MADISON, Wisconsin, January 30. TWO more pool records fell on Saturday afternoon at the UW Natatorium as the No. 17 Wisconsin women’s swimming and diving team completed its sweep of Big Ten foes Illinois, No. 10 Minnesota and No. 22 Purdue on day two of the Big Ten Quad Duals.
The Badgers downed Illinois 228-102, while also defeating Minnesota, 179-151, and Purdue, 190-130.
After the team set four pool records on Friday night, sophomore Ashley Wanland was the first to knock off another on Saturday, as she swam the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:12.15, bettering the mark of 2:12.80 set by Yi Ting Siow in 2007. The win also gave Wanland a new season-best mark, as well as an NCAA consideration time.
Wisconsin’s second pool record came in the final event of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Junior Maggie Meyer, sophomore Beckie Thompson and freshmen Laura Miller and Ruby Martin combined to swim the event in an NCAA “B” time of 3:21.64, breaking the mark of 3:23.16 that had stood since 2003.
Thompson almost added a third pool record on her own as she won the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 22.89, just .03 seconds off the record she had previously set earlier this year. The time was still good for an NCAA “B” mark, though.
In all, Meyer was a part of five school records on the weekend, something that head coach Eric Hansen took note of.
“I think from this two-session meet, with five pool records, Maggie Meyer has to be at the top of the list,” Hansen said of performances that impressed him on the weekend. “I was really pleased with that.”
Meyer wasn’t the only swimmer that Hansen thought had a solid day, though.
“I also thought Beckie Thompson had a great meet,” he said. “And Ruby Martin, to anchor that relay and have the fastest split in a pool record relay says a lot about her.
“Also, Laura Miller, to be on that relay and step up and get 50 points as well, that says a lot about our depth going into the NCAAs, to have two freshmen go third and fourth on our relay.”
The afternoon started strong for Wisconsin as it scored a win in the opening event, the 200-yard medley relay. The team of Meyer, Wanland, junior Karlyn Hougan and Thompson finished in an NCAA consideration time of 1:40.77, a season-best for Wisconsin in the event.
Meyer added her own individual consideration time later in the day as she won the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 54.50. That came on the heels of the pool-record swim in the 100 back she recorded Friday by going 54.16 as the lead leg on UW’s winning 400 medley relay.
The Badgers got another win in the 400-yard individual medley, as freshman Monika Stitski won the event in a time of 4:24.36. Stitski’s season-best in the event is the fastest by a Badgers swimmer this year.
Hansen thought his team’s performance on the weekend was a good precursor to the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA championship meets.
“It tells us where we’re at,” he said. “We’ll also study film and look at the other details that we need to work on.
“Other than that, we’ll have them take care of themselves and focus on the things that can help us. One of them is rest, and two is to work on details.”
The Wisconsin men’s team dropped both its dual-meet matchups, losing 209-121 to Minnesota and 185-145 to Purdue. Individually, the team earned top-three finishes in six events Saturday.
“Even though [the men] didn’t win, I was really pleased with the progress a lot of our guys made,” Hansen said. “They showed some maturity and they’re starting to come around and that’s what we’re looking for; versatility and the ability to correct mistakes and set the races up the right way.”
Freshman Dan Lester had two of those top-three finishes as he placed second in the 400-yard IM and third in the 100-yard butterfly. In the medley, Lester finished with a time of 4:00.09, while the butterfly, he finished in a personal-best time of 49.68.
Fellow freshman Marcus Guttmann shattered his own personal best in the 1,000-yard freestyle. His previous fastest mark came at the Minnesota dual this year when he swam it in a time of 9:57.71. Saturday, though, Guttmann grabbed a second-place finsh with a time of 9:16.08.
“I was pleased with Marcus Guttmann who came from nowhere and really helped us out,” Hansen said. “Dan Lester has also proven that he’s one of our leaders, and he just joined us in December.”
Senior Derrick O’Donnell earned a second-place finish of his own in the 100-yard backstroke. He swam the event in at time of 51.05.
Sophomore Chris Nemeth rounded out the individual top-three finishes for UW with by swimming to third place in the 200-yard freestyle. His time of 1:41.76 was his second-best of the season.
As a team, the Badgers grabbed another second-place finish in the final event of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Senior Phil Davies, sophomore Wes Lagerhausen, Nemeth and sophomore Cole Scarbrough swam it in a time of 3:03.50, the third-best time for Wisconsin this season.
“I really saw signs of what we got accomplished in Hawaii and that’s always nice,” Hansen added, referring to the team’s annual winter training trip. “We looked really fit, but we don’t have all of our speed yet. It’s coming.”
Up next for both teams are the Big Ten championships. The women have two weeks off to prepare before heading to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete from Feb. 17-20.
The men’s team has three weeks off from competition before traveling to Columbus, Ohio, from Feb. 24-27.
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