Feb. 22, 2013
Day three of the Women's Big Ten Championships got under way Friday morning with the preliminary rounds. The Gophers qualified 16 swimmers that will compete in the finals later tonight, made up of 10 in the championship heat and 6 in the consolation.
Freshman Samantha Harding will be the only Minnesota competitor in the 400 IM, swimming as the sixth seed in the championship final. Harding swam a 4:14.49 in prelims, notching the fastest time the Gophers have finished in all season.
Minnesota will be sending five women to the 100 butterfly finals Friday night. Rebecca Weiland finished first in the event with an impressive new school record, meet record and NCAA "A" qualifying time of 51.91. Also swimming in the championship final will be Blake Zeiger in the fourth seed after her time of 53.10, and Tori Simenec in the seventh seed with a 53.30. Devin Ste. Marie (53.82) and Annalise Colton (54.47) will compete in the consolation final for the Gophers.
In the 200 freestyle, the Maroon and Gold qualified three swimmers for the championship final and two for the consolation final. Lauren Weis will lead the group after her third-place finish in 1:45.66. In the sixth seed with a prelim time of 1:46.19 will be Jessica Plant, while Kiera Janzen will swim the eighth after a 1:46.26. Freshman Lauren Votava finished in ninth (1:47.23) and Erin Caflisch in 13th (1:47.65) to place them in the consolation final this evening.
Haley Spencer notched a NCAA "A" qualifying time of 58.86 to finish first in the 100 breast. Freshman Kierra Smith will join Spencer in the championship final in the fourth seed after her time of 1:00.30. Heidi Busack swam a 1:02.17 while Emma Jackson finished in 1:02.59 in the event to qualify for the consolation final.
Tess Behrens will represent Minnesota in the championship heat of the 100 back. The junior, who holds the school record of 52.35 in the event, finished sixth with a time of 53.37 to qualify her for tonight's final.
Friday's finals are set to begin at 6:30 pm. The order of events are 400 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 3 meter diving.
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