Big Ten Weekly Swim Recap: Wisconsin-Minnesota Split Border Battle

Wisconsin's Cierra Runge. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Dan D’Addona.

The Border Battle between Wisconsin and Minnesota is traditionally one of the best dual meets in the Big Ten season.
It lived up to the hype on Thursday as the teams split. Wisconsin’s women narrowly beat Minnesota 158-142, while the Minnesota men defeated the Badgers 185-115.

Wisconsin’s women took charge in the freestyle events and won four of the five relays.

Sophomore Cierra Runge and senior Chase Kinney led the Badgers with two individual wins apiece.

Runge earned her first win as a Badger in the 200-yard freestyle, clocking in at 1:49.07 while sophomore Emmy Sehmann (1:50.00) and junior Abby Jagdfeld (1:50.38) finished second and third, respectively to go 1-2-3.

Runge picked up her second individual win in the 500-yard freestyle, posting a time of 4:47.81, which ranks third in the nation so far this season.

Kinney swept the sprints with wins in the 50 freestyle (22.62) and the 100 freestyle, where her time of 49.58 ranks fourth nationally and second in the Big Ten.

The 50 and 100 free were both highlighted by 1-2-3 finishes, as Sehmann finished second (23.23) and Marissa Berg third (23.44) in the 50 free while Jagdfeld and Berg completed the sweep in the 100 free with times of 51.45 and 51.59, respectively.

The team of Jess Unicomb, Berg, freshman Beata Nelson and Kinney opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay in 1:40.42.

To cap off the night, the Badgers scored an impressive 1-2 finish in the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, with the ‘A’ team of Kinney, Runge, Sehmann, and Berg dominating the competition in 3:19.98, while the ‘B’ team of Nelson, Jagdfeld, senior Dana Grindall, and Maddi Tew came in second in 3:24.23.

Nelson won the 100-yard backstroke in 54.11, while Unicomb won the 200 backstroke (1:58.79).

Minnesota got big points in the breaststroke and diving events. Lindsey Horejsi finished in 1:01.54 in the 100 breaststroke to win her first collegiate race and Kierra Smith won the 200 breaststroke in 2:12.18, swimming it in a collegiate meet for the first time since capturing the 2015 NCAA title.

Meanwhile, 2015 Big Ten Diver of the Year Yu Zhou (316.65) captured the 1-meter win. Freshman Sarah Bacon (309.45) and fellow senior Lexi Tenenbaum (303.45) were second and third.

Tenenbaum won the 3-meter competition at 352.28. Zhou (340.88), Bacon (316.95) and Mariam Khamis (297.30) followed her in order.

With a time of 9:53.84, Brooke Zeiger beat Runge for first place in the 1,000-yard freestyle, one of two wins on the evening.

In the men’s meet, Minnesota started and ended the meet with relay victories. Daryl Turner, Conner McHugh, Paul Fair and Bowe Becker posted a time of 1:28.08 to win the 200-yard medley relay. In the 400 freestyle relay, Turner turned a slight deficit into a victory on the anchor leg. Becker, Fair, Noah Busch and Turner finished in 2:57.82.

In the breaststroke, McHugh won both races to lead the charge for Minnesota. The Gophers swept the top four spots in the 100, led by McHugh’s 54.53. McHugh (1:57.90) won the 200 breaststroke. Becker had the only sub-20 time in the 50 free at 19.92. Fair and Becker claimed the top two spots in the 100 at 44.41 and 44.54, respectively.

The Gophers picked up some big points in diving. Returning Big Ten champion Matt Barnard won 3-meter with a score of 393.68. Runner-up Alan LeBlang scored 369.00, and Jeremy Moser 305.63 in his first event.

Freshman Lucas Cooperman (358.75) won 1-meter. Barnard (348.75) and LeBlang (314.93) joined him in the top three spots.

Wisconsin’s men were led by Matt Hutchins, who swept both the 500 and 1,000 freestyle events, posting times of 4:28.16 and 9:16.28 that both rank in the top five nationally.

Senior Brett Pinfold also picked up two wins, winning the 200 free (1:38.42) and the 200 individual medley (1:49.29).

Senior Harrison Tran had a strong showing, winning the 200-yard butterfly in 1:49.98, while also taking second in the 100 fly (48.32).

Freshman Justin Temprano earned his first collegiate win in the 200-yard backstroke, touching the wall in 1:49.84.

Northwestern tops Eastern Michigan

The Northwestern men opened their season with a dominating 167-128 victory over Eastern Michigan on Friday.

The Wildcats picked up first place finishes in eight of the 14 swimming events, while sweeping the diving events.

Senior Jordan Wilmovsky, an Olympian in Rio,dominated the 1,000 free, finishing first with a time of 9:05.29. Wilmovsky’s time was 34.37 seconds faster than the next finisher, which was teammate Jonathan Lieberman (9:39.66).

Wilimovsky also won the the 200 free (1:41.09).

Nebraska tops South Dakota State

All-American diver Anna Filipcic won two events to help Nebraska to a 212-88 dual win at South Dakota State on Friday.

With the victory, Nebraska improved to 2-0 with both victories on the road.

Filipcic, the reigning Big Ten Diver of the Week, won the 1-meter event with a score of 312.83, then won 3-meter (300.83).

Senior captain Erin Oeltjen earned a win in the 50-yard freestyle (24.52 ), then won the 100 butterfly (57.17).

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Betty

    Just a heads up, the picture you posted is of Sierra Schmidt, not Cierra Runge…

Author: Daniel D'Addona

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Dan D'Addona is the lead college swim writer for Swimming World. He has covered swimming at all levels since 2003, including the NCAA championships, USA nationals, Duel in the Pool and Olympic trials. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Central Michigan University. He currently lives in Holland, Michigan, where he also is the Sports Editor at The Holland Sentinel.

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