Michigan Goes For 3-Peat At Big Ten Championships

Press Release courtesy of Michigan Athletics

Fresh off its first undefeated dual-meet slate in 20 years, the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan women’s swimming and diving team enters the postseason this week at the Big Ten Championships, held Wednesday through Saturday (Feb. 14-17) at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. The four-day meet begins at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday with a pair of relays. The remaining three days see preliminaries beginning at 11 a.m., with event finals following at 6:30 p.m.

The Wolverines enter the meet as two-time defending champions, seeking their third consecutive title for the first time since the 1996-98 seasons. They are the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten.

The Big Ten Network will air a condensed version of the meet on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. ET. Bernie Guenther (play-by-play), Margaux Farrell (analyst), Natalie Kalibat (diving analyst) and Gabriella DiGiovanni (sideline) will be on the call. Each session will be streamed live through BTN2Go.

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY

Titles: Michigan is the winningest women’s swimming and diving program in the Big Ten, leading the conference in team titles (16), individual swimming titles (130) and relay titles (56). It also has five conference diving champions.

Last Year: The Wolverines captured the crown last year in West Lafayette, Ind., scoring 1,287 points over the four-day meet. They held a 14.5-point lead heading into the final day of competition but expanded on it thanks to scoring performances from 26 of 28 student-athletes on the team’s roster. G Ryan (500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle), Siobhán Haughey (200-yard freestyle) and the 800-yard freestyle relay all came home with individual or relay titles.

Awards: Six U-M swimmers have been named Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships: Jen Eberwein (1998), Shannon Shakespeare (2000), Justine Mueller (2005), Kaitlyn Brady (2006), Lindsey Smith (2007) and Siobhán Haughey (2016). No U-M diver has ever won Diver of the Championships.

Best Events: The Wolverines have multiple Big Ten champions in each swimming and diving event with the most coming in the 200-yard IM (24), the 400-yard medley relay (17), the 200-yard breaststroke (17), the 200-yard backstroke (16) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (15). Only three times in the past 28 seasons has U-M gone without a Big Ten champion: 2002, 2012 and 2013.

Relays/Diving: U-M is looking to defend its title in the 800-yard freestyle relay, an event it has won two years in a row. The Wolverines haven’t crowned a diving champion in any of the three events since 1994 (platform — Cinnamon Woods).

BIG TEN RANKINGS

Here’s where Michigan swimmers rank in the Big Ten heading into this week’s championship. The top 24 in each individual swimming and diving event score points. Each swimmer is limited to a maximum of three individual events and four relay swims:

50-yard Freestyle

Catie DeLoof: 4th (22.30)

Siobhán Haughey: 5th (22.36)

Daria Pyshnenko: 12th (22.68)

Vanessa Krause: T-17th (22.77)

Taylor Garcia: 22nd (22.88)

Gabby DeLoof: 23rd (22.89)

100-yard Freestyle

Siobhán Haughey: 1st (47.20)

Gabby DeLoof: 2nd (48.35)

Catie DeLoof: 3rd (48.37)

Daria Pyshnenko: 22nd (49.86)

Becca Postoll: 24th (49.98)

200-yard Freestyle

Siobhán Haughey: 1st (1:41.83)

Gabby DeLoof: 2nd (1:43.66)

Catie DeLoof: 5th (1:45.26)

Yirong Bi: T-7th (1:45.48)

Becca Postoll: T-11th (1:46.24)

Emma Cleason: 23rd (1:48.06)

500-yard Freestyle

Yirong Bi: 1st (4:35.02)

Sierra Schmidt: T-3rd (4:38.54)

G Ryan: 6th (4:39.72)

Becca Postoll: 8th (4:41.32)

Jacqui Schafer: 23rd (4:47.29)

1,650-yard Freestyle

Yirong Bi: 3rd (16:02.42)

G Ryan: 5th (16:04.88)

Sierra Schmidt: 8th (16:15.42)

