2016 USA College Challenge: Day One Recap

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

The inaugural USA College Challenge kicks off today in Indianapolis at 4:30 p.m. EST! The two-day event is being live-streamed by the Big Ten Network and a live webcast is also available via USA Swimming.

Everything you need to follow along live with day one of the 2016 USA College Challenge. Hit refresh for the latest coverage.


  • 400 Medley Relay – Women
  • 400 Medley Relay – Men
  • 400 IM – Women
  • 400 IM – Men
  • 100 Free – Women
  • 100 Free – Men
  • 200 Back – Women
  • 200 Back – Men
  • 200 Breast – Women
  • 200 Breast – Men
  • 100 Fly – Women
  • 100 Fly – Men
  • 500 Free – Women
  • 500 Free – Men
  • 800 Freestyle Relay – Women
  • 800 Freestyle Relay – Men

400 Medley Relay – Women:

Team USA’s ‘B’ Relay launched to a quick lead in the first event of the College Challenge, picking up a .6 second lead after Ali Deloof’s 50.59 split. Andrea Cottrell (57.61) maintained a solid lead throughout the breaststroke leg, before handing off to Kelsi Worrell (49.36). Amanda Wier (48.04) continued to build upon the lead, stopping the clock at a final 3:25.60.

Team USA’s finish overturned the previous American Record of 3:26.14 set at the 2016 Women’s NCAA Championships by Stanford’s Howe, Haase, Hu, and Neal.

The ‘A’ relay for Team USA finished second with a time of 3:29.52 to hold off a quick moving Big 10 relay. Hannah Stevens (51.18), Kirsten Vose (58.82), Eva Merrell (51.49), and Madison Kennedy (48.03) completed the relay.

A strong breaststroke leg from Lilly King (56.85) could not make up the gap as the two Team USA relays held on to their leads. Big 10’s ‘A’ relay of Brooklyn Snodgrass (54.24), King, Li Zhesi (51.39), and Siobhan Haughey (47.17) completed the event with a 3:29.65.

Team USA leads on the scoreboard after earning a combined 15 points (1st = 11; 2nd = 4) over Big 10’s 2 points.

400 Medley Relay – Men:

Jacob Pebley led off a strong ‘B’ relay for Team USA with a 46.03 backstroke split, before transitioning to Cody Miller for the breaststroke leg. Miller, the bronze medalist in the 100 breaststroke at the Rio Olympics, delivered a 51.90.

Tom Shields posted a 44.50 to put some distance between the ‘B’ relay and the rest of the field, giving Dillon Virva (44.01) a lead going into the freestyle leg. The relay finished with a 3:06.44 to earn 11 points for Team USA.

Team USA’s ‘A’ relay team of Sean Lehane (46.72), Nic Fink (51.52), Michael Andrew (46.39), and Cameron Craig (42.46) finished second with a 3:07.09 for an additional four points for Team USA.

The Big Ten’s ‘A’ relay picked up third and an additional two points with the relay team of Shane Ryan (46.33), Ian Finery (52.92), Matt McHugh (46.08), and Ali Khalafalla (42.60).

Team USA continues to lead on the scoreboard with 30 points over Big 10’s 4 points.

400 IM – WOMEN:

The Big Ten got off to a rough start in day one with Team USA picking up first and second for both the men’s and women’s relays, but dove into the first individual event ready to perform.

Brooke Zeiger and Lindsey Clary of the Big Ten surged to the front of the crowd early on, but it was Team USA’s Brooke Forde who jumped ahead with a strong breaststroke leg. Forde nabbed first with a 4:02.67 to earn 9 points for Team USA.

Zeiger and Clary finished second and third respectively with times of 4:05.42 (4 points) and 4:05.90 (3 points) to put some points on the board for the Big Ten.

Teammate Bailey Pressey added a fourth place finish of 4:10.16 for an additional 2 points.

Rose Bi of the Big Ten finished fifth with a 4:10.43, but because only three athletes from each team can score the final point of the event goes to Team USA’s Sierra Schmidt and her time of 4:16.32.

Scores: Team USA leads 40 points over the Big Ten’s 13.

400 IM – MEN:

The Big Ten men continued the energy into their heat of the 400 IM with a dynamic win from Michigan freshman Charlie Swanson. Swanson built upon a strong early lead to hold off teammate Jakub Maly and Team USA’s Robert Finke to finish first with a 3:46.09, earning the Big Ten 9 points.

