Minnesota Golden Gophers Capitalize on Indiana’s Relay DQ to Win Big Ten Title

Minnesota women won 2015 Big Ten title
Photo Courtesy: Minnesota Swimming

COLUMBUS – Rarely does a relay disqualification hurt more than the one that delivered the Big Ten Women’s Championship title to Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend.

Last night, the Indiana Hoosiers put themselves behind the 8 ball in a serious way by drawing a disqualification to what would have been a fifth-place finish in the women’s 400-yard medley relay.  Under the standard championship-meet scoring format observed by the Big Ten Conference, that’s a loss of 28 points.

Tonight, after a wicked back-and-forth battle that featured nearly knockout blows on both sides, the Minnesota Golden Gophers wound up winning 618.5-591. Yes, that’s a gap of 27.5 points, which means the Hoosiers would have won by just a half-a-point tonight without the DQ.

Who knows? Maybe Minnesota swims a bit faster without playing it safe to guarantee no dramatic 400 free relay DQ, and beats the Hoosiers in the 400 free relay to make it a moot point anyway. But that’s still a pretty tough loss for Indiana.

Either way, Minnesota is happy to have won its fourth straight title.

Iowa’s Rebecca Stoughton began the night with a victory in the women’s 1650-yard freestyle as she clocked a 15:57.43 for the title.

Ohio State’s Lindsey Clary finished second in 16:03.75 with Minnesota’s Brooke Zeiger earning third in 16:03.94.

In the huge team battle taking place between Minnesota and Indiana, Minnesota went 3-4-10-14 in the mile.  The Hoosiers placed fifth with Haley Lips (16:06.85) and Stephanie Marchuk (16:12.32) to hold serve a bit before the 200 back.

Minnesota led Indiana, 462.5 to 397, after the 1650 free.

The Hoosier claimed the team lead after an unreal amount of scoring in the women’s 200-yard backstroke finale.

First, reigning NCAA champion Brooklynn Snodgrass won the title in 1:50.60, just off her personal best of 1:50.52 to win the event last year at NCAAs.

Allie Day (1:54.14), Cynthia Pammett (1:54.40), Marie Chamberlain (1:55.87) and Justine Ress (1:55.92) went 3-4-7-8 for the Hoosiers in the A final. Additionally, Dorina Szekeres topped the B final in 1:56.42 with Shelby Carroll taking 15th in 1:59.64.

Michigan’s Clara Smiddy (1:51.76) took second overall to split Snodgrass and Day on the podium.

IU moved into the lead with a 482-462.5 advantage after the event.

Wisconsin’s Ivy Martin, who scorched prelims with a Big Ten record of 47.58 in the women’s 100-yard free, wound up taking the title tonight in a bit slower time of 47.75.

Michigan’s Ali DeLoof snared second in 48.32 with Wisconsin’s Aja Van Hout taking third in 48.60.

Minnesota cut a bit into Indiana’s lead, as the Hoosiers were ahead 501-490.5 after the 100 free.

Minnesota’s Kierra Smith scorched the 200-yard breaststroke finale with a conference record 2:05.69 for the win.  Michigan’s Emily Kopas touched second with a 2:09.58, while Penn State’s Melissa Rodriguez took third in 2:09.87.

The Gophers reclaimed the lead, 510.5 to 501, with Indiana scoring zero points in the event.

Although Indiana’s Gia Dalesandro (1:55.10) and Bailey Pressey (1:56.54) went 1-2 in the women’s 200-yard fly, Danielle Nack’s second-place finish of 1:56.31 for the Gophers might have been the biggest swim of the race.

Along with Devin Ste Marie’s fifth-place 1:57.06, the Gophers were able to hold off the Hoosiers in the team race after the 200 fly to lead 541.5 to 539 heading into a stacked platform diving finals event for Minnesota.

Minnesota piled it on in the platform even though Indiana’s Jessica Parratto won the event with 424.45 points as a freshman.

Zhou Yu (371.80), Lexi Tenenbaum (312) and Jessica Ramberg (286.10) went 2-5-7 for the Gophers to take a 588.5 to 559 lead into the 400 free relay.

Wisconsin’s Chase Kinney (49.07), Ivy Martin (47.35), Aja Van Hout (47.94) and Annie Tamblyn (48.60) blew the doors off the women’s 400-yard free relay finale with a 3:12.96. That crushed the Big Ten record by nearly a full second.

Michigan’s Clara Smiddy (49.36), Ali DeLoof (47.78), Claudia Goswell (49.23) and Gillian Ryan (48.85) placed second in 3:15.22 with Indiana’s Haley Lips (49.43), Kennedy Goss (48.75), Grace Vertigans (48.99) and Brooklynn Snodgrass (48.58) touching third in 3:15.75.

Minnesota’s Lauren Votava (49.27), Rebecca Weiland (48.62), Jessica Plant (49.13) and Tori Simenec (49.28) claimed fourth in 3:16.30, making sure they were safe on the relay exchanges, to lock down the team title.  The top four teams all cleared the NCAA A Cut.

Team Scores

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2015 Big Ten Women’s Championships, Day Four – Results

1 comment

  1. avatar

    Not unlike the Indiana men in 1974 having their medley relay dq’d in Champ final of Medley relay and then losing meet 339-338 to SC.