The No. 10 University of Minnesota women’s swimming and diving team won three events at the third day of the Big Ten Championships, in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Gophers are still in second place with 457 points, trailing leaders Indiana, who leads the championship with 529 points.
The Gophers started the third night of finals with a second-place finish in the 400 medley relay. Minnesota’s Hannah Whitehead, Jillian Tyler, Megan Braun and Stacy Busack combined for an automatic qualifying time of 3:32.38, but the Hoosiers won the relay in a time of 3:31.26. The Gopher time set a varsity record, which was previously 3:34.16, set earlier this year at the Ohio State Invitational (12/5).
Jenny Shaughnessy won her second straight 400 individual medley when she touched the wall in an automatic qualifying time of 4:06.37. Her time broke her previous school and Big Ten record after clocking a preliminary time of 4:07.11. She shaved nearly a second off her prelim time as she went on to set a new Big Ten and pool record in 4:06.37. Shaughnessy, who won the 200 IM last night, won the 400 IM last year at the 2008 Big Ten Championships last year in 4:09.41. Kait Strickland added a sixth-place finish in the same event and earned 13 points when she chipped in a career-best time of 4:14.11. Kristen Steenvoorden added a 13th-place time of 4:15.29, also a personal-best time.
“I was really happy with it," Shaughnessy said. "I was just trying to stay relaxed and breathe. Everything went smoothly so it felt pretty good. I whole race rolled really well, I happy with how everything went.”
Braun led the Gophers in the 100 fly when she finished in a provisional qualifying and school record time of 53.14 and fourth overall. Kaylee Jamison added a seventh-place showing in the 100 fly when she clocked a personal-best 53.31. Danielle Ridder won the consolation final with personal-best 53.61, followed by Jenna Lennertz in 10th (53.89) and Kelsey Ridder added another two points, finishing 15th overall.
The Gophers went one-two in the 200 freestyle, taking the championship and second place overall. Meredith McCarthy won her first individual event of her career when she set a career-best time of 1:45.01. Stacy Busack followed with a second-place finish. Busack took a second off her prelim time to add a second-place time of 1:45.63, a career-best. Marissa Davies won the 200 free consolation final in a time of 1:47.27, while Yuen Kobayashi followed in 10th (1:47.44) and Christine Jennings was 12th (1:47.85).
“It was really exciting; I went out there and had a lot of fun," McCarthy said. "It hurt a lot but it was awesome. I’m so glad that I was able to share it with one of my teammates (Stacey Busack).”
Jillian Tyler broke her own Big Ten record when she won the 100 breaststroke. Tyler, who had a time of 59.25 in the prelims, bettered her time to 59.17 to edge Wisconsin’s Ashley Wanland, who had a time of 59.29. Tyler won the 100 breaststroke as a freshman last year and finished second in the nation at last year’s NCAA Championships. Her best time this year came at the OSU Invite when she clocked a 58.8, setting a school record. Kaylee Jamison competed in the 100 breast consolation final when she set a career-best time of 1:02.39.
“I’m really happy," Tyler said. "I did what I came in here to do which was swim my own race and stay composed. My focus is national championships in a month so I’m not completely rested or prepared for this meet but I think it was a good setup for national championships.”
Whitehead led the Gophers in the 100 back when she finished with a time of 54.56. Castina Wabeke added a career-best time of 54.27 for 10th overall, while Danielle Ridder was 14th in 54.86.
Place School Points
1 Indiana University IND 529
2 University of Minnesota MINN 457
3 Penn State University PSU 289
4 University of Michigan MICH 281
5 University of Wisconsin WISC 260
6 Purdue University PUR 219
7 Northwestern University NW 185
8 Ohio State University OSU 139
9 University of Iowa IOWA 115
10 Michigan State University MSU 97
11 University of Illinois ILL 75