Records Continue to Fall, Hesen Wins 100 Back at Big Tens
Feb. 17, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Just one day after setting the Big Ten record in the 100-yard backstroke with a relay leadoff, Indiana junior Ben Hesen reset the record on Feb. 17 at the Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. Sophomores Steven Murry and Nick Walkotten also set school records for the Hoosiers, who sit in fifth place after two days of competition.
Michigan has assumed the team lead with 405 points, while Minnesota is a mere two points back entering the final day of competition. Day-one leader Ohio State is third with 366 points, while Northwestern is fourth with 339 and Indiana is fifth with 325. Purdue is sixth with 260.5 points, followed by Penn State (190), Wisconsin (172.5), Michigan State (85) and Iowa (76).
Hesen turned in a blazing time of 45.52 in the 100 back to win his first career individual Big Ten title. The Jeffersonville, Ind., native won the much-anticipated showdown with Northwestern's Matt Grevers, the two-time defending NCAA champion in the event. The two battled to a tie in the event in a dual meet in November. Hesen's time bettered the record of 45.62 he set Friday in the 400-yard medley relay. Walkotten finished ninth in the event in 48.24.
Murry erased the longest-standing record in the Indiana record book with his fourth-place effort of 3:48.43. The Memphis, Tenn., product broke the IU standard of 3:49.35, which was set by Brian Barnes on Feb. 24, 1995. John Kevin Koehler (9th, 3:53.82), Aaron Opell (13th, 3:57.00) and Alec Haley (16th, 4:00.50) also scored for the Hoosiers.
Walkotten supplanted his own school record in the 100-yard butterfly, turning in a time of 47.21 to finish second in the event to Northwestern's Kyle Bubolz, who smashed the Big Ten record with a time of 45.96. Walkotten's record broke his previous mark of 47.52, which he set on Feb. 24, 2006. He was joined in the finals of the 100 fly by junior Todd Patrick, who finished seventh in 48.06, and Hesen, who was eighth in 48.10.
Diver Taylor Roberts fell in a heartbreaker in the three-meter springboard, failing in his attempt to defend his 2006 crown by a mere point. The Aurora, Colo., junior turned in a score of 405.75 for second behind Ohio State's Kellen Harkness (406.75). David Legler also scored for the Hoosiers in the event with a score of 288.25 for 14th place.
"Taylor did a great job," Indiana diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber said. "I was proud of him. He started the week with food poisoning and bruised his foot on the bottom of the pool, and he's just weathered the storm and he did a nice job. It was a personal best and that's with missing his gainer 3 ½, which is the hardest dive anyone did in the contest. So, I think this sets him up well. Our goal is to shoot for an NCAA championship this year."
Hesen, Penoyar, Patrick and freshman Matt Lenton turned in the second-best time in school history in the 200-yard medley relay to open the evening session. The quartet touched in 1:26.04, good for an NCAA "A" cut and second place in the event.
"We dropped a little ground to the leaders, but with what he qualified, we swam really well," Indiana head coach Ray Looze said. "We broke school records in the 400 IM, 100 fly and 100 back, so we're plugging away. We had some great individual performances tonight. We just need to get more individuals joining the scoring ranks tomorrow. Tomorrow's potentially a really good day for us. We just need to get our fair share of big finalists and get some people into consols, and just see how high we can finish with what we've got."
The Big Ten Championships conclude Sunday, Feb. 18, with prelims starting at 11 a.m.
NOTES: Back in Bloomington, several remaining members of the squad participated in the IU Last Chance on Feb. 17. The meet was an intrasquad meet in which several swimmers swam in off events.
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