Feb. 28, 2006
February 15-18 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio Bill and Mae McCorkley Aquatic Pavilion
Ohio State University entertained some of the most nationally acclaimed collegiate women's swimming and diving talent as the Buckeyes hosted the 2006 Big Ten Championships. The league event that featured six squads ranked in the top 25 of the latest CSCAA Rankings saw the No. 14 Penn State Nittany Lions claim their second-consecutive team title, outdistancing Minnesota by 15.5 total team points. The Golden Gophers improved four spots from last year, ending in second place with 536.5 points. Michigan placed third in the final standings with 509 points while Indiana (495) and Purdue (428) rounded out the top five.
Penn State won its third team title in five years as the Nittany Lions boasted 28 top-eight finishes and two individual crowns. Michigan dominated the event titles as the Wolverines swam to seven first-place finishes while both Minnesota and Wisconsin tallied three champions. Nittany Lions Sara Haupt and Kaitlin O'Brien led the PSU charge, claiming the 100-yard backstroke and 400-yard individual medley events, respectively. Wolverines Kaitlyn Brady and Justine Mueller defended their individual titles from last year as Brady finished first in the 50-yard freestyle and Mueller once again took the 200-yard individual medley title while the U-M 200-yard freestyle relay squad swam to its second-straight first-place finish. Indiana's Christina Loukas defended her one-meter diving title in a 345.20 fashion.
At then end of competition, three new Big Ten Championships records were set, two league marks were broken and 24 NCAA automatic qualifying standards were met in the championships finals. The Wisconsin 200-yard medley relay team of Susan Johnson, Amalia Sarnecki, Sarah Hernandez and Jackie Vavrek began the 2006 championships in record-setting fashion as the Badgers swam to a 1:38.89 first-place finish. The UW time beat the previous record set by the Penn State foursome in last year's event by .17 seconds. Michigan's Kaitlyn Brady broke both a league and championships record in the 100-yard butterfly. She touched the wall first in :52.60, beating both marks by .94 seconds. PSU's Amberle Biedermann set the previous mark in both categories in 2003. Indiana's Christina Loukas also boasted new Big Ten and championships records with her one-meter diving performance. The Hoosier's 345.20 total points beat her mark from a year ago by 12.5.