Big Ten Recap: Wisconsin Wins Suguiyama’s Debut; Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska Claim Victories

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Beata Nelson. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

In a commanding performance Friday at the UW Natatorium, the Wisconsin swimming and diving teams cruised to victory in their season opener against Green Bay.

The Badgers men’s team (1-0) routed the Phoenix men (0-1), 182-107. In similar fashion, Wisconsin’s women (1-0) conquered the Green Bay women (0-1), 190-98.

“It was a lot of fun,” said first-year UW coach Yuri Suguiyama, who made his head coaching debut. “We wanted our athletes to enjoy this, and we saw a lot of positive things.”

Indeed, Coach. Wisconsin placed first in every event.

While the Badgers overwhelmed Green Bay in their season debut at the Nat, Suguiyama says he still sees room for improvement.

“Kick counts, when we are breathing, how we are attacking our races – that can all improve,” he said. “It’s a marathon, not sprint. But they did a really great job today.”

Suguiyama had nothing but praise for everyone involved in his first competition as head coach.

“I was really impressed with the amount of Badger red in the stands tonight,” he said. “I’m just really thankful for my staff, our team and the fans who came out to support us tonight.”

On the women’s side, junior Beata Nelson competed swimmingly, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 22.99 seconds.

Freshman Lillie Hosack earned high praise from her coach and a first-place finish in the 100 backstroke, finishing the event with a time of 56.82.

“We’re really proud of the work she has put in,” Suguiyama said of the freshman.

Another freshman who made a splash in her first competition as a Badger was Jenna Silvestri, who secured a first-place time of 2:22.05 in the 200 backstroke.

In diving, seniors Hazel Hertting and Alex Hafey sealed a 1-2 sweep on the women’s 1-meter board, scoring 292.05 and 265.95, respectively. Those scores qualified both divers for the NCAA zone championships. Hertting added a win, and another zone qualifying mark, with her score of 324.30 on the 3-meter board.

As for the men, junior Cameron Tysoe sped to victory with a time of 1:47.27 seconds in the 200 back.

Junior Kevin Pomeroy scored a win with a mark of 320.17 in the men’s 1-meter diving competition, earning an NCAA zone qualifying mark in the process. Brayden Schachle finished runner-up and also earned an NCAA zone nod with his score of 304.65.

The duo also swept the top two spots and earned zone qualifying marks on the 3-meter board, with Pomeroy completing his sweep of the diving titles – and breaking his own UW Natatorium record – with a score of 382.05.

Michigan men win twice

The University of Michigan men’s swimming and diving team won all 16 events — including wins from 12 different student-athletes — to defeat Oakland (245-55) and Miami (245-55) in its season opener on Friday (Sept. 28) at Canham Natatorium.

The Wolverines began the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay, as the team of senior Kai Williams, junior Tommy Cope, senior Jon Burkett and senior Mokhtar Al-Yamani took it in 1:30.64. Of note were the splits on other relays from sophomore Luiz Gustavo Borges (anchored in 19.58) and freshman Eric Storms (leadoff in 22.98).

Storms was one of three freshmen to win in their Michigan debuts on Friday. After posting the fastest backstroke split of the entire field on the opening relay, Storms won the 100-yard backstroke (50.59) later in the evening. Patrick Callan, a U.S. Junior National Team member, looked impressive in the 200-yard freestyle (1:37.07), leading a 1-2-3-4 finish, while Will Chan out-touched Al-Yamani to win the 100-yard freestyle (45.76).

The Wolverines were strong in the breaststroke events, picking up right where they left off last year. In the 100-yard breaststroke, the junior trio of Jacob Montague (55.43), Cope (56.09) and Jeremy Babinet (56.39) went 1-2-3. Another junior, Charlie Swanson, later took the top spot in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:03.14), leading a 1-2-3-4 finish along with freshman AJ Bornstein (2:05.00), Babinet (2:06.56) and junior Leo Zabudkin (2:08.91).

Sophomore Ricardo Vargas looked very smooth in both of his wins, posting five-second victories in both the 500-yard freestyle (4:24.44) and 1,000-yard freestyle (9:01.70). The Wolverines went 1-2-3-4 in both events, further displaying the depth in the distance group.

Senior Kai Williams kept his splits consistent en route to a dominant win in the 200-yard backstroke (1:48.27), winning by two-and-a-half seconds, while classmate Jon Burkett closed fast to win the 100-yard butterfly (48.52). Other event winners were Borges in the 50-yard freestyle (20.18), Cope in the 200-yard IM (1:50.12) and Roberts, who came down from his distance freestyle events to take the 200-yard butterfly (1:49.54).

