2022 Women’s B1G Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap

2022 B1G WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS

Following last night’s “B1G” victory in the 400 medley relay, Ohio State holds a 13.5-point advantage in the team race through two days at the Women’s Big Ten Championships, as the Buckeyes aim to win a third consecutive crown.

Michigan and Indiana trail closely behind, making for an exciting final two days of racing in Madison.

TEAM SCORES – THRU DAY 2

  1. Ohio State, 425.0
  2. Michigan, 411.5
  3. Indiana, 405.0
  4. Wisconsin, 371.0
  5. Minnesota, 320.5
  6. Northwestern, 295.0
  7. Rutgers, 190.0
  8. Nebraska, 171.0
  9. Purdue, 160.0
  10. Penn State, 152.0
  11. Illinois, 105.0
  12. Iowa, 92.0

Day 3 will feature a slate of five individual events: 100 fly, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back.

Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil claimed her fourth straight victory last night in the 50 freestyle, and will have the opportunity for a second four-peat today in the 100 fly.

In the 100 fly, MacNeil is arguably the most dominant swimmer on the planet right now in one single event, if we look at it from a straight winning perspective. She’s currently the Olympic, LC World, SC World and NCAA champion in the event, the only woman to ever hold all four titles at the same time.

Also defending titles on Friday will be Ohio State’s Kristen Romano in the 400 IM, Nebraska’s Autumn Haebig in the 200 free, OSU’s Hannah Bach in the 100 breast, and Wisconsin’s Phoebe Bacon in the 100 back.

Romano is riding the momentum of a repeat 200 IM win on Thursday night, while Bach split a scintillating 57.07 on the Buckeyes’ record-setting 400 medley relay to indicate she’s in good form for the 100 breast.

Bacon was underwhelming in the 400 medley relay (52.15 lead-off), though she did have a solid third-place showing in the 200 IM, while Haebig missed the ‘A’ final of the 500 free. However, her finals time of 4:44.00 (that placed 10th) was only seven-tenths slower than what she went last season to take fifth.

But the ones to watch in the 200 free will be OSU’s Amy Fulmer, IU’s Anna Peplowski and Wisconsin’s Lillie Hosack, who all led off in 1:43s on Wednesday night’s 800 free relay.

Women’s 100 Fly – Prelims

  • B1G Championship Records: 49.42, Maggie MacNeil (MICH), 2020
  • B1G Conference Record: 48.89, Maggie MacNeil (MICH), 2021
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.92
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 53.76
  1. Maggie MacNeil (MICH), 51.31
  2. Olivia Carter (MICH), 51.70
  3. Katherine Zenick (OSU), 52.01
  4. Miriam Guevara (NU), 52.09
  5. Mallory Jump (WISC), 52.12
  6. Mackenzie McConagha (WISC), 52.30
  7. Tristan Harrison (OSU), 52.58
  8. Morgan Kraus (OSU), 52.67

Reigning NCAA champion Maggie MacNeil put up a leisurely 51.31 in the 100 fly prelims to claim the top seed for tonight’s final, where she’ll aim to win her fourth straight Big Ten title in a row.

MacNeil entered the week as the lone woman to have broken 50 seconds in the NCAA this season, but Virginia’s Kate Douglass—the runner-up to MacNeil at the 2021 NCAAs—did so over at the ACC Championships twice on Thursday. MacNeil went 49.97 earlier this season at the Minnesota Invite, and will now set her target on Douglass’ new nation-leading time of 49.86.

Fellow Michigan senior Olivia Carter, the runner-up to MacNeil at last season’s Big Tens, qualified second in 51.70, while Ohio State’s Katherine Zenick won the first circle-seeded heat (52.01) to advance in third.

Zenick had the fastest butterfly split on last night’s 400 medley relay at 50.93, edging out Carter’s 51.12. MacNeil notably swam backstroke for Michigan.

Northwestern senior Miriam Guevara (52.09) was within two-tenths of her personal best time to qualify fourth, and Wisconsin junior Mallory Jump established a lifetime best of 52.12 to advance in fifth. The top-five qualifiers were all in the final last season.

The lone freshman to make it through was Wisconsin’s Mackenzie McConagha, who downed her PB from the Minnesota Invite (52.47) in 52.30 for sixth.

Ohio State got three women into the ‘A’ final, with sophomore Tristan Harrison (52.58) and junior Morgan Kraus (52.67) both cracking 53 seconds for the first time to make their way into tonight’s championship heat.

