Feb. 13, 2007
February 8-10 University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. University Aquatic Center
A new Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving champion was crowned last weekend as Indiana took home its first conference title since 2003 and the program's second overall. The Hoosiers faced stiff competition as part of a field containing five schools ranked in the CSCAA Top 25. The No. 8 Hoosiers posted a team score of 715.5, far in front of its closest competitor, No. 10 Michigan (562). The rest of the conference's ranked squads rounded out the top five at the championships with No. 15 Penn State in third (537.5), No. 21 Minnesota in fourth (442) and No. 17 Wisconsin in fifth (413.5).
The Hoosiers posted wins in seven events including Leila Vaziri's time of 52.85 in the 100-yard backstroke, which set a new Big Ten Championships record. However, it was Christina Loukas' diving performances that sealed the deal for Indiana. Loukas swept all three diving events, marking the fourth time the feat has been accomplished in conference history and the first time it has been done since 2004.
The 2007 championships also saw two other meet records fall as Wisconsin's Yi Ting Siow set a new mark in the 200-yard individual medley, clocking in at 1:57.60, besting the previous record by .06 seconds. Michigan's 400-yard freestyle relay team also set a new championships best by an even narrower margin, touching the wall at 3:18.40 and beating the seven-year-old record by a mere .02 seconds.
Michigan's Lindsey Smith took home the most medals of any swimmer, notching wins in the 100- (49:04) and 200-yard (1:46.21) freestyles before earning gold as a member of the 200- (1:29.88) and 400-yard (3:18.40) freestyle relay teams. Smith was named Swimmer of the Championships for her effort, marking the third consecutive time a Wolverine has won the award.
Overall, 32 individuals and relay teams qualified automatically for the NCAA Championships while 163 swimmers and relays qualified provisionally. The NCAA Championships will be held at the University Aquatic Center, hosted by the University of Minnesota, on March 8-10. NCAA Selections will be announced March 2 at 5 p.m. ET.
BIG TEN ANNOUNCES ALL-BIG TEN TEAMS AND INDIVIDUAL HONORS
The Big Ten Conference announced the 2007 All-Big Ten women's swimming and diving teams as well as individual award winners at the 2007 Women's Swimming and Diving Championships on Sunday. Wisconsin sophomore Yi Ting Siow came away with Swimmer of the Year honors while Indiana's Christina Loukas was named both Diver of the Year and Championships. Another Hoosier, Presley Bard was named Freshman of the Year while Indiana's coaches, Ray Looze and Jeff Huber, were named Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year, respectively. Finally, Michigan's Lindsey Smith earned Swimmer of the Championships honors.
Loukas' awards were her third in each category, making her just the first diver in Big Ten history to be named Diver of the Year and of the Championships on three occasions. Loukas is also only the second to win the yearly award three times and the second to win the championships honor three times.
Siow became the sixth Badger to be named Swimmer of the Year, tying Wisconsin with Michigan for the most honors in that category. Named Swimmer of the Championships, Smith became the third consecutive Wolverine to win the award and the program's fifth overall. Taking home the coaching awards, Indiana's Looze and Huber are just the second swimming and diving coach duo from the same school to win yearly honors in the same season and the first to do it since 1987.
Overall, 19 student-athletes made repeat performances on the All-Big Ten teams, 14 of which made consecutive appearances on the first team.