Feb. 14, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's swimming and diving team will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, Wednesday - Saturday, Feb. 15-18 for the 2012 Big Ten Championships hosted by Iowa. All events will take place at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Pool on the Iowa Campus.
Competition begins on Wednesday, Feb. 15 with the Spartans racing in two events, the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay.
In the water this season, the Spartans have been led by a strong veteran group of nine seniors. Kerry Sodonis has been a strong competitor in the 100-and-200 breaststroke. She leads the team with top times in each clocking in with a 1:04.16 in the 100 and 2:17.19 in the 200. Her top time in the 200, which she posted on the final day of the Ohio State Invitational, broke the school varsity record - a record that was set back in 1997.
Senior Alexandra Pierce has also been a senior spotlight for the Spartans this season. Pierce has picked up a handful of first-and-second-place finishes throughout the season, primarily in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM races. She boasts the team's best time in each with a 56.26 in the 100 fly and 2:04.19 in the 200 IM.
Jenny Rusch has led the team in the sprint races, standing atop the leader board in the 50 and 100 free events. The junior currently stands with a time of 23.45 in the 50 and 51.82 in the 100 free.
Junior Lauren Baisden is the top performer in the 100 and 200 backstroke events. Baisden leads the team with a 57.78 in the 100 back and 2:02.83 in the 200 back.
In the distance races, Rebecca Berman, Hannah Pugh and Whitney Woodbridge have been the top leaders for the Spartans. The underclassmen trio continually swaps top times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free. Pugh posts a 4:57.93 in the 500 free; Berman holds a time of 10:17.42 in the 1000 and clocks in at 16:55.61 in the 1650 free. Woodbridge follows close behind in all three categories.
To cap off her freshman debut, Pugh has also been placing strong in the mid-distance races, sitting atop the leader board in the 200 free clocking in at 1:53.65 the 200 butterfly (2:05.45) and the 400 IM (4:27.19).
On the boards, the senior duo of Sarah Clay and Jordan Jackson has led the team thus far this season. Both individuals, including Alison Menzies, have posted NCAA Qualifying marks in both the one-meter and three-meter dives. Ashley Borgman has also posted a qualifying score in the 3-meter.
Clay has picked up six first-place finishes on the one-meter board and five on the three-meter board and was named the Big Ten Diver of the Week back on Nov. 22nd. She holds the team's best score on the one-meter, posting a 338.99. Jackson is the top leader on the three-meter with a score of 374.78.
The Spartans will compete in the four-day championship with each day except Wednesday starting off with prelims at 11 a.m. followed by the finals in the evening at 6:30 p.m.