Minnesota Takes Day Two Lead; Lindsay Vrooman, Ivy Martin Down Marks

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, February 21. MINNESOTA turned in a solid second day to take a strong lead at the Big Ten Women's Championships in their own facility. Meanwhile, Indiana's Lindsay Vrooman and Wisconsin's Ivy Martin took down conference records.

Minnesota's Becca Weiland, Erin Caflisch, Blake Zeiger and Lauren Votava began the night right for the hosting Golden Gophers with a 1:28.43 to win the 200-yard free relay. Penn State's Paige Whitmire, Carolyn Fittin, Katelyn Miller and Alyson Ackman provided a spark for the Nittany Lions, reminiscent of when they used to dominate this meet as the team took second in 1:28.96. Wisconsin's Ivy Martin, Ruby Martin, Annie Tamblyn and Rebecka Palm placed third in 1:29.24. Indiana lost major ground after tying with Minnesota following day one as Sara Delay, Cynthia Pammett, Bronwyn Pasloski and Stephanie Armstrong took eighth in 1:30.90.

The Hoosiers fired back in the 500-yard free as Lindsay Vrooman edged Minnesota's Kiera Janzen at the wall, 4:35.41 to 4:35.70, in the two fastest times ever in conference history. Both times beat the conference record of 4:36.23 set by Minnesota's Ashley Steenvoorden in 2012, and eclipsed the meet record of 4:37.38 set by Indiana's Nikki White in 2009. Ohio State's Alexandra Norris took third in 4:42.34.

Minnesota counterpunched in what likely will be a two-team race for the title as Tori Simenec won the 200 IM in 1:57.11, while Indiana's Dorina Szekeres (1:58.76) and Brooklyn Snodgrass (1:59.33) took fifth and seventh. Penn State's Merritt Krawczyk (1:57.18) and Chelsea Weeman (1:58.12) placed second and third. The Gophers demonstrated depth in the event with a 1-2-3 in the B final from Haley Spencer (1:58.57), Kierra Smith (1:59.29) and Elizabeth Weitz (1:59.43).

Minnesota then capitalized on an IU sprint weakness in the 50 free with three up and one down compared to Indiana's one down. Wisconsin's Ivy Martin earned top billing in the event with a 21.86 after becoming the first sub-22 female in the Big Ten with a 21.84 in prelims. Her prelim time beat the 2012 records of 22.02 (conference) and 22.04 (meet) of fellow Badger Rebecca Thompson. Penn State's Paige Whitmire took second in 22.22, while Minnesota's Becca Weiland finished third in 22.24. Erin Caflisch (22.29) and Blake Zeiger (22.73) placed fourth and eighth, while Lauren Votava tied for 13th with a 22.90 to pile up the points for Minnesota. Indiana's Sara Delay tied for 15th with a 22.98.

Minnesota's Margaret Keefer capped a strong evening by the Golden Gophers with 351.45 points to win the women's one-meter event. Purdue's Mackenzie Tweardy earned second with 325.40 points, while Indiana's Kate Hillman (320.55) and Amy Cozad (317.15) placed third and fourth.

Minnesota leads the way with 303.5 points, while Indiana fell back with 211.5 points. Penn State (175), Purdue (142.5) and Ohio State (132) rounded out the top five.