Women’s 400 IM – Prelims

  • B1G Championship Records: 4:01.41, Allysa Vavra (IU), 2012
  • B1G Conference Record: 4:01.35, Calypso Sheridan (NU), 2019
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 4:03.63
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 4:17.30
  1. Kathryn Ackerman (MICH), 4:08.48
  2. Kristen Romano (OSU), 4:08.67
  3. Katie Trace (OSU), 4:09.44
  4. Megan Van Berkom (MINN), 4:10.46
  5. Mac Looze (IU), 4:10.67
  6. Victoria Kwan (MICH), 4:11.88
  7. Mariah Denigan (IU), 4:12.46
  8. Kyra Sommerstad (OSU), 4:13.76

It was another big event for Ohio State in the 400 IM as they put three women into tonight’s ‘A’ final, but the top spot went to Michigan’s Kathryn Ackerman, who clocked in at 4:08.48 from the penultimate heat.

Ackerman, who owns a PB of 4:06.95 from last season’s NCAAs and was 4:07.38 earlier this season at the SMU Classic, pulled away from Indiana’s Mariah Denigan on the breaststroke leg en route to the Heat 4 win, and will now aim to improve on her fourth-place finish in this event from last year.

Denigan, a freshman, ended up qualifying seventh for the final in 4:12.46, with her season-best sitting at 4:10.24 from the Ohio State Invite.

It was a statement swim of sorts for defending champion Kristen Romano in the first circle-seeded heat, as the Ohio State fifth-year came into the meet as the 28th-fastest swimmer in the conference this season with only one 400 IM swim under her belt (4:22.69 in late October).

Romano recorded a time of 4:08.67 to qualify second for the final, notably significantly quicker than she went in last year’s prelims (4:13.23) before winning the final in 4:06.75. She set her best time at last season’s NCAAs, winning the ‘B’ final in 4:04.28.

Joining Romano in tonight’s final for the Buckeyes will be fellow fifth-year Katie Trace, who was the third woman sub-4:10 in 4:09.44, and sophomore Kyra Sommerstad (4:13.76), who edged out Indiana’s Gan Ching Hwee(4:13.94) in Heat 5 to snag the eighth and final spot in the championship heat.

Trace was last season’s Big Ten runner-up and went on to place sixth in the NCAA final.

Minnesota sophomore Megan Van Berkom, the fastest swimmer in the conference this season at 4:06.92, touched second to Trace in the last heat in 4:10.46 to advance in fourth, while IU’s Mac Looze (4:10.67) and Michigan’s Victoria Kwan (4:11.88) move on in fifth and sixth, respectively.

Women’s 200 Free – Prelims

  • B1G Championship Records: 1:41.57, Siobhan Haughey (MICH), 2019
  • B1G Conference Record: 1:40.69, Siobhan Haughey (MICH), 2018
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 1:42.98
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:47.12
  1. Anna Peplowski (IU), 1:44.37
  2. Amy Fulmer (OSU), 1:44.50
  3. Lillie Hosack (WISC), 1:45.26
  4. Jasmine Nocentini (NU), 1:45.42
  5. Alice Scarabelli (RUT), 1:45.67
  6. Ally Larson (NU), 1:45.86
  7. Autumn Haebig (NEB), 1:45.91
  8. Megan Glass (MICH), 1:46.03

Rutgers freshman and Milan, Italy native Alice Scarabelli threw down the early gauntlet in the 200 free from the non-circle-seeded sixth heat, torching her personal best time of 1:49.30 in 1:45.67. Scarabelli’s swim also lowers the Rutgers record of 1:46.12 set by Sofia Chichiakina on Wednesday night’s 800 free relay.

Scarabelli ended up advancing into the ‘A’ final in fifth, which will be the first for Rutgers at the competition. Last year they didn’t have any swimmers earn a second swim in the 200 free.

Indiana freshman Anna Peplowski ultimately claimed the top seed after winning the final heat in 1:44.37, having reset her personal best time down to 1:43.53 on Wednesday night in the 800 free relay. Prior to that, Peplowski’s fastest-ever swim was the 1:44.34 she did earlier this season at the Ohio State Invite, which ranked her first in the conference coming in.

Ohio State’s Amy Fulmer, who out-touched Peplowski on that relay lead-off in 1:43.46, easily advanced in second overall at 1:44.50, employing a similar strategy to what she did on the relay (out in 49.5 at the 100 both times).

Wisconsin’s Lillie Hosack qualified third in 1:45.26, the same position she finished in last year’s final, while Northwestern’s Jasmine Nocentini got under her year-old best time in 1:45.42 for fourth. NU junior Ally Larson, fifth last year, made it two Wildcats in tonight’s big heat, qualifying sixth in 1:45.86.

Defending champion Autumn Haebig got the job done and moves on to the ‘A’ in seventh at 1:45.91, with 2021 runner-up Ella Ristic on the outside looking in in ninth (1:46.05).

