Feb. 22, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 400 medley relay team set a new MSU record on the second day of competition at the 2013 Big Ten Championships. In the meet held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, the Spartans remain in 11th place with 46 points.
"We had a varsity record in the 400 medley relay and Michelle (Garland) qualified for the finals in the 100 breaststroke. Another solid day-nothing spectacular, but I'm really proud of Michelle and Jenny's (Rusch) splits on the relay. Tomorrow is our best day, so hopefully we will earn a couple of swims in the finals and finish well."
Friday's prelims started with the 400 individual medley where sophomore Hannah Pugh turned in a career-best performance of 4:24.97 to take the fastest time of the season for the Spartans. Freshman Chelsea Abbott was close behind, posting her season-best time of 4:25.20. Stopping the clock in 4:32.26 was senior Alexandra Pierce, while junior Jessica Cutler finished in a career-best 4:33.41.
Senior Jenny Rusch was the top Spartan in the prelims of the 100 butterfly, swimming the event for the first time this season in a career-best 55.64. Freshman Elizabeth Brown posted a time of 56.47, while junior Marcella Kupraszewicz finished in a career-best 57.54. Stopping the clock in 57.88 was freshman Betsy Good just ahead of teammate Jessika Hall, who posted a 57.93. Rounding out the Spartans was senior Tori Merritt (58.07) and junior Jessika Wellick (58.98).
In the prelims of the 200 freestyle, junior Summer Strickler was the top finisher for the Spartans with a time of 1:50.73. Sophomore Becca Berman posted a career-best time of 1:54.57, while sophomore Taylor Folkertsma finished in her personal-best time of 1:55.37. Also representing MSU in the event was freshman Emily Parsons, who posted a season-best time of 1:57.17.
Freshman Michelle Garland qualified for the finals of the 100 breaststroke, clocking a time of 1:03.59 in the prelims. She followed up on Friday night with a personal-best time of 1:03.50 to place 19th overall. The next Spartan finisher in the prelims was freshman Marina Borri, who turned in a time of 1:04.89. Sophomore Shelby Lacy also posted a season-best time of 1:05.86.
With a career-best time in the prelims of the 100 backstroke, senior Lauren Baisden stopped the clock in 56.42. Junior Brooke Telander also posted a personal-best time of 57.53. Rounding out the Spartans was freshman Nicole Huffman (58.54), junior Lauren Daugherty (58.55) and sophomore Kelly Delorme (58.85).
In the finals, the MSU 400 medley relay team of Baisden, Garland, Rusch and Strickler clocked a school-record time of 3.43.03 to place 11th.
The Spartans will enter their final day of competition at the conference meet tomorrow, Feb. 23 with morning prelims scheduled for 11 a.m. CT, and the finals to begin at 6:30 p.m. CT.