Feb. 21, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Led by three new MSU records, the Spartans continued their momentum on the third day of competition at the 2014 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday. In the evening finals, Hannah Pugh and Shelby Lacy finished top-20 in their respective events, while all three divers scored points for the Spartans on the 3-meter board. After 14 events, Michigan State is in 10th place with 70 points.
"Our kids are really doing well," said head coach Matt Gianiodis. "All three of the divers had scoring opportunities in diving which is unbelievable. Especially for Maddie (Sewell) as a freshman, but Alison Menzies) and Cristee (Cordes) were fantastic. We had five scoring opportunities tonight. In the three previous Big Ten meets, we haven't had any. We've had four records broken so far this week, so I'm just really pleased with how the team is competing.
"We have a big day tomorrow. We'll see how it finishes up, but I'm really confident. Tomorrow should be one of our best days in terms of events. We have people lined up to really get going, so we'll see."
Setting a new school record in the 400 individual medley, Hannah Pugh led the Spartans with a personal-best time of 4:21.66 to finish in 16th place in the prelims and qualify for the evening finals. She shaved almost two whole seconds off her time in the finals to break the MSU record with a time of 4:19.88, good for 15th overall. Also qualifying for the finals was Elizabeth Brown, who also clocked a personal-best time of 4:21.91 to place 17th. She also improved her time in the finals, hitting the wall in 4:20.31 for 21st overall. Chelsea Abbott posted a time of 4:27.31, good for 26th place in the prelims, before shedding three seconds in the finals to place 23rd with a time of 4:24.67.
Shelby Lacy earned an NCAA Provisional cut time as she swam a career-best 1:02.25 in the 100 breaststroke to set a new MSU record. She placed 16th overall in both the prelims and evening finals. Marina Borri also qualified, finishing 19th with a personal-best time of 1:03.10. She went on to place 21st overall in the finals. Turning in a 31st-place finish, Kennedy Cutler clocked a time of 1:04.10.
On the three-meter boards, all three Spartan divers qualified for the evening finals and scored valuable points for MSU. They were led by Maddie Sewell, who posted a career-best score of 303.30 in 11th place. Also posting a career-best score was Cristee Cordes with a 295.20 to finish 14th, while Alison Menzies placed 17th with a score of 274.20.
Breaking her own school record in the 200 freestyle, Summer Strickler swam a career-best time of 1:49.38 to place 29th overall. With another personal-best time of 1:51.47, Jessica Wellick finished 50th. Also representing the Spartans in the event was Emily Parsons (1:53.23; 58th), Becca Berman (1:53.84; 67th), Taylor Folkerstma (1:53.95; T-68th), Betsy Good (1:54.53; 70th) and Jill Stoneburg (1:56.17; 74th).
Sarah Love led the Spartans in the 100 butterfly prelims, turning in a season-best time of 55.33 to finish 32nd overall. She was followed by Marcella Kupraszewicz, who clocked a time of 56.41 to place 46th, while Jessica Cutler finished 51st with a time of 56.89.
In the 100 backstroke prelims, Claire Pilarski paced MSU with a 47th-place finish with a personal-best time of 56.84. Posting back-to-back finishes was Nicole Huffman in 54th and Lauren Kalwasinski in 55th with times of 57.61 and 57.68, respectively. Brooke Telander also competed in the event, placing 58th overall with a time of 58.00.
Wellick was also presented with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award at the evening finals.
MSU will conclude action at conference meet tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 22 at the University Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn., with prelims set for 12 p.m. ET and finals to be held at 7:30 p.m. ET. The events scheduled for tomorrow (in order) include the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 freestyle, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1,650 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay.