Feb. 21, 2013
Minnesota posted a dominating performance on the second night of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, taking a 92-point lead with two days of competition remaining. The Gophers won three events on Thursday night. Indiana is in second place with 211.50 points, followed by Penn State (175), Purdue (142.50), Ohio State (142.50) and Wisconsin (116.50).
The evening started in dramatic fashion with Minnesota winning the 200 freestyle relay from lane 1, setting a new Big Ten record in the process with a time of 1:28.43. The team of Becca Weiland, Erin Caflisch, Blake Zeiger and Lauren Votava won the conference title for Minnesota for the first time since 2009. Penn State touched the wall second in 1:28.96 and Wisconsin was third in 1:29.24. Purdue was fourth in 1:29.77 and Nebraska was fifth in 1:30.11.
It was a fantastic race in the 500 freestyle between Indiana’s Lindsay Vrooman and Minnesota’s Kiera Janzen. Janzen closed fast over the final 100 yards but Vrooman prevailed in a time of 4:35.41 while Janzen touched in 4:35.70. Both swimmers broke the previous Big Ten record time of 4:36.23 set by Minnesota’s Ashley Steenvoorden in 2012. Minnesota freshman Sam Harding took third in 4:40.24 while Ohio State junior Alex Norris was fourth in 4:41.30. Indiana freshman Haley Lips was fifth in 4:41.48.
Minnesota kept the momentum going in the 200 individual medley as sophomore Tori Simenec touched out Penn State senior Merritt Krawczyk at the wall by .07 seconds with a time of 1:57.11 while Krawczyk finished in 1:57.18. Nittany Lion junior Chelsea Weedman was third in 1:58.12 and Michigan junior Courtney Beidler was fourth in 1:58.25. The Gophers racked up 42 points in the event thanks to a 1-2-3 finish in the consolation final and took a 40-point team lead over Indiana (207-167) through five events. Simenec is Minnesota’s fifth all-time champion in the 200 IM.
Wisconsin’s Ivy Martin continued to establish herself as the fastest woman in the history of the Big Ten. After shattering the all-time conference record in the prelims and becoming the first woman in Big Ten history go sub-22.0 with a time of 21.84, she won the championship final in 21.86. She also led off the Badgers’ 200 free relay with a time of 21.89. In the 50 free final, Martin won easily over runner-up Paige Whitmire of Penn State (22.22) and Minnesota’s Becca Weiland (22.24). Minnesota’s Erin Caflisch was fourth in 22.29 and Northwestern’s Taylor Reynolds was fifth in 22.44. Penn State stepped into second place after the event with 175 points while Minnesota opened the lead to 77.5 points with a team score of 252.5.
Wisconsin has dominated the 50 free in recent history, taking the last seven titles (Jackie Vavrek, 2007-08; Rebecca Thompson 2009-12).
The Gophers closed the evening the way it began with a conference title. Junior Maggie Keefer took the Big Ten crown in 1-meter diving with a score of 351.45, giving the Gophers three of the last four titles in the event. Purdue’s Mackenzie Tweardy placed second with a score of 325.40 and Kate Hillman of Indiana was third with a score of 320.55. Amy Cozad of Indiana rounded out the top four with a tally of 317.15.
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