Michigan’s Megan Glass, who was fourth in last season’s final in 1:45.95, barely made this year’s top eight despite going just .08 slower in 1:46.03.

Women’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  • B1G Championship Records: 55.88, Lilly King (IU), 2019
  • B1G Conference Record: 55.73, Lilly King (IU), 2019
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 58.46
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 1:01.84
  1. Hannah Bach (OSU), 57.96
  2. Sophie Angus (NU), 58.78
  3. Tara Vovk (NU), 58.80
  4. Letitia Sim (MICH), 59.15
  5. Hannah Brunzell (NU), 59.37
  6. Noelle Peplowski (IU), 59.48
  7. Josephine Panitz (OSU), 59.56
  8. Brearna Crawford (IU), 59.85

Defending champion and Ohio State junior Hannah Bach blasted the top time of the session in 100 breast by over eight-tenths of a second in 57.96, bettering her season-best of 58.08 from OSU’s mid-season invite.

Bach was also just .02 shy of her personal best time, 57.94, set in last season’s NCAA final where she finished fifth.

After putting two women through to the ‘A’ final of the 200 free, the Northwestern breaststrokers really stepped up by putting three women into the championship heat in this event.

Seniors Sophie Angus (58.78) and Tara Vovk (58.80) qualified second and third overall, while junior Hannah Brunzell (59.37) was fifth. Vovk cracks the 59-second barrier for the first time in her career, having been 59.36 earlier this season, while Angus nails a new season-best and comes within two-tenths of her PB of 58.59 set at the 2021 NCAAs.

Angus and Brunzell finished eighth and ninth at last season’s NCAAs (and 2-3 at Big Tens), with Brunzell hitting a best time of 58.50 to win the ‘B’ final. Vovk, on the other hand, has shown massive improvement this season, having only finished in a tie for 10th at this meet last year (1:00.52 in the final).

Qualifying fourth for tonight’s final was Michigan freshman Letitia Sim, who has a bit of a bounce-back swim after missing the 200 IM ‘A’ final on Thursday. Sim came in ranked second in the conference this season with her mid-season time of 59.06, and she was within a tenth of that this morning in 59.15.

It ended up taking sub-1:00 (59.85) to make the ‘A’ final this year, a big step up compared to what it took in 2021 (1:00.60).

Women’s 100 Back – Prelims

  • B1G Championship Records: 49.70, Beata Nelson (WISC), 2020
  • B1G Conference Record: 49.18, Beata Nelson (WISC), 2019
  • NCAA ‘A’ Cut: 50.93
  • NCAA ‘B’ Cut: 53.94
  1. Mackenzie McConagha (WISC), 51.91
  2. Phoebe Bacon (WISC), 52.38
  3. Anna Peplowski (IU), 52.43
  4. Kacey McKenna (IU), 52.45
  5. Mara Newman (WISC), 52.46
  6. Kaylyn Schoof (WISC), 52.53
  7. Emily Crane (OSU), 52.63
  8. Marie Schobel (PSU), 52.71

The Wisconsin backstrokers came to play this morning, and it was freshman Mackenzie McConagha who surprisingly snagged the top seed over teammate and defending champion Phoebe Bacon.

McConagha, fresh off of setting a new best time in the 100 fly at the beginning of the session, beat Bacon head-to-head in the last heat of the 100 back in a new PB of 51.93 to qualify first into tonight’s final. McConagha’s previous best time sat at 52.60, set at the Minnesota Invitational.

Bacon advanced in second with a time of 52.38, exactly one second off her season-best set during the mid-season Minnesota Invite. Bacon won the Big Ten crown last season in 51.32, a precursor to her victory in the 200 back at the NCAA Championships.

Joining McConagha and Bacon in the ‘A’ final for the Badgers tonight will be senior Mara Newman (52.46) and sophomore Kaylyn Schoof (52.53). Schoof hit a new best time, improving on her previous mark of 52.68, while Newman tied her PB right on the money.

Indiana put two men through to the championship heat, led by freshman Anna Peplowski who impressively advanced in third with a best time of 52.43 shortly after producing the top time in the 200 freestyle.

Fellow Hoosier first-year Kacey McKenna also dipped under her PB to qualify fourth, going from 52.57 at the Ohio State Invite to 52.45 here.

Last year’s runner-up to Bacon, Ohio State’s Emily Crane made her way into the final in seventh with a time of 52.63.

Similar to what we’ve seen in some of the other events at this meet, the time required to advance to the ‘A’ final of the 100 back was much quicker than last season. In 2021, 53.52 was eighth in the heats, and this year 52.71 was the cut-off. In fact, 53.52 in this morning’s session would’ve only nabbed you Lane 8 in the ‘B’ final.

