Wisconsin’s Matt Hutchins has been named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year for the 2016 championship season.
Hutchins’ honor is a testament to his great final effort at the NCAA Championships. The Badger junior didn’t win a single event title at the conference meet, but came up with the conference’s highest NCAA swimming finish while taking bronze in the 1650.
Hutchins was also 6th in the 500 free for the Badgers. He becomes the first Big Ten Swimmer of the Year award-winner in Wisconsin school history.
In addition, the Big Ten named Ohio State’s Colin Zeng the conference’s Diver of the Year. Zeng won the NCAA title in platform diving and was also an All-American on 3-meter.
Per the Big Ten’s press release:
Hutchins earns Big Ten Swimmer of the Year after recording two top-10 finishes at last weekend’s NCAA Championships. The junior finished third in the 1,650-yard freestyle, while also securing sixth in the 500-yard freestyle. He also contributed to a 12th-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Earlier this season, Hutchins tallied three top-three finishes at the Big Ten Championships, placing second in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle events and third in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Hutchins also earned a 10th-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle. The Christchurch, New Zealand native was named a second-team All-Big Ten honoree. The honor marks the first time a Wisconsin swimmer has earned Swimmer of the Year accolades.
Zeng was named the unanimous pick for Big Ten Diver of the Year after securing two top-three finishes at the NCAA Championships. He finished first on platform, recording a new pool record during the preliminary rounds, while also adding a third-place finish in three-meter diving. At the Big Ten Championships, the freshman earned gold medals in the one-meter and platform events, and placed second on three meter en route to Big Ten Diver of the Championships honors. This season, Zeng also earned Big Ten Diver of the Week five times, while also being named a first-team All-Big Ten selection. Zeng becomes the eighth Buckeye to receive Big Ten Diver of the Year and first since Kellen Harkness in 2007.