Hoosiers Finish Second at Big Ten Championships
March 1, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ben Hesen capped off his Big Ten career in dominating fashion with a pool and school record in a victorious 200-yard backstroke as the Hoosiers recorded a second-place finish at the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships.
Indiana finished with 855 points over the three-day event at Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The host Wolverines ran away with the title, tallying 1,081 points, followed by IU and Minnesota (682.5).
"I think we had a fantastic last session," said head coach Ray Looze. "We came here to win a team title, so that is a bit disappointing. But we are looking good for NCAA's and we have to go back and work hard and get our goals reset for that competition to finish as high in the nation as we are capable of."
The Hoosiers cleaned up on individual awards as Landon Marzullo was named Diver of the Championship, Big Ten Diver of the Year and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Hesen took home Swimmer of the Championship and Big Ten Swimmer of the Year. He shared both awards with Michigan's Alex Vanderkaay. In addition, Dr. Jeff Huber was named Diving Coach of the Year.
Hesen's record-breaking 200-yard backstroke swim produced a time of 1:40.85, beating his previous mark of 1:42.37 set at last year's NCAA Championships. It was Hesen's third individual title of the meet after picking up the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly crowns Friday night. He was also a member of the victorious 200-yard medley relay team.
"I am real proud of Ben Hesen," Looze said. That was a great win tonight and he certainly very deserving of Swimmer of the Year and Swimmer of the Championship.
Kurt Bassett took 13th with his season best time of 1:44.95, putting him in good position for a spot at the NCAA Championships. Hesen secured his NCAA automatic qualifying time in prelims, winning his heat in 1:43.08. Basset was third in the same heat (1:46.79).
Kevin Happ set a new personal best in the prelims, winning his heat and placing 27th overall in 1:49.27. Doug Spraul bettered his personal best by more than three seconds with a time of 1:47.99 in the morning session to finish 23rd overall.
Senior Todd Patrick set a new school record and took home second in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:43.73. Patrick's time automatically qualifies him for the NCAA Championships later this month. He topped Nick Walkotten's time of 1:43.85 set at last year's Big Ten Championships. Freshman Cody Weik grabbed 11th place with a time of 1:47.95 in the B final.
Patrick's prelim time of 1:45.64 was just short of the NCAA A mark, while Weik posted an NCAA B cut in the prelims with a career-best time of 1:47.82, good for 11th and a spot in the B final. Alec Haley placed 27th with a time of 1:51.22.
John Kevin Koehler took third in the 1,650-yard freestyle with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 15:05.47. Alex Brunfeldt won his heat and finished fourth overall after posting an NCAA B time of 15:10.80. Steven Murry took more than 30 seconds off his previous best in 1,650-yard free with an NCAA B time of 15:29.98, placing 15th. Steffan Troxel finished 18th (15:31.54), with Titus Knight clocking a career best at 15:42.64 (24th).
Landon Marzullo and David Legler represented the Hoosiers in the platform diving final, with Legler finishing third (399.60) and Marzullo fourth (386.40). Will Bohonyi capped his Big Ten meet with a seventh-place finish, matching his 2007 placing with 363.75 points. Senior Taylor Roberts was 13th (333.25), followed by Kris Hill in 15th (257.75).
"I am so proud of David posting his highest finish ever," Huber said. "And Landon just had a fantastic meet."
Pat Penoyar led Indiana in the 200-yard breaststroke with a third-place finish of 1:57.35. Haley set a new career best in the C final, earning the 14th spot with a time of 2:00.16. Teammate Ronnie Hehn was 16th (2:00.84). Penoyar nearly hit the NCAA auto mark in the morning session with a time of 1:57.25 to qualify second for the A final. Hehn recorded a morning swim of 2:00.50, while Haley finished in 2:00.92.
A.J. Miller came in at 2:01.23, which placed him 19th overall. Tyler Lemert's season best of 2:02.03 was good for 22nd. Heath Tameris took nearly two seconds off his personal best with a 29th-place time of 2:03.74. Aaron Opell rounded out the contingent in 34th (2:05.91).
In the 100-yard freestyle, senior Matt Lenton finished 21st with his time of 44.76 in the prelims. Freshman Ante Zoricic touched the wall in 44.88 to finish 24th. Mark Wetzel clocked a new personal best with a time of 45.58 to win his preliminary heat and placed 35th overall.
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