Big Ten Men’s Swimmer of the Week: Daniel Madwed (Michigan)
Big Ten Women’s Swimmer of the Week: Adrienne Bicek (Michigan)
Texas Sweeps Tri-Meet With Big Ten Teams
The Texas Longhorn men swam with a partial squad for the second time in as many meets this season, but still managed to pull off solid victories in a tri-meet against the Michigan Wolverines (160-140) and Indiana Hoosiers (181-119).
Based on those scores, it might seem as though Michigan won handily over Indiana. Through the mysterious magic that is tri-meet scoring, however, the Indiana-Michigan battle came down to the very last race.
Indiana entered the last event of the meet with a 9 point lead, meaning that Michigan’s only chance at victory would be with a first and second place finish in the relay. With anything other than that, the best that the Wolverines could do would be a tie.
Even without the scoring implications, this ended up being probably the most exciting race of the meet. With the scoring implications, the battle was amplified even further.
The race was back-and-forth, with Indiana leading at the 100-and-300 yard marks, but Michigan taking a brief lead at the halfway point. The Hoosiers held on to their lead even headed into the last 25, but then Michigan’s leader Daniel Madwed turned on the after-burners and turned in a split of 44.45 to outtouch Indiana. Both squads finished with NCAA “B” times of 3:00.09 for Michigan and 3:00.35 for Indiana.
The meet was not then decided until, in an impressive show of depth, Michigan’s B-relay also went an NCAA provisional time of 3:00.73 to take third place, thus sealing up the tie between the two Big Ten rivals.
Youth continued to be the theme of this NCAA season, as 5 of the 12 individual swimming events were won by freshmen and sophomores.
In the 200 IM, last year’s top freshman, Austin Surhoff from Texas, did not fare well against this year’s top freshman, Michigan’s Kyle Whitaker, in the 200 IM that is both swimmers’ best event. Despite going a season-best time of 1:52.30, Surhoff could muster only a 7th place finish in the meet, whereas Whitaker’s collegiate best time of 1:49.50 won the race and ranks him third nationally.
The runner-up from that race, Nick D’Innocenzo of Texas, was very impressive in this meet both in the 200 IM (1:50.72) and in winning the 200 breaststroke in 1:59.98 as the first swimmer in the country this season to break 2 minutes in that event. At NCAA’s last year, D’Innocenzo was predicted to be a scorer in the 200 breaststroke, but an awful swim on the 3rd day of the competition slipped him all the way back to 33rd place. He looks primed to make another big run at NCAA’s this season in that event.
His teammate Scott Spann, considered by many to be the premier 200 breaststroker in the country, finished third in 2:02.07 in his first NCAA action of this season. Along with Eric Friedland, who was second, Texas has three of the top 14 200 breaststrokers in the nation right now.
In the 200 backstroke, Indiana’a Eric Ress lowered his season best time in the 200 backstroke to 1:46.33 to maintain his second-place national ranking in that event. Earlier in the meet, Ress dropped down to the 100 backstroke to challenge Texas sophomore star in the making Cole Cragin. In a great battle that pushed both swimmers to season best and NCAA B cuts, Cragin used a great third 25 to put Ress just far enough behind that Cragin could hold on for a win.
It’s interesting comparing the 25-yard splits of the two swimmers. Cragin showed an uncanny consistency by having nearly identical splits throughout the race, while Ress’ marks followed a much more typical pattern of getting progressively slower through 3 25’s before coming down at the end.
Cragin: 11.43, 12.32, 12.30, 12.32 – 48.37 (5th nationally)
Ress: 11.66, 12.13, 12.54, 12.19 – 48.52 (7th nationally)
Texas’ big noticeable absence for this meet was Jimmy Feigen. They didn’t need him to win, but this meet showed how important he is to their relays, as the Longhorns didn’t win either one despite being the meet’s dominant team.
Indiana swims in two weeks in another big tri-meet with Penn State and Virginia. Texas will hopefully swim their first full-strength meet at their own invite the first weekend of December, which will feature many of the nation’s top teams. Michigan Swimming is done with NCAA sanctioned meets until 2011, though they will send a large squad to the Minnesota Grand Prix next week; their diving group also has a few big diving-only meets coming up. Michigan has a loaded spring schedule though, with 7 meets in the month of January alone.
Elliot Keefer swam the Nation’s top time in the 200 back of 1:45.92 in Ohio State’s double wins over Cleveland State and Denison…The Ohio State women also swept their in-state foes…Michigan State’s Jacob Jarzen set three U of Illinois pool records in four events as the Spartans took down Southern Illinois…The Illinois women beat Michigan State and Southern Illinois at home…The Purdue men placed 1-4 in the 50 freestyle and both diving events to beat Northwestern big 193-107. Their divers could single-handedly carry the team to a top 12 finish in March…The Purdue women also beat the Wildcats….Adrienne Bicek won the 200 fly, but the Michigan women fell to both Stanford and Florida in Palo Alto…The North Carolina women handed Minnesota their first loss of the season in a 154-146 nailbiter…Tommy Wyher swam a 48.15 100 fly, third best in the country and his season best, to lead North Carolina 165-135 over the Gopher men…