Maly’s turn after the breaststroke leg lent hope for a 1-2 finish for the Big Ten, but the young Finke unleashed a 50.88 freestyle split to snag second with a 3:47.99. Maly settled for third with a 3:48.26.

Adam Noens turned in a 3:56.09 to finish fourth for the Big Ten and earn an additional 2 points, while Team USA’s Samuel Pomajevich finished fifth with a 3:57.88 to scoop up the final point.

Scores: Team USA holds the lead with 45 points over the Big Ten’s 27.


Mallory Comerford of Team USA delivered an outside lane upset from lane one in the women’s 100 free, bettering her personal best by a solid half second to finish with a 47.36. Her finish earns Team USA an additional 9 points.

The Big Ten’s Siobhan Haughey touched second with a 48.16, followed closely by Team USA’s Ali Deloof and her time of 48.18.

Li Zhesi added another two points to the Big Ten’s score with a 48.20 finish, while Team USA’s Madison Kennedy posted a 48.77 for fifth.

Scores: Team USA builds upon their lead with 58 points over the Big Ten’s 33.

100 FREE – MEN:

Blake Pieroni of the Big Ten won the men’s 100 free with a smooth finish, topping the competition by more than half a second. Pieroni stopped the clock at a 42.40 to earn 9 points and move to the NCAA leaderboard in the 100 free for the 2016-17 season.

The field narrowed from there as Team USA’s Cameron Craig and the Big Ten’s Cannon Clifton held a tight race for second and third. Craig delivered a 43.53 for 4 points over Clifton’s 43.62.

Team USA scooped up the last two points opportunities with fourth and fifth place finishes from Drew Kibler (43.69) and Daniel Krueger (43.80).

Scores: Team USA continues to lead with 65 points, but the Big Ten has started to pick away at that lead with a total of 45.


The women’s 200 back started out as a race between the Team USA young guns as Eva Merrell (16) and Alex Walsh (15) jumped to an early 1-2 lead. Big Ten’s Kennedy Goss made her move around the 100-yard mark to first bypass Walsh, before gaining on Merrell.

Merrell held on to her lead posting a final time of 1:52.20, besting her previous personal best by five seconds and earning Team USA another first place finish.

Goss grabbed second with a 1:52.54, followed by the Team USA duo of Hannah Stevens (1:53.30) and Walsh (1:54.28).

The Big Ten’s Gabby DeLoof rounded out the possible points with a 1:55.97 finish.

Scores: Team USA showed some strength in the 200 back to move to 79 points over the Big Ten’s 50.

200 BACK – MEN:

Team USA delivered a 1-2 finish in the men’s 200 back, led by Olympian Jacob Pebley and Sean Lehane. Pebley finished just off his personal best with a time of 1:39.68 to earn yet another first place finish for Team USA.

Lehane added another 4 points with a 1:40.95 finish.

The Big Ten swept the third through fifth to earn a combined 6 points. Luke Papendick led the charge with a 1:43.71, followed by Bob Glover’s 1:43.82.

Thomas Trace completed the available points with a time of 1:45.04 for fifth.

Scores: Team USA blasted ahead with strong backstroke showings to move to 92 points over the Big Ten’s 56.


Lilly King and Kierra Smith posted the Big Ten’s first 1-2 finish of the meet to earn some much needed points for the Big Ten. King held off a fast-charging Smith to finish first with a 2:05.64, while Smith settled for second and a 2:05.83.

Team USA picked up third through fifth, led by Andee Cottrell and her time of 2:08.33. Kirsten Vose finished a close fourth with a 2:08.35, while Brooke Forde picked up fifth with a 2:09.47.

Scores: The Big Ten made their move in the women’s 200 breaststroke to move to 69 points, gaining slightly on Team USA’s 98.


Team USA responded to the Big Ten’s 1-2 finish in the previous event with their own 1-2 finish.

Nic Fink and Cody Miller scorched the field, jumping to an early lead for Team USA. Miller led throughout the majority of the race, but a dynamic final 50 yards from Fink got him to the wall just ahead of Miller. Fink stopped the clock at a 1:53.98 over Miller’s 1:54.12.

Marat Armaltdin of the Big Ten turned in a third place finish of 1:55.56, followed by Big Ten teammate Conner McHugh and his time of 1:56.34.

