Indiana Claims Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championship

MINNEAPOLIS, Minneapolis, February 10. INDIANA picked up three more individual titles, set three school records and garnered four of the six postseason awards to put the finishing touches on its first Big Ten team title since 2003 on Saturday, Feb. 10, at University Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

The Hoosiers finished with 715.5 points, and were followed by Michigan (562), Penn State (537.5), Minnesota (442), Wisconsin (413.5), Purdue (302), Northwestern (301), Ohio State (187), Illinois (176.5), Iowa (108) and Michigan State (44).

Junior Christina Loukas, who earned Diver of the Year and Diver of the Championships honors for the third straight season, won the platform with a school-record score of 358.80, giving her a clean sweep in the diving events. Loukas took the one-meter on Thursday and the three-meter on Friday. She became only the second Indiana diver to ever sweep the diving events, joining Sara Reiling-Hildebrand (2003) in the IU record book.

She also joins Mary Fischbach of Michigan (1988 – the first year the Big Ten offered platform as a scored event) and Carrie McCambridge of Purdue (2004) as the only four divers to claim conference sweeps. IU, however, is the first school to accomplish the feat on two occasions.

Seniors Lindsay Weigle and Heather Chapman also had excellent showings in the platform, with Weigle taking second with a score of 338.85 and Chapman taking fourth with a mark of 266.00. Junior Jade Summerlin picked up points for IU with a 12th-place finish (228.05), while freshman Amy Korthauer was 13th with 225.30 points.

Freshman Presley Bard won her first career individual title with a dominant performance in the 200-yard backstroke en route to being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Bard set a school record with a 1:55.61 effort in the prelims, then won the finals with a time of 1:55.62. Senior Leila Vaziri was third in the event in 1:56.69, and freshman Ashley Jones was fourth in 1:57.17. All three times were good for NCAA "A" cuts.

Sophomore Allison Kay won her first career individual title with a time of 1:58.40 in the 200-yard butterfly. The time was the second-best in school history and good for an NCAA "A" cut. Freshman Brittany Barwegen and junior Christie Fuchs also scored for the Hoosiers in the event, with Barwegen taking 11th in 2:01.04, and Fuchs taking 12th in 2:01.33. Both times were NCAA provisional qualifying marks.

Indiana saw another record fall in the 200-yard breaststroke, as freshman Amilee Smith set a school standard with her second-place time of 2:14.14. Sophomore Sarah Stockwell also eclipsed the old school mark of 2:15.53 with her 2:14.99 effort for third place. Sophomore Abby Cooper took seventh with her time of 2:17.50. All three IU swimmers in the event turned in NCAA provisional times. Wisconsin's Yi Ting Siow won the event in 2:11.91.

The Hoosiers opened the finals session with a pair of scorers in the 1650-yard freestyle, as freshmen Emma Berry and Cassie Luhrsen both picked up points for IU. Berry took eighth with an NCAA provisional mark of 16:33.63, while Luhrsen was 11th in 16:39.10, also a "B" cut. Berry's time took nearly 20 seconds off her previous career best in the event. Fuchs narrowly missed scoring in the event, turning in a career-best time of 17:01.88 to finish 17th. Minnesota's Yuen Kobayashi won in 16:08.59.

A pair of seniors earned points for Indiana in the 100-yard freestyle, as Annica Lofstedt took sixth in 50.22 and Clarissa Wentworth was ninth in 50.39, both "B" cuts. Michigan's Lindsey Smith won the event in 49.04.

Indiana closed the meet with a second-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, with Lofstedt, Vaziri, Bard and Wentworth combining to turn in a B-cut time of 3:19.44, the second-best mark in IU lore. Michigan won the event in 3:18.40, a Big Ten record.

In all, Indiana won seven events at the Big Ten Championships, taking the 400-yard medley relay, 100-yard backstroke, 200 back, 200 fly and all three diving events.

Kay, Loukas, Vaziri, Stockwell, Bard and Lofstedt earned spots on the All-Big Ten First Team, while Smith, Weigle and Wentworth earned spots on the All-Big Ten Second Team.

Ray Looze and Dr. Jeff Huber were named Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year and Diving Coach of the Year, respectively. The award was the first for Looze on the women's side, while Huber earned his fourth honor for the women.

"The credit all goes to the kids," Looze said. "We're just so very proud of them. They represented Indiana University in a first-class manner and showed the heart of a champion throughout the competition."

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