Feb. 19, 2004
The team race remains tight at the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships. Michigan (213) and Wisconsin (199) flip-flopped all night in the battle for first place, while Indiana (187) has moved into third, followed by Penn State (186) and Purdue (158). Host team Minnesota currently sits in sixth with 149 points.
In a repeat of their 2001 performance, the Indiana Hoosiers won the 200-yard freestyle relay and automatically qualified for the NCAA championships in 1:30.45. The team of Annica Loftsedt, Erin Smith, Tammy Kostner, and Meghan Medendorp led the field from wire to wire. Top-seed Wisconsin (1:31.48) finished second behind an excellent anchor leg by senior Molly Buhrandt. Michigan claimed third place from lane 6 in 1:31.58, followed by Purdue and host Minnesota.
Michigan's third place finish in the sprint relay was enough to keep them in first place, however Wisconsin closed the Wolverine's gap to just six points headed into the 500-yard free.
Carly Piper (4:42.64) scored first place points for Wisconsin in the 500, making it three straight titles in the event for the junior. However, Michigan claimed the next three of the next four spots with freshman Susan Gilliam placing second, junior Amy McCoullough in third and senior Emily Clare-Fenn in fifth. Indiana senior Sarah Fiden placed fourth. Each of the top five finishers earned an NCAA 'A' cut.
The Badgers scored more valuable team points when Bethany Pendleton won the 200-yard IM in 1:58.25, the second fastest time ever in Big Ten history and the best since Shannon Shakespeare in 2000. Michigan's Sara Johnson moved herself into second place with strong backstroke and breaststroke legs, finishing with an NCAA 'A' time of 2:00.12. All together, Wisconsin scored an impressive 63 points in the IM event with the swims of Pendleton, Emily Pisula (fifth), Amalia Sarnecki (sixth), Anna Trinidad (seventh), and Andrea Wiesner (13th).
In the 50-yard free, Medendorp of Indiana lowered her time from this morning by .11 seconds to her winning time of 22.59. It was Medendorp's second win of the night, as she was a member of IU's 200-yard free relay. Minnesota junior Katy Coombe (23.08), who set the school record in the morning, claimed second, just ahead of another Hoosier, Erin Smith (23.14).
At the end of the swimming portion of the finals, Wisconsin held a narrow 198-194 lead over Michigan. Indiana made a nice rebound tonight to pull into third place (182), making a comeback after yesterday's 200-yard medley relay disqualification.
In the one-meter diving finals, Purdue's Carrie McCambridge broke the pool record that was set this morning, winning the event with 321.80 points. Lisa Silvestri of Penn State claimed second with 291.60, while a pair of Ohio State freshman, Amber Simmons and Julie Broms, finished third and fourth, respectively.
Michigan's Tealin Keleman scored valuable points for her team, finishing sixth. Her performance moved the Wolverine's back into lead as the meet heads into day number three.
Day three action begins tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT with the 400-yard IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, and three-meter diving.