2004 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships Release
The University of Minnesota will host the 2004 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships February 18-21 at the University Aquatic Center. It marks the fourth time the conference meet has visited the Twin Cities and the first time since 1999. Five of the nation's top 25 teams in the most recent CSCAA Poll will be on display, including No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 11 Penn State, No. 13 Indiana, No. 17 Michigan and No. 25 Minnesota.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS LAST YEAR
Indiana won its first Big Ten Championship last year edging second-place Wisconsin by 34 points. The Hoosiers boasted a league-high score of 595, while the Badgers finished with 561. The Golden Gophers finished sixth overall, improving from their ninth-place finish in 2001-02. The Gophers were just three points away from tying fifth-place Purdue. Wisconsin's Carly Piper took home the swimmer of the year honors, while Indiana's Sara Reiling earned diver of the year accolades. Wisconsin's Eric Hansen was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Indiana's Jeff Huber was named the Diving Coach of the Year. Penn State's Amberle Biedermann was voted the Freshman of the Year.
For the Golden Gophers, Dana Baum placed third overall in the 100 free, fourth in the 200 free and fifth in the 500 free. Keri Hehn added a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and finished third in the 200 breaststroke event. Juleen Rodakowski added a third-place finish in the 200 fly and fifth in the 100 fly. Megan Moore placed seventh in the 200 back. In diving action, Rebecca Cornthwaite finished eighth in the 1-meter and fourth in the platform.
PAST BIG TEN CHAMPIONS
The 2003 Big Ten Championship marked the first league win for the Hoosiers. In the past five years, Minnesota is the only team to win back-to-back championships. The Maroon and Gold won the event in 1999 and again in 2000. Michigan broke the Gophers' streak winning the championship in 2001, followed by Penn State in 2002. The Wolverines lead the pack with 13 team titles and 143 event champions. Teams yet to win a Big Ten title are Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.
RECORDS WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN
The 2003 Big Ten Championships had 12 meet records broken in the four-day event. Big Ten Swimmer of the Year, Wisconsin's Carly Piper broke the 200 (1:46.05), 500 (4:41.58) and 1,650-yard freestyle (16:02.61) meet records. Piper was also a member of the 400 and 800 free relays, clocking times of 1:30.17 and 3:18.42, respectively. Penn State demolished five meet records themselves. Amberle Biedermann, the 2003 Freshman of the Year, won the 100-yard butterfly in 53.47 and the 200 fly in 1:58.08. Sarah Haupt won the 100 back to establish a new meet record of 53.44. The duo helped PSU to two wins in the 200 and 400 medley relays, also setting new meet records.
Although some of Minnesota's Big Ten records have been broken, one still remains. Gretchen Hegener's 200-yard breaststroke time of 2:11.60 is still the best time in the Big Ten Championships. Hegener, who won an NCAA Championship in 1997, had her 100 breaststroke time broken in 2001 by PSU's Kristen Woodring.