Natalie Schumann and Jessica Campbell are covering the Big Ten Championships for us this week in Bloomington. Both are journalism majors at Indiana.
400 Individual Medley
With three finalists total and two of them seeded first and second, Indiana looks to give Michigan’s defending B1G champion and 2012 NCAA runner-up Kyle Whitaker a challenge in the final tonight. Sophomore Steve Schmuhl (3:42.70) and senior Samuel Trahin (3:43.07) claimed the top spots followed by Whitaker (3:43.75) and Wisconsin’s Michael Weiss (3:43.99), who was last night’s runner-up in the 500 freestyle. Michigan’s Dylan Bosch (3:44.84), Ohio State’s Tamas Gercsak (3:46.09), Michigan’s 500 freestyle champion Connor Jaeger (3:46.09), and teammate Ryutaro Kamiya (3:48.61) are the remaining A finalists. The three top finishers broke the pool record, set by Alex Vanderkaay in 2006.
Whitaker is capable of going 3:41 in this event, as he did at last year’s B1G meet and NCAA championships, which could considerably shake up tonight’s race. Ohio State also had a total of five finalists qualify to swim tonight, which could add crucial points to the Buckeyes’ team score.
Penn State’s junior Sean Grier set a new pool record of 46.13, edging Ohio State’s Tim Phillips (46.17) for the top seed heading into the final tonight. That’s also one of two Penn State Records for him on the day, doubling with the 100 back. Again, Michigan showcased their depth, with Sean Fletcher (46.22, third), and John Wojciechowski (46.92, sixth) both qualifying for the A final. Michigan State’s Jacob Jarzen (46.53, fourth), Wisconsin’s Daniel Lester (46.54, fifth), Iowa’s Byron Butler (47.05, seventh), and Ohio State’s Garrett Trebilcock (47.45, eighth) round out the final. Maybe we didn’t get the depth all the way to 8th in this race that we thought we might, but to have the top 6 all under 47 seconds is still pretty impressive for a morning.
With the top three swimmers only separated by five-hundredths of a second, tonight’s race is quite unpredictable at this point.
After their dominant performance in the 800 freestyle relay, Michigan fulfilled expectations and qualified swimmers in the top four spots for tonight. Michael Wynalda set new meet and pool records with his 1:33.61 (previous records belonged to fellow Wolverines Anders Nielsen from the 800 free relay and Dan Ketchum, respectively). Wynalda placed sixth at the 2012 NCAA meet with only a 1:34.66. His teammates Nielsen (1:34.68), Khalik Abdel (1:34.96), and Justin Glanda (1:35.29) fill the remaining top four spots.
Other finalists include Ohio State’s Zach Holmes (1:35.34), Michigan’s Peter Brumm (1:35.69), Indiana’s James Barbiere (1:35.76), and Ohio State’s Alex Miller (1:35.97). At last year’s meet, a 1:36.27 qualified for the A final, indicating the increased intensity of this year’s competition.
Cody Miller defending (and reigning) 100 breaststroke B1G champion and last night’s 200 IM champion, gave Indiana its second top seed of the morning with a new meet and pool record of 51.96. This is significantly faster than the 52.34 he swam to win the event in 2012. Miller will have to hold off Michigan’s Richard Funk (52.14) and 50 freestyle champion Bruno Ortiz (52.99) to defend his title tonight. Indiana’s freshman Tanner Kurz qualified third with a 53.09, a time nearly three seconds faster than his seed.
Minnesota will also be well represented tonight, with Joshua Hall (53.19), Jared Anderson (53.28) and Max Cartwright (53.45) qualifying in the fifth through seventh spots. Wisconsin’s Nicholas Schafer took eighth with a 53.57.
2011 B1G champion and NCAA runner-up Eric Ress of Indiana was the one to watch in this event before this morning’s prelims. Now, James Wells, another Hoosier and defending B1G champion, claims the top seed heading into the final with a 45.52. Ress qualified fourth with a 46.48, a second and a half off his 2011 NCAA time of 45.14. Penn State’s Sean Grier (45.71), Michigan’s Miguel Ortiz (46.28), Penn State’s Nate Savoy (46.59), Iowa’s Grant Betulius (46.71), Sean Fletcher (46.77), and Ohio State’s Jacob Jarzen (46.95) fill out what is a very stacked final. That’s two A-finals for Jarzen tonight, split by three heats of two events.
Last year, only a 47.47 was needed to qualify for the A-final, but the stakes have raised with six of those eight finalists returning to race again this year.
Indiana did well again this morning, as did Ohio State, but with Michigan not letting off the accelerator one bit, it’s becoming harder-and-harder to catch them, even with the Hoosiers diving so well.
First, standings after two days of the meet, and then the up/downs (currently without diving).
1. University of Michigan 316
2. Indiana University 237
3. Ohio State University 170
4. Purdue University 144
5. University of Minnesota 133
6. University of Wisconsin 101
7. University of Iowa 86
8. Pennsylvania State University 75
9. Northwestern University 70
10. Michigan State University 60
|Big Ten men||Ups||Downs|