The Big Ten’s Cody Taylor gathered the final point of the event with a fifth place finish of 1:58.21.

Scores: Team USA bypasses the 100-mark with a total of 111 points over the Big Ten’s 75.

100 FLY – WOMEN:

Kelsi Worrell, the 2016 NCAA 100 champion in the 100 fly, continued to show her dominance in the butterfly with a 50.46 showing for Team USA.

The Big Ten’s Li Zhesi and Gia Dalesandro picked up second and third respectively with times of 51.42 and 51.93.

Team USA added fourth and fifth place finishes from Eva Merrell (52.14) and Hannah Saiz (53.28).

Scores: Team USA blasts to 123 points over the Big Ten’s 82.

100 FLY – MEN:

Tom Shields of Team USA topped the men’s 100 fly field with a win of more than a body length. Shields posted a 45.00 to earn another first place finish for Team USA.

The Big Ten’s Vini Lanza finished second overall with a 46.23, followed by a close race between Team USA’s Michael Andrew and the Big Ten’s Matt McHugh. Andrew got his hand to the wall first with a 46.73 over McHugh’s 46.78.

Team USA’s Cameron Craig turned in a fifth place finish of 47.18.

Scores: Team USA continues to lead with 136 points over the Big Ten’s 88.


Leah Smith pulled an almost Ledecky-esque finish in the women’s 500 free finishing five and a half seconds ahead of Team USA teammate Ashley Twichell. Smith stopped the clock at a 4:32.52 to earn first, while Twichell posted second with a 4:38.01.

Rose Bi of the Big Ten grabbed third with a 4:39.16 for three points for the Big Ten.

Team USA’s Sierra Schmidt and the Big Ten’s Lindsey Clary held a tight race, finishing fourth and fifth respectively with times of 4:42.59 and 4:43.22.

Scores: Team USA built upon the point distance with 151 points over the Big Ten’s 92.

500 FREE – MEN:

Zane Grothe of Team USA held off the competition with a 4:15.87 finish in the men’s 500 free, earning another 9 points for Team USA.

The Big Ten responded with a sweep of 2-4 led by Matt Hutchins and his time of 4:16.33.

PJ Ransford added a 4:20.27 for third, while Jordan Wilimovsky posted a 4:20.53 for fourth.

Team USA’s Drew Kibler finished fifth overall with a time of 4:23.82.

Scores: The Big Ten joined Team USA over the 100-point mark with a total of 101, while Team USA slid up to 161 total.


Team USA’s ‘B’ relay of Mallory Comerford (1:44.25), Kelsi Worrell (1:44.72), Kirsten Vose (1:43.14), and Leah Smith (1:43.98) delivered a dynamic win in the women’s 800 free relay, posting a final time more than four seconds ahead of the competition. The quad posted a combined 6:56.09 for the coveted 11-point first place finish.

The Big Ten’s ‘A’ relay finished second overall with a 7:00.40 to earn four points. That relay team consisted of Cierra Runge (1:45.64), Siobhan Haughey (1:44.02), Gabby DeLoof (1:44.48), and Kennedy Goss (1:46.26).

Third went to Team USA’s ‘A’ relay consisting of Amanda Wier (1:45.52), Brooke Forde (1:45.78), Sierra Schmidt (1:47.98), and Ashley Twichell (1:48.21) and their combined time of 7:07.49.

Scores: Team USA continues to lead with 174 points over the Big Ten’s 105.


The men’s 800 free relay came down to a photo finish as Team USA’s ‘B’ relay and the Big Ten’s ‘A’ relay battled for first. At the touch it was Team USA’s Zane Grothe who got his hand to the wall, stopping the clock at a 6:19.62, while the Big Ten settled for second and a 6:19.80.

Team USA’s winning relay was comprised of Tom Shields (1:34.05), Sean Lehane (1:36.70), Jacob Pebley (1:35.39), and Grothe (1:33.48), while the Big Ten’s ‘A’ relay was made up by Blake Pieroni (1:33.74), Anze Tavcar (1:36.69), Brett Pinfold (1:35.27), and Josh Fleagle (1:34.10).

The ‘B’ relay for the Big Ten of Cannon Clifton (1:37.26), Ching Lim (1:37.31), Jakub Maly (1:37.58), and Evan White (1:39.67) finished third overall with a time of 6:31.82.

Scores: Team USA extends their lead with 185 points at the conclusion of day one, while the Big Ten sits with 111.