Finals Set for Day One of Big Ten Men's Swimming Championships
Feb. 16, 2007
Championships Central | Overall Swimming Results | Diving Results
The event, originally scheduled to begin on Thursday, Feb. 15, started one day later on Friday, Feb. 16, after severe weather in the Midwest caused many travel difficulties for the teams. But the early action was worth the wait as 33 swimmers qualified at least provisionally for the NCAA Championships.
500-yard Freestyle | Results
Matt Patton earned Michigan its first finalist spot with a 4:17.87 performance. The Wolverine sophomore, who took home the bronze in last year's championships, notched the fifth-fastest time in the nation. The performance edged his season-best by more than 3 seconds and earned him an A-standard qualification for the NCAA Championships. He also destroyed the pool record set by Northwestern's Eric Nilsson less than a month ago by almost 5 seconds.
Alex Vanderkaay, younger brother to last year's champion Peter Vanderkaay, gave Michigan its second spot in the finals. The Wolverine junior notched a B-standard qualifying time of 4:20.76, taking nearly 8 seconds off of his season best. Christian Sprang completed the Michigan trifecta, coming in seventh with a time of 4:22.34.
Northwestern's Nilsson touched the wall second at 4:19.20. The B-standard qualifying time was more than a second faster than his best on the year. After finishing fourth - less than 0.5 seconds behind Patton - in last year's event, the pair of sophomores will compete in a highly competitive final tonight.
Not far behind Nilsson was Minnesota senior Zach Wood with a time of 4:20.10. Wood also qualified provisionally for the NCAAs and earns his second consecutive trips to the conference finals. He will be joined by teammate Ray Betuzzi, who touched the wall fifth with a time of 4:21.41. Rounding out the finals lineup are Indiana's JK Koeler (4:22.24) and Alex Brunfeldt (4:22.97), who came in sixth and eighth respectively.
200-yard IM | Results
After touching the wall second at 1:46.31, Purdue's Romain Maire will go back to the finals looking to improve on his seventh-place finish from a year ago. Also making a repeat appearance is Ohio State's Nate King. The Buckeye senior finished fourth last season, but came in at third in today's preliminary with a time of 1:46. 70. Rounding out the final are two Hoosier sophomores, AJ Miller and Steven Murry.
In the consolation final, Penn State's Sean Biederman leads the pack after narrowly missing the top eight by 0.1 second. The Badgers' Scott Rice and Derrick O'Donnell came in 10th and 11th, followed by Indiana's TP Patrick and Northwestern's Adam Beckman. The Golden Gophers have a chance to gain some ground with three swimmers - juniors David Plummer and Russ Payne, and sophomore Evan Bernier - advancing in the top 16.
50-yard Free | Results
Reigning champion Matt Grevers of Northwestern kicked off his quest for a fourth consecutive title in the event with a third-place preliminary finish. The Wildcat senior touched the wall at 19.71 for an A standard qualification. The Buckeyes finished strong with senior Joseph Doyle touching the wall second at 19.67 and junior Matt Voelker coming in fourth at 19.75. Indiana's Matt Lenton edged last year's runner-up, Minnesota's Igor Cerensek, by 0.01 seconds for fifth. Cerensek's teammate Ales Volcansek touched the wall next at 20.06, followed by Michigan's Bobby Savulich at 20.11.
Highlighting the consolation final, Wisconsin's Kyle Sorensen barely missed the top 8 with a time of 20.13. The Badger sophomore earned a spot in last year's final as a rookie when he finished seventh. He will be joined by teammate Mike Desautels.
One-meter Diving | Results
Buckeye freshman Hugh Showe stole the early edition show with a score of 339.50, while his teammate senior Kellen Harkness was not far behind with 328.35 for second. Harkness makes his second trip to the finals of the event in as many years after finishing eighth last year. In their home pool, fellow Buckeyes Wes Weisner posted a fourth-place score of 316.60, while Ryan Jefferson tallied 291.90 for sixth.
Reigning champion Mike Alderman of Penn State will look to defend his crown after placing eighth in the prelims. Purdue's Zach Shultz finished third with a score of 321.35, followed by teammate Danny Cox's score of 294.50 in fifth. Rounding out the finals lineup is Minnesota's Shaun Kennedy, who posted a score of 289.45.
The divers' preliminary scores will not carry over to the finals this evening. The finalists will have another six dives and will compete in reverse order from their preliminary finishing scores. The highest and lowest totals are eliminated, and then the three middle scores are added together and then multiplied by the individual dive's predetermined degree of difficulty to produce the divers final score.