Big Ten Weekly Recap: Indiana, Michigan Split Battle of Top 10 Teams

Indiana's Blake Pieroni. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The No. 4 Hoosier men (7-0) recorded the team’s 20th-straight dual meet victory, taking down No. 8 Michigan, 170.5-129.5. The win for the IU men’s team at Michigan is the first since the 1980-81 season.

Indiana’s Blake Pieroni led the way for the Hoosier men, winning three individual events. The senior won the 50 freestyle with a season-best time of 19.60, the 100 free in 42.94 and the 200 free in a mark of 1:33.88. All three times were NCAA B cuts.

Vini Lanza had a nice showing for IU, winning the 200 butterfly (1:43.85) and the 200 IM (1:46.19) with NCAA B cut marks.

Five other Hoosier swimmers recorded individual wins on the day, all with NCAA B cut times. Mohamed Samy won the 200 backstroke in a time of 1:44.42, while Ian Finnerty touched first in the 100 breaststroke in 52.83. Newcomer Gabriel Fantoni won the 100 backstroke for IU with a time of 47.63.

Michigan’s PJ Ransford took control in the distance events, winning the 500-yard freestyle (4:23.03) ahead of teammates Ricardo Vargas and Felix Auböck. Ransford also won the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:01.88), with Vargas again coming in second.

Senior Evan White got the team fired up with a come-from-behind win in the 100-yard butterfly, chasing down Lanza to win by just over a tenth-of-a-second (46.47). Tommy Cope continued his strong season, combining with classmate Jacob Montague on a 1-2 finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:56.77/1:57.82).

In another top 10 battle, the No. 4 Michigan women beat No. 10 Indiana 180-120.

The Wolverines built their edge in the five freestyle events, going 1-2-3 in both the sprint (50, 100) and distance (500, 1,000) varieties. Four different swimmers won: senior Gabby DeLoof in both the 100-yard freestyle (49.17) and 200-yard freestyle (1:46.21), junior Yirong Bi in the 500-yard freestyle (4:44.53), freshman Sierra Schmidt in the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:50.11) and junior Catie DeLoof in the 50-yard freestyle (22.77). Senior G Ryan was third in both distance events, while the team also got a boost from freshman Daria Pyshnenko in the sprints, who was runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle. They also went 1-2 in the 400-yard freestyle relay to end the meet, with Gabby DeLoof, Catie DeLoof, Bi and sophomore Vanessa Krause clocking in at 3:19.36.

Senior Clara Smiddy posted a pair of victories, both against defending Big Ten champions. She toppled Lilly King in the 200-yard IM by nearly three seconds (1:59.57) and out-touched Kennedy Goss in the 200-yard backstroke (1:55.20). Krause, the only Indiana native on the roster, was the other individual event winner, who used a big back half to win the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.48).

For the Hoosier women, King was dominant in the breaststroke events, sweeping the 100 and 200 with NCAA B cut times. The junior won the 100 in a time of 59.55 and the 200 in 2:10.95.

Ali Rockett won the 100 backstroke in a time of 53.16, while Christine Jensen took first in the 100 butterfly in 53.16.

In the diving well, the Hoosiers showcased their depth, sweeping all four events with three different winners each notching NCAA Zones qualifying scores. James Connor won the men’s 1-meter dive with a season-best total of 414.65, while Michael Hixon won the 3-meter with a score of 455.50.

For the IU women, Jessica Parratto swept both diving events. The redshirt junior won the 1-meter with a score of 328.40 and the 3-meter with a total of 334.50.

Minnesota tops Denver

The No. 22 Minnesota men defeated No. 23 Denver 195-105 on Saturday. The No. 16 Minnesota women won 196-104.

Leading in the freestyle Bowen Becker connected in the 50-yard free (19.62) and 100 free (43.81). Dominating the breaststroke, senior captain Conner McHugh took the 100-yard breast in 55.39, before defeating the field in the 200 breast in just over three-and-a-half seconds (1:59.46). Tumoas Pokkinen displayed his speed during the butterfly events. In the 100-yard fly Pokkinen touched in first at 48.19 following a tight finish in the 200 fly (1:49.38) beating teammate Matt Thomas to the wall one-tenth of a second quicker.

Adding individual first place finishes were Nick Plachinski in the 500 free (4:31.27), Cameron Kelley in the 1650 free (15:34.27) and Brian Poon in the 400-yard IM (3:57.11).

In the diving well, Alan LeBlang tallied a pair of first place finishes. LeBlang scored a 373.20 on the 1-meter and 399.00 on the 3-meter. Minnesota diving took the 2-3-4-5 spots behind LeBlang in both events.

