Ohio State’s Momentum Palpable After Night Two of Big Ten Women’s Champs


  • When: Tuesday, February 23rd to Saturday, February 27th | Prelims 11am | Finals 6:30pm (5pm Tuesday) CT
  • Where: Minneapolis, MN (Central Time Zone) / Diving @ Purdue University
  • Defending Champion: Ohio State (1x) (results)
  • Live Results
  • Streaming: Big Ten Network
  • Championship Central

Sometimes, it feels like momentum can win swim meets. While plenty of things need to be in order before you can chalk it up to momentum (like talent, preparation, training, taper, and so on and so forth), it’s always clear when a team is feeling synergy at a championship meet.

Without a doubt after two days of competition at the 2021 Big Ten Championships, that team is Ohio State.

The OSU women, who won the 2020 Big Ten title, the Buckeyes’ first in over three decades, were all over it on Wednesday night. Further, their two individual event wins in the pool, senior Kristen Romano in the 200 IM and junior Sally Tafuto in the 500 free, really felt like momentum wins.

Romano entered the meet with a lifetime best of 1:56.76, but she looked extremely powerful in the pool, going right by Wisconsin freshman Phoebe Bacon on the breast leg and churning home in 1:54.19. Tafuto, meanwhile, held strong in the 500 free against Michigan sophomore Kaitlynn Sims, as the OSU junior flipped a switch on the last 100 and making it happen with a 4:39.58, her first time under 4:40.

In both cases, the Buckeye swimmers swam huge lifetime bests, keying on their overall team’s energy so far this week. After qualifying for NCAAs with seeds in the 30s in this event last year, they both will head into the NCAA meet as scoring threats.

Maggie MacNeil of Michigan was the best 400 medley relay lead-off by over a second, while OSU’s Hannah Bach and NU’s Sophie Angus both broke 58 on breast legs. Michigan’s Olivia Carter led the fly splits at 51.36, while Maddie Smith of Northwestern dropped a 47.00 (splitting 21.91 to the feet on the first 50) to anchor the Wildcats.



Michigan Maggie MacNeil 50.08
Wisconsin Phoebe Bacon 51.49
Ohio State Emily Crane 51.85
Northwestern Emma Lepisova 52.87
Indiana Bailey Kovac 53.53
Minnesota Emily Cook 53.90
Nebraska Madesyn Ronquillio 54.3
Iowa Julia Koluch 54.73
Illinois Athena Salafatinos 55.26
Michigan State Samantha Villani 55.56
Purdue Tessa Wrightson 56.02


Ohio State Hannah Bach 57.49
Northwestern Sophie Angus 57.77
Indiana Noelle Peplowski 59.91
Michigan State Erin Szara 59.94
Minnesota Emma Lezer 1:00.48
Wisconsin Jenna Silvestri 1:00.75
Michigan Mariella Venter 1:00.88
Iowa Aleksandra Olesiak 1:01.07
Purdue Riley Kishman 1:01.09
Nebraska Ella Stein 1:01.46
Illinois Divya Kale 1:04.67


Michigan Olivia Carter 51.36
Northwestern Miriam Guevara 51.94
Ohio State Katherine Trace 52.52
Wisconsin Lillie Hosack 52.62
Iowa Mallory Jump 52.62
Indiana Elizabeth Broshears 52.78
Minnesota Emma Linscott 53.90
Nebraska Isabelle Murray 54.08
Purdue Lindsay Turner 54.11
Illinois Lillian Olson 54.63
Michigan State Marie Dickson 56.61


Northwestern Maddie Smith 47.00
Michigan Daria Pyshnenko 47.52
Ohio State Taylor Petrak 47.53
Indiana Ashley Turak 48.46
Wisconsin Alana Palmer 49.10
Minnesota Pyper Doo 49.23
Iowa Kelsey Drake 49.56
Nebraska Lexi Kucera 49.74
Purdue Claire Abbasse 50.38
Michigan State Olivia Chick 51.44
Illinois Lauren Bludgen 51.48

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1 year ago

Can’t wait to see how the men follow their performance!

1 year ago

Over before it even started! Go Bucks🌰!

Reply to  BWswim
1 year ago

Sorry Guerra,
looks like Ray won’t be the goat this season. The proof is in the pudding. -riding the coat tails of his pros

Reply to  sorry
1 year ago

I know. I’ve always been a big, big fan of Billy D. I told him one time many moons ago that when he has passion, it’s hard to find anyone better in coaching. Ironically, we almost got him as Head Women’s Coach years ago when Dorsey left after doing a great job of building our program. Bill always did a great job with kids I coached when they were club/hs swimmers and he took care of them as people. I love that he got Dorsey in her position. Let her coach and keep her away from BS stuff that isn’t in her skill set and she’ll be an incredible asset to the program. Don’t diss the GOAT Coach though…he and… Read more »

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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