Record Times and Close Finishes Highlight Opening Night of Women's Swimming and Diving Championships

Feb. 16, 2005

After only one event of the Big Ten Conference women's swimming and diving championships the record books were already being rewritten.

The opening event of this year's championships at Indiana Universities Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center saw Penn State break almost every record in the book. The Nittany Lions finished the 200-yard medley relay in 1:39.06 which was good enough for a Big Ten Championships record, Big Ten Conference record, Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center pool record and a school record. The quartet of Sarah Haupt, Amberles Biedermann, Kristin Woodring and Dee Dlugonski bested the previous league record by 16-hundredths of a second. The previous conference mark was set at the 2004 championships at Minnesota by Penn State - a relay squad which included Haupt, Biedermann and Dlugonski.

The win put PSU out in front in the team race with 40 points after one event. Wisconsin and Michigan tied for second in the 200-yard medley with a time of 1:40.75 - also a school record for the Badgers. Indiana finished fourth to set its own school record, touching the wall in 1:41.24.

All four schools qualified for the NCAA Championships with their finishes. Penn State made the "A" standard while Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana's times were good enough to make the "B" standard for the NCAA's in March.

The second and final event of the short opening evening of competition was the 800-yard freestyle relay. Another pool record was set in the event, this time by the University of Michigan. The Maize and Blue squad of Amy McCullough, Susan Gilliam, Lindsay Smith and Justine Mueller finished the race in 7:09.42 to set the new mark and make the "A" standard for the upcoming NCAA Championships.

Behind U-M was Wisconsin followed by Penn State and Purdue. Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio State rounded out the top eight teams - all of which made the "B" standard for the NCAA's. In addition, the Fighting Illini set a school record with their time of 7:20.97.

The win put the Wolverines out in front in the team competition to end day one. Michigan will start out in first place when competition resumes with preliminary races on Thursday (February 17) morning by only one point over Penn State. The two squads finished one and two respectively in last year's championships.

Rounding out the standings after the first day of competition is Wisconsin in third place with 67 points followed by Indiana with 58, Purdue with 56, Minnesota with 50, Iowa with 42 points, Illinois at 38, Northwestern at 36 and Ohio State and Michigan State tied with 34.

Day two action gets off the blocks at 11:00 a.m. eastern time on Thursday with prelims followed by finals at 7:00 pm eastern time in the evening.