BLOOMINGTON, Ind. January, 29. THE No. 11 Indiana men's swimming and diving team pushed No. 6 Michigan, but could not overcome the Wolverines in a 160-140 loss on Jan. 29 at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center in Bloomington, Ind. Sophomore Todd Patrick paced the Hoosiers with three event title wins, while senior Ryan Fagan swept the diving events. Indiana fell to 6-3 on the season and 3-2 in conference action.
"We had some outstanding performances today," Indiana head coach Ray Looze said. "This is one of the faster dual meets in the country. Initially, I was concerned about our team's psyche after the loss, but I feel much better after our team meeting. I like what they had to say. The know what they need to do."
Remarkably, the entire IU diving squad for both men and women are now qualified for the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio from March 10-12.
Notably, senior Sergiy Fesenko and sophomore Ben Hesen each broke school records during the meet. Fesenko surpasses his own 500-yard freestyle record, while Hesen eclipsed former IU standout Matt Leach's standard in the 100-yard backstroke.
"We had some outstanding performances today," Looze said. "With Sergiy and Ben breaking records, we now have three record-breaking in-season efforts. What is amazing is that they can go faster. We are a good team."
The Hoosiers jumped into an 11-6 lead in the 200-yard medley relay by winning in the fourth-fastest time in school history when the quartet of Hesen, senior Kevin Swander, senior Thomas Clavier and Patrick touched in B-cut time of 1:28.30. Michigan's team of senior Chris DeJong, senior Andrew Albright, senior Davis Tarwater and freshman Bryan Vessels placed second in 1:29.54. Meanwhile, the Wolverine squad of sophomore Dane Grenda, sophomore Grant Burtch, freshman Curtis Dauw and freshman Evan Ryser rounded out the top three in 1:33.09.
Michigan countered in the 1,650-yard freestyle as senior Peter Vanderkaay claimed the title in 14:58.84. The Hoosiers, however, hung tough with the vaunted Wolverine Distance crew with a two-through-four finish. Fesenko finished second in 15:06.39, while sophomore Alex Brunfeldt took third in 15:31.89 and classmate John Kevin Koehler claimed fourth in 15:32.98. All three Hoosier times cleared the B-cut standard. At the end of the event, the Hoosiers maintained a 20-16 lead.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Michigan swept the top two spots as Tarwater won the event in 1:37.85, while freshman Bobby Savulich took second in 1:38.03. Junior Lee Houchin rounded out the top three with a 1:38.70. Also of note, freshman Jeff Wood (1:41.28) and junior Ryan Millard (1:45.01) recorded personal bests in the event. Upon completion of the race, Michigan took a 31-24 advantage.
The Wolverines won another event in the 100-yard backstroke as DeJong touched first in 47.67. Remarkably, Hesen broke the school record in the 100-yard backstroke with a 47.98 for second. Matt Leach previously held the program standard with a 48.18 set on Feb. 28, 2003 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan's Grenda closed out the top three with a 50.99. The Wolverines moved out to a 43-31 lead after the event.
"It is just an honor to have my name up on the board," Hesen said. "Right now, I just want to make sure that it is not a highlight of my season. I still have a lot of time left in the season where everything matters. I really wanted to beat DeJong. Hopefully, this meet sets us up for something special."
The Hoosiers responded in the 100-yard breaststroke to cut the lead to 49-44 as Swander raced to a first-place 55.49 and freshman Heath Tameris took third in a personal-best time of 56.70 that moved him into 17th on IU's all-time list in the event. Senior Andrew Albright split the difference for Michigan with a 56.47.
Michigan battled back in the 200-yard butterfly to stretch its lead to 61-51. Sophomore Alex Vanderkaay won the event in 1:47.24, while sophomore Nick Walkotten took second in 1:48.99. Dauw closed out the top three for IU in 1:50.38. Also of note, freshman Keith Dawley recorded a personal-low time of 1:55.67.
