Indiana Sits Fifth After First Day of Big Tens
Feb. 16, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Defending champion Indiana sits in fifth place after the first day of the 2007 Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, held at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion from Feb. 16-18.
The Hoosiers have compiled 131 team points to sit just 55 points behind day-one leader and meet host Ohio State, which has 186 points. Minnesota is second with 173 points, while Michigan sits just off that pace with 172 points. Northwestern is fourth with 168 points. Indiana is followed by Purdue (103.5), Penn State (82), Wisconsin (74.5), Michigan State (34) and Iowa (32).
The highlight of the first day for the Hoosiers came in the final event, as junior Ben Hesen broke the Big Ten record in the 100-yard backstroke with his leadoff split of 45.62 in the 400-yard medley relay. Hesen also broke his own school record with the time, becoming the first swimmer in IU's storied history to turn in a time under 46 seconds.
Indiana had a pair of finalists in both the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley. Juniors John Kevin Koehler and Alex Brunfeldt finished seventh and eighth in the 500 free, respectively. Koehler posted a career-best time of 4:22.24 in the preliminaries, then finished in 4:24.33 in the finals. Both times were good for NCAA "B" cuts. Brunfeldt also posted a career-best time in the prelims, touching in 4:22.97, before turning in a 4:28.82 effort in the finals.
In the 200 IM, sophomores Steven Murry and A.J. Miller were seventh and eighth, respectively. Like Koehler and Brunfeldt, both set career bests in the prelims. Murry turned in a time of 1:47.83 in the morning session, while Miller finished in 1:47.61. Murry touched in 1:48.39 in the final, while Miller stopped the clock in 1:48.87. Patrick turned in a 13th-place finish in the event, touching in 1:48.72. All three posted "B" cuts in the event on the day.
Freshman Matt Lenton turned in a pair of career-best times in the 50-yard freestyle, touching in 20.01 in both the prelims and finals. Lenton's NCAA provisional effort in the evening session was good for seventh place in the event.
Indiana started the day with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Lenton, Patrick, Hesen and Walkotten teamed to post a time of 1:19.80, good for a "B" cut.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us," Indiana head coach Ray Looze said. "I thought we had a very good preliminary session, but other teams are doing a better job. We're in fifth place, but fortunately, we're only 55 points behind, so that's still a doable number. Tomorrow morning's preliminary session is really going to play a role in how we finish in this meet. It was neat to see Ben Hesen break the Big Ten record, and the medley relay was real good. We had a lot of guys step, and we've got a really good day tomorrow that's critically important. We're going to find out a lot about the character of the team."
"No excuses," IU diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber said. "We just didn't dive well. We'll regroup and step up tomorrow. It's going to be a character check for them. We've got to do a better job."
Roberts will have a chance for redemption on Saturday, when he will attempt to defend his 2006 crown in the three-meter.
"He's good at using a bad event to motivate him to dive well," Huber said. "Hopefully his one-meter will serve him well tomorrow."
The Hoosiers resume competition on Saturday, Feb. 17, with morning prelims set for 11 a.m.
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