Big Ten Brawl: Michigan Women, Indiana Men Prevail in Competitive Meet


  • January 17, 2019
  • Hosts: Indiana
  • Results
  • Scores
    • Women: Michigan 172, Indiana 128
    • Men: Indiana 173.5, Michigan 126.5

The hottest rivalry in the Big Ten burned in Bloomington today, as the Michigan Wolverines came to town for an electric dual meet. Things were competitive, but the Michigan women and Indiana men ultimately took the wins by around fifty points on either side.


Michigan did not get off to a good start, as their A 200 medley relay was DQ’d after they finished first. They touched at 1:37.49 in what looked like a huge win over IU’s 1:38.83, but the live results show a -.16 reaction from Michigan anchor Catie Deloof, who split a 21.81.

Indiana, who had nobody under 25 in the 50 back or under 54 in the 100 back leading off their medley relays at the Indiana Invitational, looks like they might’ve found their backstroker in freshman Morgan Scott. She led off in 25.26, actually ahead of Michigan’s Taylor Garcia (25.47). Lilly King was 26.78 on breast to out-split Miranda Tucker‘s 27.23, but then Maggie MacNeil struck back in fly against Shelby Koontz, 22.98 to 24.01, a huge split from MacNeil. Deloof ran away with it in 21.81 to Laurel Eiber‘s 22.75, but that ultimately wouldn’t matter because of the DQ.

Michigan would right the ship, though, with Rose Bi going 9:47.24 to win the 1000 and then taking 2nd behind teammate Siobhan Haughey in the 200 free, the very next event. Haughey went 1:47.49, just a tenth ahead of Bi (1:47.59), who had finished the 1000 ten minutes or so before. Haughey went on to win the 100 free, going 48.47, just ahead of Deloof (48.69). Deloof was the 50 free winner (22.51) right before the first diving break.

As expected, King was unbeatable in the breaststrokes for Indiana. In both races, she won, with Michigan’s Tucker in 2nd and IU freshman Noelle Peplowski in 3rd. In the 100, King was 59.62, with Tucker (1:00.45) and Peplowski (1:01.10) behind, then in the 200 King was 2:11.57, followed by Tucker (2:12.55), Peplowski (2:12.70), and Laura Morley (2:12.97).

The meet was not a blowout by any means, with Indiana clawing back into things after winning the 200 breast and 200 back consecutively. After the 200 back, and including diving points (since Jessica Parratto winning both diving events), IU was only down 13 points. Michigan stormed back in the 500 free, though, going 1-2-3 led by Bi (4:48.31).

MacNeil had a huge win in the 100 back, going 52.88 over Scott (54.69) in a near two-second victory, though Bailey Kovac raced to the 200 back win (1:58.16). She returned in the 100 fly, winning by 2.5 seconds with a 51.70. Her dual meet best time is a 51.49 from October.

With two events left, Haughey was the only finisher under 2:00 in the 200 IM (1:58.69). In the 400 free relay, it was an absolute Wolverine blowout, as they clocked a very strong 3:16.68 to win by over six seconds. MacNeil was 49.12 leading off, and Deloof was 48.19 on the third leg with Haughey 49.36 anchoring. Tucker (50.01) was the fourth member of the relay. For IU, who touched at 3:23.02, only Koontz (49.66) out-split Tucker.


Backstroker Gabriel Fantoni was a key player for IU in the Hoosiers’ victory over the Michigan Wolverines. First off, in the 200 medley relay, Fantoni got the Hoosiers off to a lead by nearly a full second with his 21.86 leadoff, well ahead of Michigan frosh Eric Storms (22.76). Michigan out-split IU on breast (frosh Will Chan had a great 23.86 leg, beating Ian Finnerty‘s 24.20), Vini Lanza (21.08) and Jon Burkett (21.26) were pretty even in fly, and then Michigan’s Gus Borges out-split Bruno Blaskovic, 19.27 to 19.73. It was Fantoni’s huge lead-off, though, that kept IU afloat.

Fantoni would go on to throw down a 46.51 in the 100 back, and then he went 1-2-3 with teammates Mohamed Samy and Jacob Steele in the 200 back, 1:45.44 – 1:45.73 – 1:47.03. Indiana upped their lead by 13 points on just that event alone.

While the Michigan women had a stranglehold on the freestyle races, winning all of them, things were more evenly split on the men’s side. The Wolverines had Ricardo Vargas in the distance races, taking the 1000 (8:57.08) over IU’s Michael Brinegar (8:59.65) and then the 500 (4:23.68) over Wolverine Felix Auboeck (4:24.46). Sophomore Borges was the only sprinter under 20 seconds in the 50 free with a 19.99. Samy won the 200 free for IU, though, at 1:35.24 with Zach Apple 2nd (1:37.36), while Apple (43.58) and Blaskovic (44.19) went 1-2 in the 100 free for the Hoosiers.

The teams split the breaststroke races. Finnerty was 53.25 for a big win in the 100 breast, a dual meet 2018-19 best. He had a season-best 1:56.23 in the 200 breast, which is the fastest dual meet swim of his entire career by almost a full second, but Michigan’s Tommy Cope posted a 1:56.00. Finnerty actually had the faster final 50, which is not usually the case as he’s someone who typically goes out really hard in this race, but Cope held on by two tenths at the end. Cope and Finnerty found themselves barrelling toward the wall together in another event, the 200 IM, and Cope got the win by the tightest of margins, 1:46.55 to 1:46.56.

Miles Smachlo came up big for Michigan, sweeping the fly events. In the 100 fly, he was 47.08 in an incredibly tight race, as Indiana’s Lanza and Fantoni tying for 2nd at 47.17. In the 200 fly, Smachlo had a more comfortable win, going 1:46.01 ahead of Lanza’s 1:47.16.

Indiana wrapped it up with a win in the 400 free relay, with three men splitting under 44 seconds, including Apple’s 43.70 lead-off. Blaskovic was 44.17, followed by freshman Jack Franzman (43.91) and Samy (43.55). They finished at 2:55.33, more than two seconds ahead of Michigan’s 2:57.58 (who did get a 43.98 anchor from Charlie Swanson). IU also went 1-2 in both diving events, with Andrew Capobianco and James Connor flipflopping, Capobianco taking the 3 meter and Connor the 1 meter.

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Old sprinter
4 years ago

What is with some of those reaction times? .38? Lots of .5’s. New technique or faulty equipment?

4 years ago

Its been like 6 years since Mich has had an elite level backstroker

Reply to  asdhdsfjhdf
4 years ago

Clara Smiddy was great at the 200 she just couldn’t sprint. Ali Deloof graduated in 2016 and she finaled at Olympic Trials so they have plenty of backstroke talent. Maggie MacNeil is also great she just can’t swim both legs on a medley relay.

Reply to  Hannah
4 years ago

I am guessing they meant male backstroker?!?

JP input is too short
Reply to  asdhdsfjhdf
4 years ago

Yep, not really since Aaron Whitaker. It is *the* most glaring hole out of the top tier teams. Even Texas’s breaststroke situation last year was better.

4 years ago

Some great swims… nice to see the impact of Miles Smachlo and Tommy Cope with some big W’s… and Gus winning the 50! Great job fellas!

4 years ago

Why did Cody Miller not swim?

Reply to  Don
4 years ago

Cody is a professional swimmer and is no longer eligible to swim in collegiate meets. He’s a member of Indiana’s post-graduate group, along with swimmers like Blake Pieroni and Annie Lazor.

Reply to  Don
4 years ago

There’s no need to down vote. If we are honest, we’ve all made oversights like this.

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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