2022 B1G Women’s Championships
- When: Wednesday, February 16 – Saturday, February 19, 2022
- Where: Madison, Wis. – Soderholm Family Aquatic Center
- Defending Champion: Ohio State (2x) (2021 Results)
- Championships Central
- Live Results
- Streaming: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4
- Championships Central
- Prelims: 10 am, Finals: 5:30 pm (Central), (Wednesday night relays begin at 5 pm)
The Big Ten Conference will look a little different this year as it is the first year without the Michigan State women in 51 years after their program was cut last year. Ohio State has won the last two championships, but Michigan has a strong freshman class.
COVID-19 may have slight impacts on the meet as swimmers may have gotten the virus or been in close contact which would result in them missing some practice. time Multiple Big Ten meets were canceled this season due to COVID-19.
Michigan’s Maggie MacNeil will most likely go undefeated this year in her events. The team’s freshman class also has the potential to make a huge impact especially from sprinter Lindsay Flynn and versatile Letitia Sim (although she most likely will swim the breaststroke events).
Ohio State had 422 of their points from seniors last year but their top two points scorers who were seniors both returned. The school’s freshman class has the potential to score a few points, but not as much potential as Michigan’s freshman class has.
Indiana will be without breaststroker Emily Weiss as she announced her medical retirement at the beginning of the year. Distance freestyler Mariah Denigan has the potential to make a big impact.
Northwestern has finished fourth the last two years scoring a program record of 992 points last year. They return both Sophie Angus and Maddie Smith as they took their fifth year allowed due to COVID-19. Those two were huge points scorers for the team last year as they totaled 134.5 points. Wisconsin though has the potential to pass the Wildcats and move up from fifth in the conference as 2020 US Olympian Phoebe Bacon is the Big Ten’s top time coming into the conference championships in the 200 backstroke and 200 IM. The team is also boosted by freshman distance freestyler Paige McKenna.
Minnesota returns NCAA Champion diver Sarah Bacon, and Purdue will look to continue their strength through the diving events and outlast Penn State.
Iowa is under a small roster after being cut then reinstated last year. Rutgers now has returned their roster after most redshirted last season.
- 200 medley relay
- 800 free relay
- 200 IM
- 50 freestyle
- 500 freestyle
- 400 medley relay
- 100 butterfly
- 400 IM
- 200 freestyle
- 100 breaststroke
- 100 backstroke
- 200 freestyle relay
- 200 backstroke
- 100 freestyle
- 200 breaststroke
- 200 butterfly
- 1650 freestyle (timed finals)
- 400 freestyle relay
Illinois – Abby Cabush (senior sprinter), Cara Bognar (sophomore distance). Cabush has gone best times this year in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles and is currently projected to score 11 points in the 200 freestyle. Bognar also has gone a best time this season in the event she is projected to score 11 points in the 400 IM.
Indiana – Anna Peplowski (freshman back/free), Mac Looze (senior IM), Mariah Denigan (freshman distance free), Noelle Peplowski (senior free), Brearna Crawford (freshman breast/IM). Crawford, Looze, and N. Peplowski are projected to go 2-3-4 in the 200 breaststroke which would be huge for the Hoosiers after defending champion Emily Weiss medically retired. Freshman Mariah Denigan will look to score many points in the distance freestyle events.
Iowa – The Iowa roster only lists 13 girls on it including four divers.
Michigan – Maggie MacNeil (senior free/back/fly), Olivia Carter (senior fly), Letitia Sim (freshman breast/IM), Kathryn Ackerman (sophomore IM/free). Maggie MacNeil will make a huge impact for Michigan as she is projected to win the 100 free, 100 fly, and 100 back. Olivia Carter will look to defend her title in the 200 butterfly. Freshman Letitia Sim helps fill the breaststroke gap as Michigan had no one final in either breaststroke events last year.
Minnesota – Megan Van Berkom (sophomore IM/fly), Hannah Cornish (freshman freestyle), Sarah Bacon (senior diving). Van Berkom was in the A final of the 400 IM last year but will be the top seed this year. Bacon has the chance to score huge points in diving.
Nebraska – Autumn Haebig (senior free/back), Shannon Stott (senior fly/free). Haebig has the potential to make an impact in the mid-distance freestyle events and Stott is projected to be on the cusp of the 200 butterfly A final.
