MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, February 22. THE Minnesota Golden Gophers took advantage of familiar surroundings as the hosts concluded a strong four-day meet to capture the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis.
Minnesota finished with 760 points, while Indiana took second with 649 points. Penn State vaulted to third with 484 points, while Ohio State (374) and Michigan (361) rounded out the top five. Wisconsin (338), Purdue (334), Iowa (199), Nebraska (145), Northwestern (110), Michigan State (87) and Illinois (79) made up the rest of the team scoring.
Although the Minnesota Golden Gophers had already done enough to win the Big Ten title, the second-place Indiana Hoosiers definitely made a mark on the final night of action. Lindsay Vrooman opened up a good night for IU with a 15:55.20 to capture the 1650-yard freestyle crown. Minnesota’s Samantha Harding (15:58.12) and Breanne Siwicki (16:11.32) took second and third in the timed final.
The Hoosiers then demonstrated that they are one of the deepest backstroke groups in the nation with a 1-4 finish in the 200-yard back. Brooklyn Snodgrass won with an A cut time of 1:51.43, while Allie Day (1:54.67), Cynthia Pammett (1:55.20) and Justine Ress (1:55.27) finished second through fourth. For good measure, Dorina Szekeres touched seventh in 1:56.30.
Wisconsin’s Ivy Martin turned on the jets in the women’s 100-yard free as she became the first Big Ten female to clear 48 seconds. She dropped a blistering time of 47.78 to beat the NCAA A cut, and downed her 48.05 set during prelims. That time cleared Stacy Busack’s 2009 mark of 48.08. Penn State’s Alyson Ackman picked up second-place honors in 48.34, while Indiana’s Kait Flederbach touched third overall in 48.54.
Minnesota’s Kierra Smith crushed the women’s 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:06.66, winning by nearly three seconds. Penn State’s Melissa Rodriguez turned in a second-place time of 2:09.54, while Indiana’s Bronwyn Pasloski posted a third-place effort of 2:09.69.
The Hoosiers returned fire in the 200-yard fly as freshman Gia Dalesandro cut nearly a second off former Hoosier Kate Zubkova’s Big Ten record of 1:54.85 from 2010. Dalesandro threw down a sizzling time of 1:53.95 for the win. Penn State’s Kathryn Rowe placed second in 1:56.80 with IU’s Brenna MacLean snagging third in 1:56.84.
During the women’s platform diving transmission, Minnesota’s Sarah McCrady won the entertaining finale with 329.50 points. Indiana’s Kate Hillman took a close second with 322.25 points with Purdue’s MacKenzie Tweardy turning in 307.30 points for third overall.
Martin then closed out a career meet with a blistering split of 47.45 to help Wisconsin to a win in the 400-yard free relay with Aja Van Hout (50.09), Martin, Chase Kinney (49.18) and Rebecka Palm (48.93) clocking 3:15.65 as four teams beat the NCAA A cut. Minnesota’s Lauren Votava, Rebecca Weiland, Erin Caflisch and Blake Zeiger took second in 3:16.24. PSU’s Alyson Ackman, Carolyn Fittin, Katelyn Miller and Caitlyn Karr took third in 3:16.33. IU’s Kait Flederbach, Cynthia Pammett, Stephanie Armstrong and Brooklyn Snodgrass put up a fourth-place 3:16.70 for the final A cut.