Hesen Dominates for Hoosiers on Day Two of Big Ten Championships
Feb. 29, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Senior All-American Ben Hesen took home two individual and one relay title and freshman Landon Marzullo continued his amazing run with the 3-meter springboard title on day two of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Hoosiers remain in second place with 562 points heading into the final day. Michigan is the overall leader with 690.5 points.
"It was a better day than the first day," said head coach Ray Looze. "The 200 medley relay started things off well, and it is always nice to get a win."
Hesen's second individual title of the night came in the 100-yard backstroke as he set a new Canham Natatorium record with a time of 45.92, topping the old mark of 46.48 set by Olympian Michael Phelps in 2005. He was one of four Hoosiers to score in the 100 back as Kurt Bassett took 7th with an NCAA B time of 48.35. Ante Zoricic finished 13th (49.76) and Doug Spraul 17th (50.46).
In the morning prelims, Hesen qualified first with an NCAA auto time of 46.65, while Bassett was ninth (49.05), Zoricic 13th (49.62) and Spraul 17th (50.10). It was Hesen's second-straight Big Ten title in the 100 back.
"Ben is a pretty special athlete," Looze said. "He is one of the best that there is, not only in the NCAA but also in the world. He really wants it this year and he has been a phenomenal leader for us."
Earlier in the evening, Hesen captured the 100-yard butterfly in a school-record time of 46.38, breaking the old mark of 46.74 set by him in the morning prelims. Todd Patrick took sixth, touching the wall in 47.65. A.J. Miller added to the Hoosier point total by placing 17th with a time of 48.74 in the C final. His time of 48.44 in the prelims was a career best. Matt Lenton was 19th (48.77), followed by Doug Spraul in 21st (49.06). Rounding out the IU contingent was Mark Wetzel (31st- 50.02- career best). Hesen is the first IU swimmer to take the 100 fly title since Bill Matthews in 1986.
"I was real happy with the night," Hesen said. "There wasn't much more I could do tonight. As for the team, this was really our best day so far. Our divers did real well; we are having a great meet. I couldn't be more proud of everyone."
"It was great to see Ben win that," Looze said. "That has kind of been his third-best event, so when you can do that you know you are doing something pretty good."
After winning the 1-meter crown last night, Marzullo came back to win the 3-meter with a score of 423.55 in the final round. Purdue's David Colturi was in the lead heading into the final dive before Marzullo pulled out the win by 4/10ths of a point. Senior Taylor Roberts took third (410.70), with freshman Kris Hill fourth (408.15 and senior David Legler sixth (351.15).
"I think the guys really focused on putting it together as a team," said head diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber. "I think having six divers here is pretty cool. They really fed off each other's energy and competed really well.
"Landon did a great job and it really came down to the last dive. He competed like a champ. It is amazing to see him up there and almost had a grin on his face like he is relishing the opportunity to compete."
Indiana had three of the top four divers in the prelims with Marzullo qualifying first, Hill third and Roberts fourth. Legler was sixth in the prelims to give the Hoosiers four of the six divers in the evening final. Will Bohonyi finished 13th with a score of 298.90, while David Legler just missed out on the points in 19th (285.30).
"Our captains David Legler and Taylor really give us a lot of leadership and a lot of character," Huber said. "We are, without a doubt, a better team because of them."
Friday's night session opened with the 200-yard medley relay as Hesen, Ronnie Hehn, Patrick and Matt Lenton gave IU its first swimming title of the meet with a pool record time of 1:25.85. The quarter has now automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in March. Aaron Opell finished ninth the 400-yard individual medley with 3:51.30. Steven Murry was 13th (3:50.05), and Alec Haley took 15th with a career-best mark of 3:52.18, more than three seconds faster than his previous career mark set in the morning prelims. All three times are under the NCAA B standard.
Opell won his prelim heat with a career-best time of 3:50.78, taking nearly four seconds off his previous best and giving him an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Alex Brunfeldt was third in the heat and 28th overall with a time of 3:59.46, just 1/100th of a second off his career best. Kevin Happ's career best of 3:56.90 was good for 21st.
John Kevin Kohler led the Hoosiers in the 200-yard freestyle with a 10th-place showing, coming in at 1:37.74. Titus Knight was 14th overall, clocking in at 1:38.15. Koehler finished eighth in the prelims (1:37.33-career best) while Knight was 14th (1:37.87-career best). Cody Weik finished 25th with a career-best time of 1:39.29.
Pat Penoyar captured fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke with his time of 53.80, just 2/10ths of a second off the NCAA automatic qualifying time. Ronnie Hehn's time of 55.20 in the B final was good for ninth place. Penoyar qualified fourth for the finals with a time of 54.18. Hehn's time of 54.67 in the prelims was a career best.
Tyler Lemert tied for 18th in the prelims, requiring a swim-off with Purdue's Jin Soo Kim where he came up just short of qualifying for the C final. Heath Tameris was 20th (55.52) while Aaron Opell was 28th (56.69).
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