Michigan Off to Strong Start at Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships

Charlie Houchin aided Michigan to its 10th consecutive Big Ten title in the 800-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday evening.

Charlie Houchin aided Michigan to its 10th consecutive Big Ten title in the 800-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday evening.

Feb. 24, 2010

Big Ten Swimming & Diving Championships Central

Michigan surged to an early lead after the first day of competition at the Big Ten Championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. The sixth-ranked Wolverines swept both relay events, including a record-setting performance in the 800-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday evening to earn all 80 points.

Championships host Ohio State finished the day in second place with 68 team tallies, followed by Minnesota with 62 points. Penn State sits a mere two points back in fourth place while Michigan State (54) rounds out the top five.

Michigan began the night with a season-best time in the 200-yard medley relay, touching the wall in 1:25.72, improving on their runner-up performance from the 2009 championships. The time bested their previous mark by a full three seconds and was good enough to earn NCAA consideration.

In the second and final relay of the evening, Michigan continued their recent dominance in the 800-yard freestyle relay, capturing its 10th consecutive Big Ten title in the event with a time of 6:15.80.. The U-M quartet of sophomore Dan Madwed, seniors Andre Schultz and Charlie Houchin and junior Tyler Clary garnered its first NCAA automatic qualifying time while setting a Big Ten, Big Ten Championships and pool record.

“We wanted to make a statement this evening in these relays, not just for our group, but for our entire team,” Houchin said. “We wanted to start strong; 6:16 was our goal, so getting that record is even better. We hope that sets the tone for the entire competition."

The Big Ten Championships will continue Thursday, with preliminaries beginning at noon ET and finals slated for 7 p.m. Thursday's schedule features finals in the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle, one-meter diving and 400-yard medley relay.