No. 12 Minnesota Opens Big Ten Championships with a Victory
Feb. 20, 2013
Competition at the 2013 Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships got under way Wednesday night at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The No. 12 Gophers opened the Championships with an outstanding victory in the 200 medley relay as well as a second-place finish in the 800 freestyle relay.
“It’s just a great way to start off the meet,” head women’s coach Terry Nieszner said. “With our 200 medley relay winning the first event, breaking our school record, it’s just a nice way to start it off.”
Minnesota’s 200 medley relay team notched a new school record of 1:36.89 to claim the title in the opening event of the Championships. The first-place team of Tess Behrens, Haley Spencer, Rebecca Weiland and Erin Caflisch won the event for the Gophers for the first time since 1997. The victory time also marked an impressive NCAA “A” qualifying time.
In the 800 free relay, Jessica Plant, Tori Simenec, Lauren Weis and Kiera Janzen finished in second-place with a NCAA “A” qualifying time of 7:01.27. The Gophers cut nearly 15 seconds off their previous fastest time of the season in the event. Indiana took home the title in the relay, finishing with a Big Ten and meet record of 6:59.48.
“It’s great for the first day because in the 200 medley relay you see all four strokes and in the 800 free relay you see our middle-distance swimmers,” Nieszner stated. “Everybody is swimming faster than last year so it’s going to be fun.”
Following the first two events of the Championships, Minnesota and Indiana sit tied for first-place with 74 points. Penn State sits in third with 58 points, while Michigan and Ohio State are tied with 56 points for fourth.
Day two of the Big Ten Championships begins with preliminaries at 11 am followed by 1 meter diving trials at 1 pm. Finals will take place at 6:30 pm. Events include the 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and 200 free relay.