MINNEAPOLIS, Minn, February 18. THE University of Michigan women's swimming and diving team got off to a record-setting pace at the 2004 Big Ten Conference Championships, breaking two school records to sit in first place after the first night of competition Wednesday (Feb. 18). The Wolverines earned a total of 74 points after finishing first and second, respectively, in the 800-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays, the only events contested.
In the night's second event, the 800-yard freestyle, junior Amy McCullough (West Bloomfield, Mich./Mercy HS), freshmen Lindsey Smith (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS) and Susan Gilliam (Los Angeles, Calif./Bolles HS) and senior Sara Johnson (West Bloomfield, Mich./Lahser HS) swam to a first-place time of 7:07.40. The mark crushed the previous school record (7:13.01), set in 1998, by nearly five seconds and automatically qualified the team for the NCAA Championships. Michigan just missed the conference record (7:07.30), set at last year's Big Ten meet by Wisconsin. The Badgers placed second in the race, touching in 7:11.81.
The 12th-ranked Penn State women's swimming team got off to a great start at the Big Ten Championships as the 200-yard medley relay team set the Big Ten Championship mark with a time of 1:39.22 Wednesday night at the University Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The record-setting time was also an NCAA "A" qualifying time.
In the championships' first event, sophomore Sarah Haupt (Carlisle, Pa.), senior Kristen Woodring (Sinking Spring, Pa.), sophomore Amberle Biedermann (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and junior Deirdre Dlugonski (Washington, Pa.) broke the Big Ten Championship mark set by Penn State last season. Haupt and Biedermann swam in the 2003 record-setting 200-medley relay with Courtney Stanchock (Bloomsburg, Pa.) and the departed Katie Hostetler.
The Big Ten Championships move into full swing tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 19) with preliminary heats beginning at 11 a.m. and event finals starting at 7 p.m. at the University Aquatic Center.
Big 10 Women’s Team Standings (After Day 1)
1. Michigan 74
2. Wisconsin 66
3. Penn State 64
4. Iowa 56
7. Michigan State 36
8. Indiana 32
9. Northwestern 24
10. Illinois 22
11. Ohio State 18