Brendan Burns Takes Advantage of Big Ten Meet Schedule, Four 41s to Close Meet


What a finish to the 2021 Big Ten Men’s Championships. As Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State were neck-and-neck the last two days, the Wolverines squeezed ahead. By the completion of the 200 breast, Michigan had a clear path to the win, so long as they didn’t DQ the 400 free relay.

Michigan ran away with it in the end, with Indiana in second and Ohio State in third. Decided by the 400 free relay, Purdue grabbed fourth, their swimmers this year having an impressive meet. Last year, their divers were a main propellor as they claimed seventh, but the Boilers looked much-improved this year. Wisconsin and Northwestern were just behind in fifth and sixth, respectively, each moving down a spot from last year.

Meanwhile, Iowa did enough in the 400 free relay to slip past Minnesota for eighth. Iowa and Michigan State are finished as programs with the conclusion of the season, though the Hawkeyes should have sophomore Will Myhre at NCAAs in the 100 breast.


  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 individual swim of the night was Brendan Burns, the Indiana sophomore, in the 200 back.

Burns capitalized on this meet’s unusual event schedule, now a five-day meet rather than a four-day meet due to COVID-19, and the results were golden. Burns, a phenomenal butterflier and backstroker, did the 100 fly/100 back double on the third day of the meet in 2020, then swam the 200 fly on the last day. This year, the 200 fly was held on day four, while the 200 back was on day five.

Instead of the fly/back double in 100s, he was able to do the 200 of each on separate days. The outcome? Burns first won the 200 fly last night, breaking 1:40 for the first time to hit a 1:39.22 and dominate the event. In the 200 back final tonight, he again broke 1:40, and again dominated, clocking a 1:39.37 to win by over a second.

Not only were those big best times for Burns, but he now ranks within the top-five nationally in both events. He’ll likely swap back to the 100 fly/100 back double and then pick one of the 200s for the NCAA Championships, but his improvements have been impressive this week.

It’s unclear if the conference will do this schedule ever again, but either way, Burns was able to compete in both races at a focus meet and he’s now a likely NCAA A-final contender in both.

Meanwhile, four men broke 42 seconds on flying starts in the 400 free relay, and Michigan’s River Wright clocked a new Michigan record in the 100 free (42.06) leading off the Wolverines.


*lead-off legs denoted

Ohio State Sem Andreis 41.66
Indiana Van Mathias 41.76
Purdue Nikola Acin 41.78
Ohio State Paul Delakis 41.98
Michigan River Wright 42.06 *lead-off*
Indiana Jack Franzman 42.16
Michigan Gus Borges 42.26
Penn State Jake Houck 42.43
Michigan Cam Peel 42.47
Ohio State Hunter Armstrong 42.47 *lead-off*
Indiana Brendan Burns 42.60
Indiana Tomer Frankel 42.68 *lead-off*
Purdue Trent Pellini 42.77
Michigan Bence Szabados 42.87
Purdue Nick Sherman 42.88 *lead-off*
Purdue Ryan Lawrence 42.89
Penn State Will Roberson 42.90 *lead-off*
Michigan State Aidan Farley 42.93 *lead-off*
Minnesota Lucas Farrar 43.16 *lead-off*
Wisconsin Dylan Delaney 43.20
Ohio State Justin Fleagle 43.21
Iowa Ryan Purdy 43.27
Northwestern Robert Cecil 43.35
Iowa Aleksey Tarasenko 43.38 *lead-off*
Northwestern Liam Gately 43.41
Penn State Gabe Castano 43.49
Wisconsin Wes Jekel 43.50
Northwestern Andrew Zhang 43.53
Minnesota Tom Donker 43.56
Wisconsin Jake Newmark 43.62 *lead-off*
Iowa Mateusz Arndt 43.65
Iowa Sergey Kuznetsov 43.68
Minnesota Max McHugh 43.71
Northwestern Aleksa Bobar 43.86 *lead-off*
Minnesota Kaiser Neverman 43.93
Penn State Zane Sutton 43.94
Michigan State Kevin Mills 43.98
Wisconsin Erik Gessner 44.17
Michigan State Bradley Sanford 44.47
Michigan State Stephan Freitag 45.42

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Brendan Burns
1 year ago

Thank you for the kind words. Follow me back now?

Reply to  Brendan Burns
1 year ago

Great Meet! Almost got the Trophy back to Btown. Gotta keep the recruits/teammates like Gallant, Bathurst, Couchon to stay and meet wouldn’t have been close even without Bruno. You, Mikey, Brinegar, Capobianco, Van, Franzman, etc need to Win it back next year. Congrats on achievements during tough year and pushed by good UM and OSU teams. Better when all are strong.

Reply to  H20PoloFan2
1 year ago

Tomer great addition 💪

1 year ago

Brendan Burns is a star! Congratulations you were awesome and “We’re All For You!”

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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