Sophomore Ross Todd swept both events in the diving well, finishing first on one-meter (338.30) and three-meter (359.30). Three of the four divers — Todd, Chris Canning and Collin DeShaw — achieved their NCAA Zone Diving cut on both boards.

The quartet of Al-Yamani, Chan, Montague and Borges closed the meet with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:01.30).

Michigan women win two

The University of Michigan women’s swimming and diving team opened the 2018-19 season in dominating fashion, winning all 16 events in wins over Oakland (245-55) and Miami (248-52) on Friday (Sept. 28) at Canham Natatorium.

Senior Catie DeLoof was among the best swimmers of the meet, posting a trio of individual wins. She first won the 100-yard backstroke (54.68) before getting NCAA “B” cuts in the sprints, winning the 50-yard freestyle (22.65) and 100-yard freestyle (49.20).

Senior Siobhán Haughey took two events on the night, winning the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.11), just barely sneaking under the NCAA “B” standard. She also claimed the 200-yard breaststroke later in the meet (2:14.62).

The distance group looked strong, with senior Yirong Bi (9:55.53) and sophomore Sierra Schmidt (10:00.02) going 1-2 in the 1,000-yard freestyle. The Wolverines later went 1-2-3-4 in the 500-yard freestyle, also won by Bi (4:51.75).

Two freshmen looked very good in their debuts. Victoria Kwan won a pair of events, touching first in the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.18) and later in the 200-yard IM (2:04.040), while Maggie MacNeil was dominant in the 100-yard butterfly, winning by almost three seconds (52.69).

Other victors included senior Jamie Yeung in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.19) and junior Jacqui Schafer in the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.08).

Michigan showed its depth and quality on the springboards, going 1-2-3-4 on both one- and three-meter. Sophomores Nikki Canale and Christy Cutshaw — both NCAA Championships qualifiers last year as freshmen — won one-meter (296.00) and three-meter (292.00), respectively.

The Wolverines swept both relays. The foursome of MacNeil, Tucker, sophomore Claire Maiocco and Haughey opened the meet winning the 200-yard medley relay (1:49.29), while Haughey, MacNeil, Yeung and Kwan took first in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:22.79).

Iowa beats Michigan State

The University of Iowa men’s swimming and diving team dominated Michigan State, claiming 15-of-16 event wins to post a 193-98 Big Ten Conference victory Friday morning at the McCaffree Pool. The Iowa women won 13-of-16 events to post a 160-138 win.

Junior Michael Tenney recorded two victories, touching first in the 200 fly (1:50.94) and 100 fly (49.55). Joe Myhre and Will Scott also each recorded a victory. Myhre won the 50 free (20.60), while Scott was victorious in the 100 free (45.65).

Sophomore diver Jonatan Posligua posted two victories, finishing first off the 1-meter (273.37) and 3-meter (293.55) springboards.

Along with being part of the 200-medley relay, Daniel Swanepoel made a splash with two individual victories in the 100 breast (57.37) and 200 breast (2:02.99) events.

In the women’s meet, The Hawkeyes started and ended the meet with victories in the 200-medley and 400-free relays. The 200-medley relay consisting of junior Samantha Sauer and sophomores Lexi Horner, Kelsey Drake, and Sarah Schemmel started the morning with a win with a time of 1:45.13.

The quartet of junior Hannah Burvill, freshman Taylor Hartley, Sauer, and junior Allyssa Fluit posted a time of 3:31.34 in the 400-free to close out the dual.

Burvill and Fluit each posted three individual victories against the Spartans. Burvill won the 1,000 free (10:39.63), 100 back (57.06), and 200 back (2:03.76). Fluit dominated the 200 free (1:52.19), 100 free (52.48), and 500 free (5:07.27).

Drake also claimed three individual victories, winning the 200 butterfly (2:02.13), 100 butterfly (54.73), and 200 individual medley (2:06.48).

Schemmel won the 50 free in a time of 23.98. She also finished second in the 100 free (52.58). Horner led the way in 200 breast (2:20.17) and placed third in the 100 breast (1:05.46).

Nebraska wins opener

The Nebraska swim and dive team opened their 2018-19 season at the Devaney Natatorium on Friday against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The Huskers defeated the Jackrabbits 156-63.

In the 1000-yard freestyle, Kaylyn Flatt took first (10:22.34).

In the 100-yard butterfly, sophomore Izzie Murray took first (56.89).