Wisconsin and Minnesota advance nine swimmers each to finals
Feb. 18, 2006
COLUMBUS, Ohio - With the team championship standings separated by the slimmest of margins, Ohio State's McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion echoed with intensity from the first "Take your mark" of Saturday's preliminary competition.
Minnesota entered day three of competition with a seven-point lead over Michigan for first in the team standings, the title race quickly became a back-and-forth battle in the finals between Michigan and Penn State. The Nittany Lions took the lead to end day three competition and currently lead by two points heading into the finals competition, but the Michigan Wolverines are bearing down in second.
Penn State countered with three swimmers earning their lanes in the championship final. Erin Morris led the Nittany Lions at 1:58.57 for third place. Sarah Haupt, who took home the title in the 100-yard backstroke final Friday night, earned fifth place with a time of 2:00.39 followed by Jessica Barnes' eighth place time of 2:01.27. Both Haupt and Barnes also garnered B-standard qualifying marks.
Minnesota's Katie Wind matched the A-standard qualifying mark of 1:58.24 to the exact one hundredth of a second to claim the No. 2 spot in the finals. Another Gopher, Jennifer Shaughessy, will advance to the finals after a 1:59.32 time for fourth and a provisional qualification. Rounding out the top eight is Iowa's Kelly Werner, who finished seventh with a B-standard time of 2:00.97.
Wisconsin's Susan Johnson, the event's two-time defending champion, missed the cut for the championship final by .61. With a ninth-place finish in the prelim race, Johnson will enter tonight's consolation final with the top seed.
Wisconsin's Sara Hernandez finished next with a time of 50.27 followed closely by two Minnesota swimmers in the fifth and sixth spots. Meredith McCarthy timed a 50.37 finish, and Stacy Busack notched a 50.46 time for the Gophers. Viney's teammate Meghan Farrell rounds out the championship final lineup with an eighth place time of 50.54. All of the top eight qualified provisionally for the NCAA meet.
Siow's teammate Amalia Sarnecki earned the No. 5 slot in the championship final with a time of 2:17.28 while Illinois' Marissa Clapp earned sixth with a finish of 2:17.40. Purdue's Rory Belk edged the Nittany Lions' Abby Hoisington by one-hundredth of a second, finishing seventh at 2:17.64. Hoisington rounds out the eight-swimmer championship race with her time of 2:17.65.
Penn State's Kelly Nelson touched the wall for second at 1:58.93. Purdue's Carlene Takaki edged Indiana's Allison Kay by three hundredths of a second, timing a 1:59.52 race for third. Takaki's 1:59.55 placed her in fourth followed by Penn State's Karie Haglund at 1:59.72 for fifth. Wisconsin's Jenny Gelden (2:00.82) and Michigan's Payton Johnson (2:01.52) complete the lineup for tonight's champion ship final. Penn State's Amberle Biedermann barely missed the top eight, finishing four-hundredths of a second behind Johnson. Biedermann clocked a 2:01.56 time for ninth place, giving Penn State a total of eight finals competitors. Illinois and Purdue also advanced eight while Michigan counts seven. Minnesota and Wisconsin both send nine.
Three-meter spring board diving preliminary competition is currently underway McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The 1650-yard freestyle finals competition will begin at approximately 4:30 ET and will continue throughout the afternoon. The competition has been dominated by Minnesota all season. The Gophers' Yuen Kobayashi ranks first in the event with a time of 16:28.02, and her teammate Christine Jennings holds the conference's second-fastest time this season, 16:33.35.
The championships grand finale begins at 7:00 p.m. ET when, in addition to these events, conference-swimming champions will be crowned in the 400-yard freestyle relay and 1,650-yard freestyle. Check back to BigTen.org for live results and continuing coverage of the 2006 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.