Thursday’s Top 400 Medley Relay Splits from the Big Ten Championships


While 4-day Division I conference championship meets all generally follow the same order of events for individual races, there is some flexibility in terms of relay scheduling. For example, while most meets host the 800 free relay and 200 medley relay on the meet’s first day, in a timed finals only session, the Pac-12 has the 800 free relay and the 400 medley relay.

In the case of the Big Ten, the 400 medley relay comes on day 2 (as compared to the ACC, where it comes on day 3). The upside of this schedule, for fans in media, is that we get a preview of the individual 100 yard stroke races, all of which are scheduled for either Thursday or Friday. In the ACC, the 400 medley relay doesn’t come until after the stroke 100 yard events are done.

Below, see the Big Ten’s top 400 medley relay splits, along with some analysis of who is a heavy favorite or who might play spoiler in each race.

Big Ten’s Top Splits:


  1. Gabriel Fantoni, Indiana, Jr. – 44.98
  2. Jonah Cooper, Ohio State, Fr. – 46.56
  3. Matthew Novinski, Wisconsin, Jr. – 46.62
  4. Alex King, Michigan, Jr. – 46.92
  5. Michael Juengel, Purdue, Fr. – 47.00


  1. Max McHugh, Minnesota, So. – 50.77
  2. Jeremy Babinet, Michigan, Sr. – 51.02
  3. Zane Backes, Indiana, So. – 51.25
  4. Trent Pellini, Purdue, Jr. – 51.62
  5. MJ Mao, Wisconsin, Jr. – 51.78


  1. Brendan Burns, Indiana, Fr. – 44.89
  2. Noah Lense, Ohio State, Sr. – 45.24
  3. Miles Smachlo, Michigan, Sr. – 45.37
  4. Matthew Thomas, Minnesota, Sr. – 45.43
  5. Federico Burdisso, Northwestern, Fr. – 45.89


  1. Bruno Blaskovic, Indiana, Jr. – 41.15
  2. Andrew Loy, Ohio State, Sr. – 41.35
  3. Aleksey Tarasenko, Iowa, So. – 42.45
  4. Gustavo Borges, Michigan, Jr. – 42.52
  5. Griffin Back, Wisconsin, Sr. – 42.62

Big Ten Breakdown

There’s a clear front-runner in the men’s 100 backstroke after Thursday’s medley relay, and that’s Indiana junior Gabriel Fantoni, the two-time defending conference champion in the event. He split 44.98 to open up an early lead for the Hoosiers, where nobody else was under 46 seconds in that race.

There are still two spoilers in play, however: his teammate Jacob Steele, who has actually been faster than Fantoni this season and wasn’t on the medley relay, and the 3rd seed Cam Tysoe of Wisconsin, who wasn’t on his team’s relay either.

Max McHugh, who ranks atop the nation this season in the 100 breaststroke, had the fastest split on that leg of the medley, but it’s not a clear-cut margin. The same goes for Indiana’s Bruno Blaskovic, though with a modest .34 reaction time, he’s got some room to work with when the starts are evened out in the individual race on Saturday.

The butterfly splits were the most interesting of the session. Indiana freshman Brendan Burns led all swimmers with a 44.89, and the butterfly will be on the front-end of his fly/back double, so that makes him the favorite to take his first individual Big Ten title. Ohio State’s Noah Lense had a big bounceback swim on Thursday: after he was the weak leg in Ohio State’s 200 medley relay, he had the 2nd-best fly split of the field in 45.24.

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4 years ago

Is SwimSwam ignorant or why can’t they realize that something obviously happened with Noah Lense’s 200 medley split. Like he slipped off of the block or something. Considering the fact that he was 21.2 on the 200 medley but took out the 400 medley in 20.7 on the first 50… And is easily one of the fastest butterflies in the B1G 10 and has been 20.0 before. But he had a “bounce back” swim…

4 years ago

You missed Trent Pellini’s 51.62 for the breaststroke leg for Purdue

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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