Feb. 21, 2006
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February 23-25 Indiana University Bloomington, Ind. Counsilman-Billingsley Center
Indiana University will play host to some of the nationally acclaimed collegiate men's swimming and diving talent as the Hoosiers compete for the conference title at the 2006 Big Ten Championships. The league event will feature seven squads ranked in the top 25 of the latest CSCAA Rankings. Michigan leads the way for the Big Ten, tied at No. 7 with Texas. Minnesota and Indiana are ranked ninth and 11th, respectively, while Purdue (14), Northwestern (15), Ohio State (18) and Penn State (24) round out the conference representation.
Indiana heads into the championships with high goals after missing out on the 2005 title by only three points. IU boasts eight Hoosiers that have combined for 12 NCAA qualifying times while two relays have also met the national standard. All six divers have secured zone qualifying scores.
Iowa has notched five top-10 relay times this season among all league performers. In 94 years, the Hawkeyes have claimed 100 event titles, including 73 swimmers, 19 relays and eight divers. Five student-athletes that finished in the top 10 last year return for the 2006 championships.
Michigan, which has claimed the most Big Ten Championships in conference history with 32, will look to first-team All-Conference honorees Chris DeJong, Davis Tarwater and Peter Vanderkaay to pace the Wolverines from their third-place finish from a year ago. U-M boasts 17 top-five rankings in conference events.
The Spartans will look to improve their performance from last year and will be led by the Dec. 13 Athletes of the Week, Adam Schmitt and Matt Akerley, while senior Ian Clutter is No. 2 in the 100-yard breaststroke in conference standings.
Defending Big Ten Champion Minnesota heads into this year's event behind four 2005 All-Conference honorees. The Gophers currently lead the league in five categories while senior Adam Mitchell ranks first in both the 200- and 400-yard individual medley.
2005 Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year Bob Groseth will look to Matt Grevers, the 2005 Swimmer of the Championships and Freshman of the Year honoree Kyle Bubolz to lead Northwestern this year. Both swimmers finished one and two, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle competition at last year's championships.
Ohio State currently ranks in the top five in 10 Big Ten events as junior Nathan King sits at No. 5 or above in four different categories. King finished eighth overall in the 200-yard individual medley in last year's championships and now ranks second in the league with his time of 1:47.31.
The Nittany Lions will look to build on their 16 swimming and diving championships titles, including 15 individual and one team crown. Five PSU relays are ranked in the top 10 of conference events while sophomore Sean Biedermann and freshman Patrick Schirk sit at No. 9 and 10 in the 400-yard individual medley and 200 backstroke, respectively.
Second-team All-Big Ten honoree Giordan Pogioli returns for Purdue after two top-five finishes at the 2005 championships. The senior leads the conference in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:56.59 and also sits at No. 3 in the 100 breaststroke in 54.74.
Wisconsin boasts five relays that will head into the championships with top-10 conference standings under their belts. Freshman Scott Rice is the lone Badger ranked in league individual standings as he is third in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:47.69.