The Hoosiers fought back in the 50-yard freestyle with a top-two sweep to shave the Wolverine advantage to 67-64. Patrick touched in first with a 20.55, while Houchin finished second in 20.89. Savulich rounded out the top three for Michigan with a third-place 21.08.
Indiana jumped ahead by 79-71 in the platform with a one-two-four performance. Fagan eked out a win over teammate Jesse Rappaport. The defending Big Ten Diver of the Week recorded a first-place 348.83 to move into sixth all-time in the event, while Rappaport improved to seventh with a 348.60 for second place. Junior Kyle Howard finished third for Michigan with a 339.83, while sophomore Taylor Roberts took fourth with a 308.48 for the Hoosiers. Notably, sophomore David Legler became IU's fifth diver to clear the zone standard with a personal-best tally of 307.13.
The Hoosiers pushed their lead to 90-79 in the 100-yard freestyle when Patrick placed first in 44.48 and Houchin finished fourth in 45.09. Meanwhile, Tarwater (44.51) and Savulich (45.04) took second and third for the Wolverines.
Michigan countered in the 200-yard backstroke to cut the lead to 96-92. DeJong claimed the title in 1:46.45, while Grenda placed second in 1:47.99. Hesen posted IU's best time in the event with a third-place 1:51.04. Notably, Walkotten registered a career-low time of 1:52.04 for fourth place.
The Wolverines took the lead, 104-103, in the 200-yard breaststroke when Burtch touched first in 2:03.00, while Swander placed second for Indiana in 2:03.02. Michigan's Albright closed out the top three with a 2:03.10. Meanwhile, Tameris continued his late season surge with a personal-best time of 2:03.62 for fifth.
Michigan extended its lead to 117-109 in the 500-yard freestyle as Peter Vanderkaay won the crown in 4:17.24. Fesenko broke his own school record set at last year's Big Tens with a 4:17.84 to take second. Alex Vanderkaay placed third in 4:27.17. Meanwhile, freshman Jeff Wood posted a personal-best time of 4:32.06.
"It was a situation where I didn't care about my time," Fesenko said. "I wanted to win and I did not. I am surprised about my time."
In the 100-yard butterfly, Michigan pushed its lead to 128-117 as Tarwater won in 48.10, while Walkotten took second in 48.97. Meanwhile, Clavier placed third in 49.69.
In the three-meter diving break, Indiana took a 133-131 lead with a top-five sweep as the Hoosiers registered a career day. Fagan won the event with a 374.93, which is the sixth-best effort in school history. Roberts placed second with the eighth-highest total in program annals with a 373.65, while Rappaport placed third with a 355.43. Rappaport's effort also moved him into ninth all-time in the event. Additionally, Legler recorded a personal-best 336.53 for fourth, while sophomore Justin Montrie posted a personal-best of 329.40 to clear the zone qualifying mark.
In the 400-yard IM, Michigan jumped back in front, 147-136, with a top-three sweep as Alex Vanderkaay won the event in 3:53.61, while Peter Vanderkaay placed second in 3:54.99. Grenda closed out the sweep with a third-place 3:56.78. Also of note, freshman Steven Murry posted a personal-best time of 4:00.05 for fourth, while classmate A.J. Miller recorded a career-low of his own in 4:08.85 for seventh.
The Wolverines then salted away the win in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Savulich, DeJong, freshman Sai Barba and Peter Vanderkaay won the event in 6:34.71, while Fesenko, Patrick, Houchin and Koehler took second for IU in 6:45.90.
"We have some work to do," Looze said. "Purdue is a dangerous team and we are not overlooking them. I am proud of my team. In general, they are learning what it takes to be a champion. We just have to get a win against a top-ranked team."
Next up, the No. 11 Hoosiers play host to No. 14 Purdue on Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. in the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center in Bloomington, Ind. The dual meet will be the last regular-season contest before Big Tens. Moreover, seniors Baldwin, Clavier, Fagan, Fesenko, Jones, Brian Mariano, Rappaport and Swander will be honored prior to the meet.