With the 2016 Big Ten Women’s Championships psych sheet now available to the public, it definitely looks like another three-way battle for the team title as Michigan and Indiana look to dethrone reigning champion Minnesota.
Last year, the Golden Gophers outlasted Indiana in what proved to be an epic battle with Minnesota winning 618.5 to 591.
This year, it could be more of the same as Indiana is seeded highly across the board in all events, including superstar freshman Lilly King in the breaststroke events. Indiana has the top relay seed in the 800 free relay, 400 medley relay and 400 free relay, while Wisconsin is seeded atop the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay.
The fact that previously sprint-lacking Indiana has developed a strong 400 free relay demonstrates that the Hoosiers could win its sixth conference title in team history. It’s been tough the past three years, however, as IU has finished runner-up in each of the last three seasons.
Michigan has top swimmers such as Ali DeLoof, Gillian Ryan, Clara Smiddy and Siobhan Haughey ready to pick up plenty of team points, while Minnesota will look to team depth to defend its championship title with no top seeds heading into this weekend.
Another swimmer to look out for is Purdue’s Emily Fogle. Fogle would win nearly any perseverance award out there considering the amount of obstacles she’s overcome to compete at a high level. Fogle has had plenty of tough times heading into the year, including several surgeries in the past few years as well as the death of her mother in 2013. She also has had to overcome a bout with anorexia.
As is usually the case at Big Tens, diving could be a huge part of the final team score. IU only has two divers with Michal Bower and Lacey Houser this year, while Minnesota (7) and Michigan (6) combine for 13 divers total, most who can make some noise in terms of team points.