Northwestern – Maddie Smith (senior sprinter), Hannah Brunzell (junior breast), Jasmine Nocentini (sophomore sprinter), Lola Mull (sophomore distance free). Smith and Nocentini may be the best sprinting duo in the Big Ten besides Michigan’s MacNeil and Flynn. Nocentini transferred to Northwestern this year and has strengthened the sprint group. Smith coming back for a fifth year also makes a huge impact. Brunzell leads a great breaststroke group that also includes Sophie Angus and Tara Vovk.
Ohio State – Amy Fulmer (junior free), Katherine Zenick (sophomore free), Kristen Romano (senior IM), Sally Tafuto (senior free), Emily Crane (graduate free/back). Romano was the team’s highest points scorer last year and is projected to be around the A final in the IM events this year. Amy Fulmer is projected to be second in the 100 freestyle only behind Maggie MacNeil. Tafuto is projected to be the top seed in the 500 freestyle.
Penn State – Marie Schobel (senior back), Catherine Stanford (sophomore sprint free). Schobel is projected to be in the A final of the 200 backstroke and on the cusp of the A final in the 100 backstroke. Stanford will help both the individual sprint freestyles as well as the relays.
Purdue – Maycy Folcik (sophomore breaststroke), Madeline Greaves (freshman IM/fly), Lindsay Turner (junior fly), Maycey Vieta (junior diving), Maggie Merriman (senior diving), Emily Pfeiffer (senior diving). Vieta, Merriman, and Pfeiffer all scored the most points for Purdue last year through diving. Folcik is #4 in school history in the 100 breaststroke and is on the cusp of the A final and will help out the medley relays.
Rutgers – Sofia Lobova (freshman fly/free), Sofia Chichaikina (junior fly/free), Abigail Knapton (fifth year diving). Combining the two, and Rutgers is projected to score in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles as well as the 100 and 200 butterfly. Knapton won platform and the 1 meter last year and was runner up in the 3 meter so she has the potential to boost Rutgers there.
Wisconsin – Phoebe Bacon (sophomore back/IM), Mackenzie McConagha (freshman backstroke), Paige McKenna (freshman, distance free), Mallory Jump (junior fly/IM), Kaylyn Schoof (sophomore fly/back). Bacon will look to defend her titles in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. The team could potentially have three A finalists in the 100 backstroke as well. Paige McKenna has the fastest time in the 1650 freestyle this season in the conference by almost 10 seconds.
Bacon made the US Olympic Team in the 200 long course meters backstroke. MacNeil broke the World Record in the 50 short course meters backstroke back in December 2021. The 100 backstroke short course yards meets in the middle. MacNeil did not swim in the event at last year’s championships but this year is different as teammate Flynn has the #2 time (behind MacNeil) in the 50 freestyle this season in the conference. MacNeil may opt to swim the 100 backstroke instead of the 50 freestyle. Bacon won the event last year at the championships and will look to defend her crown.
Bacon and Sim are the top two projections in the 200 IM. Bacon won the head-to-head battle at the Michigan-Minnesota-Wisconsin tri-meet last month by over 2 seconds. Expect this race to be much closer.
200 freestyle relay
Last year, OSU topped Michigan in the relay, winning in a time of 1:27.53. Michigan swam to second in a time of 1:27.99. This year’s top relay looks to be between the two teams again. OSU returns 3 out of their 4 legs as they only graduated Taylor Petrak who led off last year in a 22.04. Michigan also returns 3 out of their 4 legs as only Daria Pyshnenko graduated. Pyshnenko did not swim at NCAA’s last year so Michigan has already gone through a championship meet without her on the relay. Michigan has multiple options for this relay, and may end up switching Olivia Carter out as well.
The Swimulator does not factor into diving points, which will become a factor in the final outcome especially for teams like Purdue and Minnesota. Defending champion Ohio State is projected lower than Michigan, even though the OSU women also beat the Michigan women in a dual meet last month. Ohio State has also been projected below Michigan the past two championships, but ended up winning the conference title. The difference between the last two years and this year is the scoring roster switching from 24 to 18 which may have an impact on Ohio State which is known for its depth.
There is quite a fall off after the sixth team Minnesota, meaning that the top 6 are definitely right, but are most likely to finish in a different order. Emily Weiss is still factored into the Swimulator scoring 41 points, which is just slightly above the point differential between Indiana and Wisconsin.
- Michigan 1147.5
- Ohio State 1074.5
- Indiana 1061.5
- Wisconsin 1013
- Northwestern 812.5
- Minnesota 722
- Nebraska 384
- Penn St 372.5
- Purdue 287.5
- Rutgers 202
- Illinois 197
- Iowa 152
- Ohio State
- Penn St