IOWA CITY, Iowa, February 15. LED by a Big Ten record in the 800 freestyle relay, the Indiana women's swimming and diving team got off to a strong start at the 2012 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City, Iowa.
Wisconsin is currently in first place with 72 points, followed by the Hoosiers with 68 points. Minnesota (66 points), Ohio State (64 points) and Penn State (54 points) round out the top five.
The meet started with the 200 medley relay as Allie Day, Ashley Specht, Kim Tracey and Stephanie Armstrong finished fifth with a time of 1:38.74. That is the third-fastest time in school history and an NCAA provisional time.
An exhibition of women's synchronized 3-meter diving took place in-between relay events, with Cassidy Kahn and Kathryn Connolly teaming up for a score of 175.65.
The short evening session concluded with the 800 freestyle relay as the Hoosiers defended their title with a new Big Ten record of 7:00.82. That automatically qualifies the quartet for the NCAA Championships. Brittany Strumbel led off with a time of 1:45.34. Lindsay Vrooman was next in the pool, splitting a 1:44.86 followed by Nikki White (1:46.06) and anchor Margaux Farrell (1:44.56) Last year the Hoosiers set the then-Big Ten meet record in the event (7:01.13), with Strumbel setting the Big Ten record in the 200 freestyle on the leadoff leg (1:43.93).
"We finished about as good as we could have," said head coach Ray Looze. "We knew it would be a battle and we put up four solid splits. It is nice to start off with a Big Ten record in that relay, but we have a lot of meet ahead of us and we are digging in for the long haul."
The Championships continue tomorrow beginning at 12 p.m. ET with prelims in the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 1-meter diving. The finals session will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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