Following an anxiety-filled norovirus plagued day 1 of the 2016 Big Ten Women’s Championships, Michigan and Indiana had a strong day 2 preliminary session. Defending champion Minnesota, however, had a rough day.
Michigan finished with 13 finalists (6/1/6) including six A finalists, while Indiana qualified 12 into finals (4/4/4). Ohio State had 9 (4/2/3) and Penn State had 8 (2/5/1). Minnesota was only able to produce 6 total swimming qualifiers (1/3/2) and will have to rely on a deep diving corps to turn the tide.
Indiana’s Haley Lips nearly took down the pool record in the women’s 500-yard free this morning during prelims. She clocked a 4:37.44, just off former Hoosier Nikki White’s 4:37.38 from 2009. She has to drop a few more seconds to challenge the Big Ten record of 4:35.41 set by another Hoosier Lindsay Vrooman back in 2013.
Michigan’s Gillian Ryan should provide plenty of motivation for Lips after qualifying second in 4:39.17, while Michigan’s Bi Yirong snared the third seed in 4:39.40.
Purdue, Michigan and Indiana each will be looking at a major point influx after the 500-yard free tonight. Purdue qualified five swimmers into point-scoring positions, while Michigan and Indiana each have four. Minnesota has just two and could be looking at a tough team title defense.
Indiana followed that up with a strong outing in the women’s 200-yard IM. Miranda Tucker led the way for the Hoosiers with a 1:56.91, just a second back of the pool record of 1:55.90 set by Margaret Kelly of Michigan back in 2009. She’ll be joined by teammates Gia Dalesandro (1:58.30) and Lilly King (1:58.47) in the A final.
Michigan’s Clara Smiddy (1:57.14), Iowa’s Emma Sougstad (1:57.62) and Michigan’s Siobhan Haughey (1:57.94) also broke 1:58 and will look to battle Tucker for the individual title.
Following the 200-yard IM, Michigan and Indiana both had 10 finalists with Michigan going 5/1/4 versus Indiana’s 4/3/3. Purdue had 7 (2/3/2) with Penn State owning 5 (1/4/0).
Ohio State’s Li Zhesi lowered the pool record in the women’s 50-yard free with a time of 21.73. That swim beat the 22.09 set by Rebecca Thompson for Wisconsin back in 2009. She’s just off Ivy Martin’s conference record of 21.58 from 2014.
Wisconsin’s Chase Kinney (22.38), Michigan’s Ali DeLoof (22.48) and Ohio State’s Maci McNichols (22.48) rounded out the top four qualifiers.
Big Ten Women’s Up/Middle/Down
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