Gophers tie for fourth on first day of Big Ten championships

Michigan won both events Wednesday.

by Nate Gotlieb

The Gophers are tied for fourth place out of 10 teams after one night of the Big Ten championships in Bloomington, Ind.

Michigan won two events Wednesday and leads the championships with 80 points. Ohio State (66 points), Indiana (66), Minnesota (54) and Iowa (54) round out the top five.

The Gophers finished sixth in the 200-yard medley relay, the first event of the championships. Sophomore Luke Bushman, senior Jared Anderson and juniors Sandy Whitaker and Derek Toomey swam the relay in 1:26.41 but finished more than three seconds behind Michigan.

Toomey had the fastest 50-yard split in the event, swimming the last 50 yards in 18.39 seconds.

The Gophers took fifth in the 800 freestyle relay, finishing nearly 12 seconds behind Michigan.  Junior Sean Nesheim led off the relay, followed by freshmen Ben Bravence and Logan Redondo, and senior Hrvoje Capan swam the final leg.

Toomey said he was impressed with the composure Bravence and Redondo showed on the first night of the championships.

Day two of the championships kicks off Thursday with the preliminary rounds for the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 1-meter dive. The finals for those events will be held Thursday night.

Michigan has won four of the past five Big Ten championships, including the last two. The No. 3 Wolverines finished fifth at the NCAA championships last season.

The Big Ten championships run through Saturday night at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington, Minn.