Kentucky Notes in PDF Format (10-18-06)
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Oct. 18, 2006
Date: Oct. 21, 2006
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Bloomington, Ind.
Facility: Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center
Indiana's men's swimming and diving team officially kicks off its season Oct. 21, facing Kentucky in each team's season opener. The Hoosiers are coming off a 2006 campaign that saw them win the Big Ten team title and finish 12th at the NCAA Championships. IU finished the season ranked 11th in the CSCAA poll.
Kentucky finished sixth in the powerful SEC last season. The Wildcats were 24th at the NCAA Championships in 2006, and were ranked 17th in the final CSCAA poll.
The Hoosiers are battling UK in dual action for the ninth consecutive year, with IU holding a 5-3 edge during that span. The last time Indiana did not face the Wildcats in a dual meet was the 1997-98 season, when IU and UK teamed up to host a last chance invitational meet in Bloomington at the end of the season. Indiana has opened is season against Kentucky twice in the last eight seasons, doing so in 1998 and 1999. IU leads the all-time series, 12-3.
CREAM VS. CRIMSON
Indiana held its annual Cream vs. Crimson meet on Sept. 29, with the Cream squad withstanding a late charge from the Crimson for the 153-147 win.
The Cream was nursing a 142-141 lead entering the final event, the 200-yard freestyle relay. With the meet on the line, the relay didn't disappoint, as the Cream's Todd Patrick, John Kevin Koehler, Nick Walkotten and Lee Houchin held off the Crimson's Drew Ossakow, Mark Wetzel, Ronnie Hehn and Matt Lenton with a time of 1:25.14. Trailing after the first three legs, the Crimson nearly pulled off the comeback, as Lenton made up significant time in his leg. He was touched out at the wall, however, and the Crimson finished in 1:25.53, just 0.39 seconds off the Cream's pace.
The squads both won eight events, as Walkotten, Houchin, Taylor Roberts and student coach Kevin Swander all took multiple events on the day.
BACK ON TOP
Twenty-one years after its last title, Indiana finally returned to the top of the heap in the Big Ten in 2006. IU led the Big Ten Championships from the first day of competition, eventually compiling 760.5 team points to run away with the team crown. The title was the 24th in program history, but the first since 1985. This year the Hoosiers will look to go back-to-back for the first time since IU won three straight from 1982-85. Indiana won 20 straight Big Ten titles from 1961-80.
Indiana returns four All-Americans from a successful 2006 campaign in swimmers Ben Hesen, Todd Patrick and Nick Walkotten and diver Taylor Roberts. Hesen finished tied for fourth in the 100-yard backstroke at the 2006 NCAA Championships to earn first team All-America distinction, while Roberts earned All-America status from the three-meter (first team) and the platform (honorable mention). Hesen and Patrick both earned honorable mention in both the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard medley relay, while Walkotten earned honorable mention in the 400 medley relay and the 200-yard butterfly. In addition, senior Lee Houchin was an All-American in 2005, earning honorable mention in three different relays.
CLIMBING THE LADDER
Indiana's 12th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships was its highest since a 12th-place finish in 1989. The Hoosiers have improved their NCAA showing each year under head coach Ray Looze, starting with a 24th-place finish in 2003. IU finished 17th in 2004 and 16th in 2005.
BIG TEN POWER
Looze has directed the Hoosiers to four top-four Big Ten finishes in as many seasons at the helm of the Indiana program. Indiana finished third in 2003, fourth in 2004, second in 2005 and first in 2006.
HOOSIERS ON THE NATIONAL SCENE
Indiana finished the 2006 season ranked No. 11 in the CSCAA Top 25 Poll. Michigan (8) and Minnesota (9) were the only two Big Ten teams ranked ahead of the Hoosiers. Purdue (14), Northwestern (15), Ohio State (19) and Penn State (24) also appeared in the poll. The Big Ten led all conferences with seven teams in the final poll.
GOOD ON YA, MATT
Sophomore Matt Lenton claimed the 50-meter short course national title at the Telstra Australian Short Course Championships in August.
BIG TEN HARDWARE
The Hoosiers came away from the 2006 Big Ten Championships with a good amount of hardware. Looze was named the Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year, while Kevin Swander was tabbed Swimmer of the Championships. Brian Mariano was named Co-Diver of the Year and Diver of the Championships, while Walkotten was named Freshman of the Year.
The Hoosiers welcome 20 newcomers to the men's roster this season. Eighteen of them are freshmen, while junior Pat Penoyar transferred in from Washington and Lenton enrolled in January and is a sophomore athletically.
The Hoosiers will remain at home for their next meet, hosting Big Ten foe Northwestern at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on Friday, Oct. 27, at 4 p.m.