100-yard Backstroke

Clara Smiddy: 4th (52.41)

Taylor Garcia: 5th (52.69)

Gabby DeLoof: 16th (53.72)

200-yard Backstroke

Clara Smiddy: 1st (1:51.03)

Gabby DeLoof: 5th (1:54.71)

Jacqui Schafer: 11th (1:56.09)

100-yard Breaststroke

Miranda Tucker: 2nd (59.98)

Samantha Yeo: 8th (1:00.88)

Yirong Bi: 9th (1:01.05)

Emily Kopas: 10th (1:01.24)

Carolyn McCann: 17th (1:01.73)

200-yard Breaststroke

Miranda Tucker: 1st (2:08.73)

Siobhán Haughey: 2nd (2:08.92)

Emily Kopas: 4th (2:09.75)

Carolyn McCann: 12th (2:12.97)

Samantha Yeo: 13th (2:13.24)

Jamie Yeung: 17th (2:14.73)

100-yard Butterfly

Emma Cleason: 6th (52.96)

Vanessa Krause: 9th (53.22)

Samantha Yeo: 16th (53.85)

Alexis Margett: 19th (54.05)

200-yard Butterfly

Vanessa Krause: 2nd (1:56.09)

Emma Cleason: 5th (1:56.64)

Sierra Schmidt: 10th (1:58.00)

Kate Krolikowski: 14th (1:58.41)

Alexis Margett: 23rd (1:59.74)

200-yard IM

Siobhán Haughey: 1st (1:53.48)

Clara Smiddy: 3rd (1:55.74)

Emma Cleason: 8th (1:58.28)

Samantha Yeo: 9th (1:58.34)

Miranda Tucker: 10th (1:58.35)

Jamie Yeung: 24th (2:00.97)

400-yard IM

Yirong Bi: 5th (4:10.58)

Sierra Schmidt: 9th (4:14.16)

Kate Krolikowski: 11th (4:15.76)

Becca Postoll: 12th (4:16.56)

Jamie Yeung: 14th (4:17.02)

200-yard Freestyle Relay

Catie DeLoof, Gabby DeLoof, Vanessa Krause, Siobhán Haughey: 1st (1:28.57)

400-yard Freestyle Relay

Catie DeLoof, Siobhán Haughey, Gabby DeLoof, Yirong Bi: 1st (3:12.21)

800-yard Freestyle Relay

Yirong Bi, Siobhán Haughey, Catie DeLoof, Gabby DeLoof: 1st (6:55.43)

200-yard Medley Relay

Taylor Garcia, Miranda Tucker, Vanessa Krause, Siobhán Haughey: 3rd (1:37.52)

400-yard Medley Relay

Clara Smiddy, Miranda Tucker, Vanessa Krause, Siobhán Haughey: 1st (3:31.88)

WOLVERINE BITES

• The Wolverines came in at No. 3 in the TYR/CSCAA Division I Coaches Poll, released on Jan. 31. Other ranked Big Ten teams include Indiana (No. 8), Ohio State (No. 12), Minnesota (No. 16), Wisconsin (No. 21) and Purdue (No. 23). [ Poll ]

• The Wolverines have improved their pre-championship seed times over the last two years. Heading into this week’s meet, they have 62 times in individual events that are seeded to score at the Big Ten Championships compared to 56 in 2017 and 34 in 2016.

• Heading into the Big Ten Championships, Michigan ranks 1-2-3 in the 100-yard freestyle (Siobhán HaugheyGabby DeLoofCatie DeLoof), 1-2-5-7 in the 200-yard freestyle (Haughey, G. DeLoof, C. DeLoof, Yirong Bi), 1-3-6-8 in the 500-yard freestyle (Bi, Sierra SchmidtG RyanBecca Postoll) and 3-5-8 in the 1,650-yard freestyle (Bi, Ryan, Schmidt). Based on top-eight projections, those finishes would earn 374 points at the Big Ten Championships; Michigan scored 291.5 points from those four events at last year’s meet.

