Big Ten Championships Preview

Day one begins Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Day one begins Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Feb. 14, 2006

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

February 15-18 • Ohio State University • Columbus, Ohio • Bill and Mae McCorkley Aquatic Pavilion

Ohio State University will play host to some of the nationally acclaimed collegiate women's swimming and diving talent as the Buckeyes compete for the conference title at the 2006 Big Ten Championships. The league event will feature six squads ranked in the top 25 of the latest CSCAA Rankings. No. 11 Wisconsin leads the way for the Big Ten, followed by Penn State at No. 14, No. 16 Indiana and No. 17 Purdue. Michigan (22) and Minnesota (24) round out the conference representation.

Barbie Viney, who notched two top-five individual finishes at last year's championships will lead the Illini who finished ninth overall last season. Viney was named Athlete of the Week on October 18, 2005 after recording three individual first-place victories.

Indiana will boast four student-athletes that have combined for 10 NCAA qualifying times while two relays have also met the national standard. Three Hoosiers have received weekly laurels this season on six different occasions while two are returning first-team All-Big Ten selections, including Diver of the Championships and Year, Christina Loukas.

Iowa, who finished eighth at the championships last year, ranks in the top 10 in conference rankings in two individual events. Senior Kelly Werner ranks sixth in the 100-yard backstroke with 56.80 and ninth in the 200 backstroke with 2:02.66. The Hawkeyes will enter this weekend's competition with five top-10 relays.

Michigan, who has claimed the most Big Ten Championships in conference history with 14 and will look to first-team All-Conference honorees Kaitlyn Brady, Justine Mueller, Abby Seskevics, and Lindsey Smith to pace the Wolverines from their fourth-place finish from a year ago.

The Spartans will look to improve their 84 point performance from last year in Columbus, Ohio this weekend and will be led by the Dec. 13, 2005 Athlete of the Week, Rachel Hagerman.

Minnesota heads into the championships behind Big Ten Co-Swimmer and Diver of the Week selections, Kaite Wind and Erica Schiffler, respectively. The Gophers finished sixth overall with 314 team points in 2005.

Wildcat Chelsea Davis, a three-time Diver of the Week recipient this season, will lead NU as she ranks No. 1 on both the one- and three-meter spring board events.

The Buckeyes boast two individual conference champions from 2005 as Julie Broms and Griet Buelens will be defending their conference crowns in the three-meter diving and 200-yard butterfly events, respectively.

The Nittany Lions will look to repeat last year's conference title and attempt to win their third championship overall. PSU returns five All-Big Ten selections from the 2005 championships.

Purdue, who finished fifth last year will bring a program-best five competitors that have qualified for NCAA Diving Zones, including senior Carrie McCambridge, a 2005 second-team All-Big Ten honoree, to the 2006 championships.

The Badgers will have the most All-Conference representation as seven student-athletes will head into the championships with the yearly laurel under their belts. UW claimed three individual titles and top-two finishes in five relays last year.