MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, February 25. THE No. 9-ranked University of Michigan men’s swimming and diving team added three more individual titles to its tally to remain in the lead after the third day of competition at the Big Ten Championships on Thursday (Feb. 25) at Minnesota’s University Aquatic Center. U-M, which now has three relay and five individual wins so far at the four-day event, holds a 57-point lead over Indiana heading into the final day.
Junior Dan Madwed (Stamford, Conn./Towson) successfully defended his back-to-back 200-yard freestyle crowns and freshman Kyle Whitaker (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) earned his second individual medley title in as many days, taking the 400-yard race. Sophomore Sean Fletcher (Vienna, Va./James Madison) won his first conference crown, winning the 100-yard butterfly before placing third in the 100-yard backstroke three events later.
Madwed, with runner-up sophomore Hassaan Abdel Khalik (Mississauga, Ontario/Silverthorn Collegiate) in tow, led the 200-yard freestyle from the blocks to the wall. Madwed exploded out of the second turn and flew away from the pack, creating a sizeable lead in just 25 yards of water. By the final trip down the pool, Madwed held a body length lead over Abdel Khalik to complete a three-peat in the event.
Michigan’s lone top seed heading into the day’s finals, Whitaker delivered with an NCAA automatic qualifier in the 400-yard individual medley. He had the fastest 100-yard splits in all but the first, finishing a little less than seven seconds ahead of the runner-up finisher.
Fletcher punched his ticket to the NCAA Championships with a 45.69 automatic qualifier in the 100-yard butterfly. Fletcher and OSU’s Tim Phillips battled for first place throughout the race with Fletcher holding on with a faster second half of the race.
Michigan will look to clinch its conference-record 35th crown on the final day of the Big Ten Championships tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 26) at Minnesota’s University Aquatic Center. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. CST with the finals set to begin at 6:30 p.m. CST.
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