Day Two Finals Recap
Feb. 27, 2004
WEST LAFAYETTE - The second night of Championship competition didn't disappoint, as Big Ten fans looking to see more records got exactly what they wanted. Two all-time Conference records were established at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, in addition to four Big Ten meet records.
At the end of day Minnesota holds a strong lead with 441.5 points, ahead of Michigan (391), Northwestern (351), Indiana (316.5), and Wisconsin (249.5)
The 200-yard medley relay brought deafening cheers from the Aquatic Center crowd, as the top four teams were separated by just .33 seconds. Indiana captured the event with an excellent freestyle leg by senior Claes Anderson (19.31 split). The Hoosiers swam the race in 1:27.40, just ahead of Wisconsin (1:27.62), Minnesota (1:27.64), and Northwestern (1:27.73). The Hoosier squad of Matt Leach, Kevin Swander, Murph Halasz, and Anderson will now be listed as the fifth fastest quartet in Big Ten history.
In the first individual of the night, Peter Vanderkaay stretched the Wolverines' streak of six consecutive wins to seven with his time of 3:45.84. It was the sophomore's second individual title in as many tries thus far this week, as he won the 500-yard freestyle Thursday night. Freshman Mike Alexandrov (3:48.48) made a strong move during the breaststroke portion of the event to take second. The Gophers scored critical team points in the event, finishing third thru fifth behind the swims of Adam Mitchell, Diego Urreta, and Ryan Plummer.
Northwestern's Tony Swanson reset his own meet record in the 100-yard butterfly tonight, lowering his time from this morning by .08 seconds to 46.89. Despite a relatively slow start, Swanson took the lead at the 50-yard mark and never looked back. Davis Tarwarter touched second in 47.41, just ahead of Indiana's Halasz, who came from lane one to take third.
The 200-yard freestyle featured a fitting rivalry between Michigan's Dan Ketchum and Minnesota's Terry Silkaitis. Silkaitis was leading at the half-way point, before Ketchum showcased his endurance over the final 100-yards. Ketchum out-touched Silkaitis at the wall, 1:34.37 to 1:34.43, making it the third career Big Ten win for the senior in the 200. Michigan may have won the battle for first place in the event, but Minnesota won in the race for team points. The Gophers scored 52 points in the event to Michigan's 34.
Kevin Swander of Indiana set a new all-time Big Ten record in the next event, the 100-yard breaststroke, with his time of 53.15, well under the NCAA 'A' standard. He pulled away from the top seed Alexandrov in the final 25-yards to give the Hoosiers their second win of the night. Alexandrov (53.44) also swam under the old Big Ten record. Crowd favorite Tamas Bessenyei of Purdue finished third in 54.07.
The stitching on the sides of each Hoosiers suit simply reads "DOC," a tribute to the late James "Doc" Counsilman, who meant so much to the Indiana swimming program. It is a small gesture by the Indiana team, but after the performances of the medley relay, Halasz, Russell, and Swander, it seemed to serve as a significant motivating factor for the IU athletes.
Less than 10 minutes after Swander's record-setting swim, freshman Matt Grevers set his second Big Ten record of the championships. Grevers lowered his own mark, which was set in the relay Thursday night, in the 100-yard backstroke to 46.68. Michigan's Chris DeJong (47.19) came from behind to take second, beating Adam Mania (47.57) of Wisconsin in the final 10 yards.
Mitch Richeson added a Big Ten meet record to his resumè with his win on the three-meter spring board. The Buckeye scored 653.75 points, just 11 points shy of the all-time mark. Iowa's Timo Klami placed second in the event with 608.15, while Mike Alderman (534.80) of Penn State moved up from this morning to grab third.
The final event of the evening was a perfect conclusion to Friday's competition, as Michigan and Minnesota went head-to-head in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The final leg of the relay came down to a rematch between Ketchum and Silkaitis, with Ketchum again touching first. The Wolverines' winning time of 6:21.77 established the fourth and final meet record of the night, and was the third fastest swim ever in Big Ten history. Minnesota grabbed second in 6:23.94, well ahead of Wisconsin, 6:28.90.
Preliminary action begins tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET with the 200-yard backstroke. Platform diving starts at 1:30.