone in the rankings).

Purdue would be fine via a diver presumably if not one of the sprinters getting in, and NU would get to swim any qualified relays with Housman/Burdisso.

Anyways, makes for an exciting meet when the teams that are 4th-6th will probably be really rested to get those cuts while… Read more »

swim observer
Reply to  Daaaave
5 months ago

Baganha for PSU looks like a qualifier (19.28 50)

Swim mom
Reply to  swim observer
5 months ago

Daly has qualified every year as well.

PancakeLover
Reply to  swim observer
5 months ago

19.28 is 28th so far this year. Needs to cut probably a tenth off that

snarky
Reply to  PancakeLover
5 months ago

Everyone wants to be a sprinter!

Former Big10
5 months ago

Let’s go Hawks!!! Oh wait….
Wonder what events the pool is hosting this weekend