Senior Danielle Nack led the pack with first place finishes in the 100 fly (1:58.21) and 200 fly (52.92). Teammate and sister Chantal Nack returned the favor taking the top spot in the 100 free (50.73) and 200 free (1:48.30), while Lindsey Kozelsky put the cherry on top finishing first in the 100 breast (1:00.82) and 200 breast (2:12.15).

Abbey Erwin gave the Gophers the strong start they needed picking up the first individual win of the day in the 1650 free in a time of 16:53.77. A few races later Tevyn Waddell extended her winning streak in the 100 back to six races, touching in at 54.98.

Purdue tops MSU on senior night

Purdue women’s swimming & diving posted 1-2-3-4 finishes in six events at Friday’s Senior Day meet, cruising past Michigan State in the final co-ed dual of the season at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center.

The Purdue men improved to 4-2 in duals this season while the No. 23 Purdue women are now 4-1.

The Boilermakers posted eight 1-2-3-4 finishes, including both men’s breaststroke events and both women’s backstroke events. The Purdue women won 14 of 16 events, all but the freestyle sprints. The Purdue men swept the five freestyle events and were victorious in 13 events.

Kaersten Meitz swept the distance freestyle events and continues to lead the Boilermakers with 13 individual event victories. Taite Kitchel and Morgan Meixner were also victorious twice Friday, sweeping the butterfly and springboard diving events. Meixner posted a career-best scored of 312.60 on 1-meter, improving on her 10th-best mark in program history.

Iowa tops Illinois, falls to Notre Dame

The University of Iowa women’s swimming and diving team posted a 198-102 Big Ten dual victory over Illinois on Saturday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. The Hawkeye women fell to 22nd-ranked Notre Dame, 217-80, and the Iowa men fell to the 20th-ranked Fighting Irish, 187-113.

The Iowa men had one individual win Saturday as sophomore Joe Myhre provided the Hawkeyes a victory in the 100 free with a time of 44.45.

Sophomore Hannah Burvill swam to two runner-up finishes — the 500 free (5:00.52) and the 1000 free (10:12.01).

Northwestern tops SMU

Eleven first-place finishes led Northwestern over SMU, 158-122, in dual meet action on Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats’ 200 medley relay team set the tone on Saturday afternoon by winning the opening event. The quartet of Jack Thorne, Will Hofstadter, Ryan Tate and Almog Olshtein picked up 11 points for NU by finishing in 1:31.08.

Thorne and Hofstadter went on to win the 100 back and the 100 breast, respectively. Thorne placed first in the backstroke sprint with a time of 50.11, while Hofstadter earned the top spot the 100 breast with a mark of 56.25. Hofstadter later went on to win the 200 breast with a 2:04.29 time.

Liam Gately showcased in the 200 free and 500 free with first-place times of 1:41.33 and 4:35.37, respectively.

Senior Almog Olshtein stepped up for Northwestern in the 50 free by winning the sprint in 20.94.

Ryan Tate touched the wall in 46.47 in the 100 free to win the event, while Tyler Lis picked up the win in the ensuing 200 back with a time of 1:48.18.

Northwestern’s Ben Magliato swept the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events with scores of 279.90 and 283.20, respectively.

Rutgers falls to Yale

Rutgers sophomore Francesca Bertotto and junior Vera Koprivova each picked up two event wins on Friday evening as Rutgers swimming and diving dropped a home dual meet to Yale, 145-98, in its first competition of 2018. The Scarlet Knights dominated the diving well with senior Addison Walkowiak sweeping the 1- and 3-meter events while she and her teammates accounted for 29 of 38 available points.

Bertotto earned a 4.5-second victory over Yale’s Danielle Liu in the 1,000-yard freestyle in a final time of 10:08.35. One half hour later, she outswam six to take the 500-yard freestyle in 4:56.77.

Koprivova touched in first in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke.

Penn State splits

The Penn State women beat Navy 181-118 and lost 200-91 to North Carolina.

A win in the 500 freestyle by freshman Camryn Barry highlighted the Penn State. She finished in 4:53.63.

The Penn State men lost 190-105 to North Carolina and 189-111 to Navy.

For the Penn State men, freshman Jacob Deckman was five-hundreths of a second shy of a first-place effort in the 200 butterfly, placing second in a personal-best 1:50.99 behind UNC’s Thomas Bilden (1:50.94).

Nebraska beats Omaha

The Nebraska women beat Omaha 189-103.

Kaylyn Flatt won the 500 freestyle (5:06.50) and the 200 freestyle (1:54.35) to lead the Cornhuskers.