Shane Ryan Helps Penn State Make History Twice at Big 10 Championships

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, February 28. THE third day of the Big 10 men’s swimming and diving championships featured a run for a hallowed record and a history-making swim for Penn State’s Shane Ryan.

The session started with the 200 freestyle relay, and all indications were that Minnesota’s team of Derek Toomey, Daryl Turner, Paul Fair and Ian Gordon had claimed a big victory, but instants later were disqualified for an early takeoff by Gordon. The official results produced a rare tie for first between Ohio State and Penn State with matching times of 1:17.93. Here’s a look at the splits for both schools:

Ohio State: 19.96 (Michael Disalle), 19.28 (Josh Fleagle), 19.25 (Matt McHugh), 19.44 (Tim Phillips)
Penn State: 19.53 (Shane Ryan), 19.47 (John Hauser), 19.54 (Nate Savoy), 19.39 (Shane Austin)

By tying for first, Penn State made history, marking its first Big 10 swimming victory since Eugene Botes won the 100 fly in 2003.

Michigan finished in third place with a 1:18.02. An 18.97 split from Bruno Ortiz offset the leadoff time of 20.25 from Vincent Tafuto but wasn’t enough to get the win.

Michigan came roaring back in the 400 IM with a 1-2 finish. After posting a 3:38.93 in prelims, Kyle Whitaker claimed a sweep of the IM events with a 3:38.51, leaving Tyler Clary’s 2009 meet record of 3:38.03 intact. As was the case in last night’s 200 IM, Dylan Bosch provided stiff competition for Whitaker, coming in second with a 3:39.07. The swims mark personal bests for the two and put them second and fourth, respectively in the collegiate ranks. Chase Kalisz of Georgia leads the field with a 3:36.89, while Florida’s Dan Wallace sits third now with a 3:38.96.

Stephen Schmuhl of Indiana, placed third with a 3:43.55, just .04 slower than he swam last year at this meet. Connor Jaeger was a respectable fourth with a 3:43.84. Jaeger swam the 400 IM at the conference meet last year but switched to the 200 freestyle at NCAAs.

Tim Phillips, returning for his senior year at Ohio State after taking the fall semester to work with the SwimMAC Carolina Elite team, won the 100 fly with a 45.67 after a lifetime best 45.57 in prelims. This morning’s swim was a personal best for Phillips and ranks him third in the collegiate ranks, behind a 44.73 swum in December by Arizona’s Giles Smith and a 45.56 from Jack Conger earlier tonight. Kyler van Swol of Minnesota and Michigan’s John Wojciechowski both posted personal bests in placing second and third, respectively. Van Swol’s 46.16 ranks him just outside the top five nationally, while Wojciechowski is right behind with a 46.25. Notably, only Phillips posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time in the event.

After a 1:30.60 relay split Wednesday to help Michigan set a U.S. Open and NCAA record in the 800 free relay, all eyes were on Michael Wynalda tonight in the 200 free final. After a 1:32.14 in prelims, the expectations were high that Wynalda could break the hallowed U.S. Open and NCAA record of 1:31.20 by Simon Burnett from 2006. But Wynalda was never on pace, winning with a 1:32.52. In his prelim swim, however, Wynalda was under the American record pace at 100 and 150 yards. The American record is 1:31.31 by Ricky Berens, swum last March.

Justin Glanda, also part of the record-setting relay, gave Michigan a 1-2 finish with a 1:33.98, a personal best by five tenths of a second. Nick Caldwell of Wisconsin prevented a 1-2-3 sweep by the Wolverines, passing Anders Nielsen in the final 50 to post a 1:34.41 to Nielsen’s 1:34.43. Only Wynalda could manage an automatic qualifying time in the final, though Glanda missed it by only four tenths.

Michigan’s Richard Funk needed a personal best to keep Cody Miller from defending his conference title in the 100 breaststroke, posting a 51.75 to win the event and lower his lifetime best by nine hundredths of a second. Miller, swimming for Indiana, swam a 51.99, which was about five tenths slower than he swam last year to win the event. Ortiz was third with a 52.15.

The last individual swimming event provided a second victory on the historic day for Penn State when Shane Ryan won the 100 backstroke in 45.13 a lifetime best. PSU had more reasons to celebrate, as Nate Savoy captured second with a 45.61. Ryan and Savoy were the only two automatic qualifiers for the NCAA championships in the event. Eric Ress of Indiana placed third with a 46.14 after holding second place for 75 yards. Defending champion James Wells of Indiana was fourth in 46.21. The event marked the only time so far this meet that Michigan did not place in the top three. Not long after placing third in the 100 fly, Wojciechowski placed eighth with a 47.51 after posting a 46.66 in prelims.

The night ended with some great competition in 3-meter diving. Darian Schmidt of Indiana, who was third in this event at the NCAAs last season, took the lead and never looked back to win with 451.90 points. Jamie Bissett kept the Hoosiers from a 1-2 finish, scoring 424.25 points for Purdue, ahead of Joshua Arndt’s 423.15.

Despite a lack of big points in the 100 back, Michigan holds a strong lead with one day of competition remaining. The Wolverines accumulated 599 points, with Indiana leapfrogging over Ohio State for second overall after strong diving. The Hoosiers have 406 points to Ohio State’s 354.

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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