WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana, February 27. SOPHOMORE Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif./Riverside Poly) broke the NCAA record en route to winning the 400-yard individual medley on Friday night (Feb. 27) to help the No. 4-ranked University of Michigan men’s swimming and diving team maintain a monster lead at the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships, held at the Boilermaker Aquatics Center. In addition to capping the evening with a Big Ten record win in the 800-yard freestyle relay, junior Chris Brady (Wilmington, Del./Mount Pleasant) won the 100-yard butterfly, freshman Dan Madwed (Stamford, Conn./Towson) took first in the 200-yard freestyle and junior Alon Mandel (Netanya, Israel/Eldad) touched the wall first in the 100-yard backstroke for the Wolverines, who hold a commanding lead in the team competition with 588.5 points; Ohio State is in second with 357.5 points. Brady and Madwed both also broke Big Ten records in the process.
Clary touched the wall in 3:38.03 in the 400 IM, cruising to the victory by nearly five seconds over second-place teammate junior Andr&é Schultz (Sao Paolo, Brazil/Colegio Palmares) (3:42.93). Clary’s time clipped the previous NCAA record of 3:38.15, set by Ryan Lochte of Florida in 2006. Sophomore Chris Douville (Dayton, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) also scored in the ‘A’ final for Michigan with an NCAA consideration time of 3:51.49, which was good for seventh.
Three additional Wolverines scored in the ‘B’ final of the 400 IM, each meeting the NCAA consideration standard. Sophomore Jared Miller (Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota East) won the ‘B’ final, taking ninth overall in 3:47.94. Junior Shaun Weinberg (Phoenix, Md./Dulaney) clocked in at 3:50.66 to earn 11th and sophomore Neal Kennedy (Chanhassen, Minn./Chaska) touched the wall in 3:51.55 to score 12th-place points for the Maize and Blue.
For the second time on the day, Brady broke the Big Ten record in winning the 100-yard butterfly. During the afternoon prelims, Brady swam a 45.92 to set the new conference standard. In the final, he lowered that mark further, clocking in at an NCAA ‘A’ time of 45.45 to claim the Big Ten crown. Mandel and senior Curtis Dauw (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) tied for fifth in the event, each touching the wall in an NCAA consideration time of 47.24.
The 200-yard freestyle featured a 1-2 sweep by Madwed and senior Sal Barba (Hudson, Mass./St. Johns). Madwed was first to the wall in a Big Ten record of 1:33.90; Barba took second with a time of 1:34.76. Senior Bobby Savulich (Edison, N.J./Saint Joseph) and senior/junior Evan Ryser (Katy, Texas/James E. Taylor) also scored in the ‘A’ final for U-M as Savulich earned fifth in 1:35.40 and Ryser took eighth in 1:36.61. In addition, junior Charlie Houchin (Raleigh, N.C./William G. Enloe), junior Adam DeJong (Holland, Mich./Holland)and senior Matt Patton (Matthews, N.C./Butler) gained points for the Maize and Blue in the ‘B’ final. Houchin earned ninth overall and first in the ‘B’ final in 1:35.26, while DeJong earned 10th-place points with a time of 1:35.94 and Patton was 12th in 1:36.26. All seven Wolverines in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals met the NCAA consideration qualifying standard.
Mandel was the top seed in the 100-yard backstroke after setting the pace in the preliminary with a first-place time of 46.87. He then shaved four one-hundredths off that time to take home the conference crown in the evening final in 46.83. Eric Ress of Indiana was second in a time of 47.38.
Finishing off the evening, Clary, Schultz, Barba and Madwed combined to earn the 800-yard freestyle relay Big Ten championship. The Wolverine foursome took the top spot in a Big Ten record time of 6:16.39. The Maize and Blue dominated the field, winning by more than nine seconds ahead of Ohio State’s second-place effort (6:25.39).
To start the day, the 200-yard medley relay quartet of Mandel, sophomore James Ridgeway (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick), Brady and Savulich broke the Michigan school record with a second-place finish of 1:25.24; the time also eclipsed the NCAA automatic-qualifying mark. Minnesota took top honors in 1:24.41.
Junior Jonathan Hiett (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer) and Ridgeway each achieved the NCAA ‘B’ standard in the 100-yard breaststroke. Hiett swam a season-best time of 53.96 to earn fifth place, while Ridgeway earned 13th with a time of 54.99 but achieved the consideration standard during the prelims, clocking in at 54.50. Colin Lee-To of Minnesota took first in the 100 breaststroke in 53.17.
The Wolverines will be back in the pool at the Boilermaker Aquatics Center on Saturday (Feb. 28) for the final day of the 2009 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships. The preliminary rounds will begin at noon and the finals are set for 7 p.m.
Special thanks to Michigan for contributing this report.