2023 MEN’S BIG TEN SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2023 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships begin tonight in Ann Arbor with the timed finals of the 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays. The Ohio State Buckeyes are the defending champions in the 200m medley relay, an event in which they set meet and conference records here last year. The Indiana Hoosiers arrive today with the best time in the conference this season, with a 1:24.09 from Ohio State Invite.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are the defending champions and conference record holders in the 800 freestyle relay, but Minnesota leads the Big Ten in the 800 freestyle so far this season after going 6:16.25 at their own invitation from Minnesota.
Men’s 200 Medley Relay – Timed Finals
- NCAA record: 1:21.13, Florida – 2022 NCAA Championships
- Big Ten record: 1:22.13, Ohio State – 2022 Big Ten Championships
- Big Ten Championship Record: 1:22.13, Ohio State – 2022
- NCAA Cup ‘A’: 1:23.76
- Ohio State – 1:23.03
- Michigan – 1:23.07
- Indiana – 1:23.52
- Purdue – 1:23.86
- Wisconsin – 1:23.92
- Minnesota – 1:24.21
- Northwest – 1:25.66
- Penn State – 1:25.89
The Buckeyes defended their title at this event in a classic race that was played out in a few hundredths of a second, as Ohio State and Michigan battled it out, from soup to nuts.
Backstroke Wyatt Davis (Michigan) and Alex Quach (OSU) went back to 25 at the exact moment, but Davis got his hands on the wall just ahead, 20.87 to 20.96. Ohio State then took a 0.06s lead on a 23.49 split on the chest of pete krusinskiwhile Brendan Fitzpatrick shared 23.64 for the Wolverines. Gal Cohen Groumi reclaimed Michigan’s lead with a 19.92 fly leg to James Ward’s 20.02. Just 0.04s separated the two teams as the anchor legs plunged into the water. Ohio State Ruslan Gaziev split 18.56 to get their hands on the wall, while Michigan Bence Szabados clocked 18.64, the 2nd fastest time in the peloton. OSU won with a 1:23.03, while Michigan took 2nd place at 1:23.07.
Indiana was a bit in the hole after a 22.09 lead from Luke Barrbut Van Mathias (22.74) and Tom Frankel (19.89) had the fastest chest and fly splits of the night, and Gavin Wight anchored in 18.80, as the Hoosiers took 3rd place in 1:23.52, also under the NCAA “A” cut.
The upper end of this event was significantly slower than last year. In 2022, three teams have gone below 1:23: Ohio State (1:22.13), Indiana (1:22.51) and Michigan (1:22.90).
Purude (1:23.86) and Wisconsin (1:23.92) also battled throughout the race, with both teams finishing under the NCAA “B” Cup. The Badgers knocked more than half a second off their school record of 1:24.54, while the Boilermakers were just 0.04s off their school record in the event. Until earlier this month, the Wisconsin men had never been under 1:25 in this event, and now they’ve gone under 1:24.
Max McHugh goes Max McHugh, and sure enough, he shared 22.57 on the chest, pacing the field on the leg in which he has the fastest time ever (22.40). Minnesota finished 6th in 1:24.21, earning an NCAA “B” cup. Last year, Minnesota got disqualified on two early takeoffs and ended up missing out on the NCAA event.
Northwestern took 7th place in 1:25.66, while Kevin Houseman nearly hit 23 with a 23.07 breast split. Penn State finished 8th in 1:25.89.
Men’s 800m Free Relay – Timed Finals
- NCAA record: 6:03.89, Texas – 2022 NCAA Championships
- Big Ten record: 6:06.01, Indiana – 2018 NCAA Championships
- Big Ten Championship record: 6:09.85, Michigan – 2014
- NCAA Cup ‘A’: 6:16.02
- Indiana – 6:10.80
- Michigan – 6:13.51
- Ohio State – 6:16.26
- Minnesota – 6:18.85
- Wisconsin – 6:19.18
- Purdue – 6:28.17
- Northwest – 6:29.29
- Penn State – 6:29.35
The Hoosiers used the same four swimmers as last year and were nearly a second faster than they were when they won in 2022.
Raphael Miroslaw took the lead again, and he was almost a second slower than last year, with a time of 1:32.73 compared to 1:31.89 last year. Tom Frankel split 1:33.33, also a bit off last year’s time. The improvement came at halftime, where Brendan Burns (1:32.03) and Van Mathias (1:32.71) were each more than a second faster than last year.
Michigan improved about a second from last year to take 2nd place again. Gal Cohen Groumi started in 1:32.96, freshman Eitan Ben Shitrit shared a solid 1:32.47 in the second leg, then Edward Moses (1:34.87) and Wyatt Davis (1:33.21) closed it, en route to a 6:13.51, also under the NCAA ‘A’ cut.
It was the same order of finish for the top three as last year, as Ohio State took 3rd place in 6:16.26, a two-second improvement over last year. Ruslan Gaziev (1:33.24) and Tomas Navikonis (1:33.02) kicked off the Buckeyes with a pair of 1:33, then the Seniors James Quarter (1:34.38) and Thomas Watkin (1:35.62) brought him home.
Minnesota couldn’t match its seeded midseason time, slipping to 6:18.85 and an effort for 4th place. Wisconsin was also under the NCAA ‘B’ cut with a 6:19.18, including a 1:32.71 start from Jacques Newmark.
There was almost a ten second gap between the top five schools and the bottom three. Purdue took 6th in 6:28.17, while Northwestern hung on to touch Penn State, 6:29.29 at 6:29.35.
Scores until day 1
- Ohio State/Indiana – 118
- Michigan- 112
- Purdue/Minnesota/Wisconsin – 100
- Northwest – 92
- Penn State – 88
With only two fewer events, the scores are understandably tight. Ohio State and Indian are tied for the lead after each team took 1st place in one race and 3rd in the other. Michigan holds 3rd place after finishing second in both races, while we have a three-way tie for 4th between Purdue, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Expect to see more separation between the teams after tomorrow’s end, but the conference looks like it could settle down fairly early in the end tiers.