Nyah Funderburke Drops 51.6 Swimming Exhibition

Ohio State freshman Nyah Funderburke dropped a massive best time of 51.62 swimming exhibition, which would’ve easily been the top qualifying time for the ‘A’ final.

Funderburke’s previous best time in the event was 52.92, set in March 2021, and her season-best was 54.51 from last month. Last season 53.01 was the cut-off time for NCAA invites, so Funderburke is well clear of that and should easily earn a spot on the Buckeyes’ roster for nationals.

Earlier in the meet, she exhibitioned the 50 freestyle, clocking 22.67 to crush her previous best of 23.41.

Women’s 3-Meter Diving – Prelims

  • B1G Championship Record: 430.60, Sarah Bacon (MINN), 2019
  • B1G Conference Record: 430.60, Sarah Bacon (MINN), 2019
  1. Sarah Bacon (MINN), 391.45
  2. Anne Fowler (IU), 350.85
  3. Mackenzie Crawford (OSU), 342.10
  4. Joy Zhu (MINN), 332.85
  5. Allie Klein (MICH), 328.55
  6. Abigail Knapton (RUT), 326.70
  7. Savana Trueb (RUT), 326.10
  8. Tarrin Gilliland (IU), 323.35

Minnesota senior Sarah Bacon easily claimed the top seed in the 3-meter diving prelims with a score of 391.45, with fellow Gopher Joy Zhu joining her in the championship final in fourth.

Rutgers also put two divers up, as did Indiana, which will help them in the team battle with Ohio State and Michigan (who both put one diver up).

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Dmswim
4 months ago

The Rutgers team record in the 200 free was 1:46.12 set by Chichaikina leading off the 800 free relay on Wednesday before Scarabelli beat it this morning.

Bevo
4 months ago

This meet has 3-4 teams that can still win. Great coverage.

Team (2)
4 months ago

I thought Paige Mckenna would be a bit faster. I predict a good mile time for her tomorrow! Probably around 15:50

Sea Monster
4 months ago

The decision to limit the scoring team to less athletes seems absolutely pointless. The teams still pay for their travel, food, and gear. There is no monetary savings for doing this, so what’s the point? To limit break out athletes like Nyah Funderburke???

Jackman
Reply to  Sea Monster
4 months ago

It does allow for a wider and more competitive team race. The teams that have great depth like Michigan and OSU don’t get to dominate as much in this format, and smaller schools with a few great athletes like Northwestern can challenge for a high overall finish.

Admin
Reply to  Sea Monster
4 months ago

From talking to Big Ten coaches there are two points:

1) Teams that aren’t in as good of a financial position as Ohio State have the option of traveling less and saving money without impacting standings.
2) The feeling was that schools were cutting programs where they weren’t competitive in the Big Ten, where they weren’t even scoring points beyond the freebie relay points. Smaller rosters from Ohio State, Michigan, and Indiana create more opportunities for programs like Iowa and Illinois to get swimmers into finals and give coaches something to show their ADs.

Most of the coaches I spoke to, even at the better teams, agreed that this was better for the overall health of the conference, even… Read more »

Sea Monster 2
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Saving money huh, is that why Minnesota was able to afford a training trip this year? Sounds a lot more like teams with less depth and less of a chance of winning a conference meet want to bring higher caliber programs down to their level in order to make themselves look comparable. If a team can’t travel more than X swimmers for whatever reason, then that is their universities issue to deal with. Stop punishing an entire conference and making the B1G 10 meet a joke.

PS This format proves nothing to lower performing school’s athletic directors other than their team has no chance of being relevant unless the entire conference further limits scoring athletes. So is this to be… Read more »

B1G Fan
Reply to  Sea Monster 2
4 months ago

The impact outside of the Funderburke outlier & the 100 breast has been smaller than I thought it would be. I think it will have a much bigger effect at the mens’ meet next week due to fewer teams.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Sea Monster 2
4 months ago

Minnesota has endowed scholarships so they aren’t hurting for money. But schools like Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue, and obviously Iowa potentially are hurting for money. Many conferences limit scoring squads to 18. This isn’t unprecedented. Some conferences don’t even let exhibition swimmers compete.

DOP
4 months ago

Introducing Nyah Funderburke (OSU) in the 100 Back. Exhibition swimmer (yes, OSU is that deep), goes 51.6 in her prelims swim today. Catch her at NCAAs! Heck of a swim.

Jackman
Reply to  DOP
4 months ago

That’s crazy, would have been first seed right?

anon
4 months ago

Mackenzie McConagha getting it done!

Last edited 4 months ago by anon
B1G fan
4 months ago

WOW, Nyah Funderburke!

Virtus
4 months ago

Didn’t know it was possible for her to go that speed

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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