After an opening day that saw new records set and 17 NCAA A-standards set, the second day of the 2005 Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships had high expectations to live up to.
The day's first set of heats was in the 400-yard individual medley. Coming into the prelims, Peter Vanderkaay of the University of Michigan held the top Big Ten time of the season at 3:45.74. Vanderkaay, who earned his third consecutive conference crown in the 500 free the previous night, looked to earn a repeat title in the 400 IM, and extend the Wolverines streak of victories in the event to eight consecutive years. Despite Vanderkaay's past dominance in the event, it was Adam Mitchell who earned the prelim's top-time in his home pool, clocking in at 3:47.05, good for an NCAA automatic qualification. Vanderkaay did earn the second fastest time of the heats at 3:47.53, followed by Northwestern's Mike Alexandrov, Timothy Liebhold of Wisconsin, Minnesota's Justin Mortimer, Michigan's Chuck Sayao, and Brian Davis from Northwestern. Peter Vanderkaay's brother, Alex earned the eighth fastest prelim time, to qualify for the event's final Friday evening.
Next up was the 100-yard butterfly prelims. Like the previous event, a Wolverine held the top regular season time in the 100 fly. Davis Tarwater, who clocked in at 47.77 seconds during the regular season, finished second in the event at last year's championships, and faced tough competition in the heats this year. That competition came in the form of Northwestern freshman Kyle Bubolz. He came in with the Big Ten's third fastest time of the season, but exited the water with the fastest time in conference history. Bubolz's 46.49 seconds also earned him an NCAA A-standard. Tarwater finished second at 47.05, also under the NCAA's automatic qualifying time. Joining the pair in the event's finals are Indiana's Scott Tanner, Penn State's Patrik Johansson, and Minnesota's Neil Osten. In addition to Tanner, IU will enter two more swimmers into the finals, with hopes of earning enough points to overtake Minnesota for the meet's lead. Hoosiers Murph Halasz and Thomas Clavier finished the prelims in sixth and seventh place respectively, and Minnesota's Dan Berve rounds out the final's field.
The third event of the day was also one that Peter Vanderkaay held the regular season's fastest time in, however, he would not compete in the 200-yard freestyle during the championships. Therefore, the 2003 conference champion, Minnesota's Terry Silkaitis, held the fastest regular season time of any competitor swimming the 200 free at the championships. Silkaitis held off 50 swimmers to maintain the top-time, finishing the prelims with a time of 1:35.61, which was under the NCAA A-standard. In second place, Indiana's Colin Russell finished with a time of 1:36.32, Gopher Sean McCaffrey finished third, and Hoosier Sergiy Fesenko in fourth. Wisconsin's Eric Wiesner had the fifth fastest prelim time and Minnesota earned another finalist in the event as Igor Cerensek finished sixth. Michigan's loan finalist in the event was Andrew Hurd, who finished the heats in seventh, and Sean Biedermann from Penn State earned the eighth and last spot in the finals.
The 100-yard breaststroke was the only event that did not see a Wolverine enter the preliminaries with the Big Ten's fastest time of the season. Northwestern's Mike Alexandrov not only entered his heat with the fastest time in the conference this year, but also the second fastest in the nation this season, 54.27 seconds. Also competing in the prelims was last year's conference champion, Indiana's Kevin Swander, who earned the Big Ten's fifth fastest regular season time. Alexandrov finished the prelims in the fastest time, earning the conference only NCAA A-standard in the event in 53.56 seconds. Ian Clutten of Michigan State came in second with a time of 54.11 seconds. Swander earned the third spot, followed by Buckeye Rob Kauscher in fourth. Christian Vanderkaay, the oldest of the three brothers on Michigan's squad, finished the heats in fifth. Giordan Pogioli from Purdue earned the sixth spot, followed by Louis Torres from Northwestern and Jason Timmer of Minnesota.
Chris DeJong rounded out the group of Wolverines with top-times by beginning the 100-yard backstroke with the conference's fastest time at 47.23 seconds. The Big Ten's second fastest time entering the prelims belonged to last year's champion, Matt Grevers of Northwestern, who set the Big Ten record at 46.68 seconds last year. While Grevers did not best his record time, he did score the fastest time in the set of heats with 46.73 seconds. Adam Mania from Wisconsin came in second with a time of 47.00 seconds, followed by Minnesota's David Plummer and Purdue's Louis Paul. DeJong finished the prelims in fifth and IU's Ben Hesen in sixth. Gopher Dan Berve finished in the seventh position and Ohio State's R.J. Lemyre garnered the last ticket to the finals.
The day two finals begin at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. In addition to these events, conference-swimming champions will be crowned in the 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay. Check back to BigTen.org for live results and continuing coverage of the 2005 Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.