Through this season, seven of the eight fastest times in school history for the 200-yard freestyle all come from swimmers who are on the 2017-18 roster: Siobhán Haughey (1st, 1:41.21), Gabby DeLoof (2nd, 1:43.11), G Ryan (3rd, 1:44.75; converted from long course meters), Yirong Bi (4th, 1:45.05), Clara Smiddy (5th, 1:45.21), Catie DeLoof (T-6th, 1:45.26) and Becca Postoll (8th, 1:45.44).

• Dotting the top-10 lists in the sprint and mid-distance freestyles are Gabby DeLoof and Catie DeLoof. Like older sister Ali DeLoof (U-M, 2013-16), the sisters came to Michigan primarily with backstroke proficiencies, but have been molded into versatile sprint and mid-distance freestylers. Both have made big time drops in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles:

                100-yard Freestyle                          200-yard Freestyle

                Gabby                   Catie                      Gabby                   Catie

2015       —                           —                           1:48.13                  —

2016       —                           49.30                     1:45.71                  —

2017       49.58                     48.72                     1:43.11                  1:50.19

2018       48.35                     48.37                     1:43.66                  1:45.26

• Siobhán Haughey has saved her best swimming for the Big Ten Championships. She is a seven-time Big Ten champion (four individual, three relay) and was named 2016 Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships after winning the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard IM. Haughey re-established her previously-held school records in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard IM earlier this season.

Haughey is one of three swimmers on the roster who have previously won a Big Ten title, joining G Ryan (2017: 500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle) and Clara Smiddy (2016: 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke; 2015: 200-yard IM).

• Heading into the Big Ten Championships, 10 of 16 individual school records are held by current student-athletes: Siobhán Haughey in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard IM; G Ryan in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle; Clara Smiddy in the 200-yard backstroke; Emily Kopas in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke; and Vanessa Krause in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly.

• Nine freshmen are slated to make their Big Ten Championships debuts. Four of them already appear on the school’s all-time top performers list: Sierra Schmidt in the 500-yard freestyle (fourth), 200-yard butterfly (ninth) and 1,650-yard freestyle (tenth); Emma Cleason in the 200-yard butterfly (fourth), 100-yard butterfly (seventh) and 200-yard IM (eighth); diver Nikki Canale on three-meter (fifth); and diver Christy Cutshaw on platform (ninth).

• Through Feb. 2, Michigan has accumulated 69 NCAA cuts (61 B, 8 A) and four NCAA Zone C Diving qualifying scores. At this same point last year, it had 51 NCAA cuts (44 B, 7 A) and six NCAA Zone C Diving qualifying scores.

Currently, there are 10 swimmers who have times ahead of last year’s invited list to the NCAA Championships: Siobhán Haughey (100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard IM), Gabby DeLoof (100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle), Catie DeLoof (100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle), Yirong Bi (500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle, 400-yard IM), Sierra Schmidt (500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle), G Ryan (500-yard freestyle, 1,650-yard freestyle), Becca Postoll (500-yard freestyle), Clara Smiddy (100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke), Miranda Tucker (100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke) and Emily Kopas (200-yard breaststroke).

• Michigan will send divers Dani VanderZwaagNikki Canale and Christy Cutshaw to the Big Ten Championships. Canale and Cutshaw have impressed as freshmen, both qualifying for finals at the USA Diving Winter National Championships in December and reaching qualifying scores on two events for the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships. VanderZwaag, a platform specialist, performed an exhibition against Michigan State on Feb. 2 in preparation for the Big Ten Championships, scoring over 250 points.

UP NEXT

Thurs.-Sat., March 8-10 — at NCAA Zone C Diving Championships (Columbus, Ohio), 1 p.m.

Wed.-Sat., March 14-17 — at NCAA Championships (Columbus, Ohio), 10 a.m./6 p.m.

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