April 14, 2011
Park Ridge, Ill. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
The Big Ten Conference was well represented at the 2011 NCAA Championships, hosted by the University of Texas at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas. The Golden Gophers led all Big Ten teams competing at the national event, tallying 192 points to earn ninth place, collecting their best finish and scoring the most team points at the national meet in Gopher history. Wisconsin amassed 160 tallies to place 11th, followed by Indiana (86.5) and Ohio State (64) in 15th and 17th place, respectively. Purdue (25), Iowa (T30th), Michigan (T30th) and Penn State (35th) rounded out the conference contingent.
Wisconsin senior Maggie Meyer highlighted the final day of competition with a winning performance in the 200- yard backstroke. The White Bear Lake, Minn., native ran away from the field and shattered her school record with a time of 1:50.76, becoming the first Badger swimmer to win a national title.
Minnesota's Kelci Bryant was the first of three Gophers to claim a national title at this year's championships. Bryant, a product of Chatham, Ill., compiled 349.65 points to win the one-meter title. After capturing the one-meter crown, she became the first athlete to win multiple NCAA titles in Minnesota swimming and diving history. The junior won the national three-meter springboard championship a year ago.
Gopher senior Jillian Tyler collected her first national title in the 100-yard breaststroke. Tyler, a Calgary, Alberta native, clocked a time of 58.39 seconds to improve upon her runner-up finish in 2008 and fourth-place showing a year ago. Teammate Haley Spencer captured the NCAA title in the 200-yard breaststroke, giving the Gophers their third individual title of the championships. Spencer won the event in a career-best time of 2:06.12 seconds.
Prior to the national meet, Indiana captured its third straight conference crown at the Big Ten Championships. The Hoosiers amassed 821 points over the four-day event to outdistance Minnesota, which finished second with 578 points. Ohio State was third with 456 while Penn State tallied 391 points for fourth place. Purdue compiled 355.5 points to round out the top five in the final team standings.
Penn State newcomer Chelsea Weedman was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Meyer earned the nod as Big Ten Swimmer of the Year. Tyler was named the Swimmer of the Championships while Bryant received Big Ten Diver of the Year and Diver of the Championships laurels after sweeping the springboard events at the conference meet for the second consecutive year. Indiana head general Ray Looze was voted Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year by his peers after guiding the Hoosiers to their third-straight Big Ten Championship and fourth in the past five seasons. Hawkeye mentor Rob Rydze received Diving Coach of the Year recognition from his peers.