Women finish in second place at Big Ten Championship

by Alexandra Pluym

After adding two more event titles on Saturday, the No. 10 Gophers women’s swimming and diving team finished  the Big Ten Championship in second place in West Lafayette, Ind.

Minnesota put up 572.5 points total, but that was not enough to overcome first-place Indiana’s 758 points. Behind the Gophers was Michigan earning 462.5 points, and in fourth place was Purdue finishing with 460.

At the end of the four-day championship, Minnesota won seven event titles and had seven members from their swim and dive team named to the All-Big Ten First Team. Diving coach Wenbo Chen was named Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year, and his diver, sophomore Kelci Bryant, was named Big Ten Diver of the Year, and of the Championship. Also, junior Megan Braun received the sportsmaship award for the Gophers.

Sophomore Ashley Steenvoorden won the 1,650 freestyle, starting the Gophers in the right direction, when she had a season-best time of 16:01.02.

Freshman Haley Spencer earned an automatic qualifying time and a facility record when she clocked a 2:08.48 in the 200 breaststroke. Junior Jillian Tyler followed Spencer when she finished with a time of 2:08.85. Freshman Paige Bradley also competed in the championship final and was seventh overall, ending with a time of 2:15.96.

Braun and junior Kaylee Jamison finished the 200 fly, sixth and seventh, each earning provisional times of 1:58.74 and 1:59.48, respectively.

The Gophers finished the championship with a seventh-place finish in the 400 free relay. Minnesota’s Alison Eggers, Marissa Davies, Meagan Radecke and Megan Braun combined for a time of 3:20.55.