Feb. 19, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for the 2013 Big Ten Championships. Hosted by the University of Minnesota, the meet will be at the Aquatic Center with competition slated for Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 20-23.
“It’s going to be tough,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis. “The Big Ten women’s meet is the deepest meet in the country. Our kids know that; we have a pretty experienced group. Our plan is to do as well as we can and be the best team we can possibly be. We have some freshmen who have opportunities to get some good swims. We also have great group of seniors who are swimming at their absolute best, so we hope they cap their careers off in the right way.”
Rusch leads the sprinters as she is ranked 18th in the conference and is the top Spartan in the 50 freestyle with a season-best time of 23.19. Junior Summer Stricker is swimming her career best with the top times on the team in the 100 and 200 freestyle. She is No. 24 in the Big Ten in the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.39 and sits at No. 43 in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:50.51.
With the fastest time in the 500 freestyle for the Spartans this season, sophomore Becca Berman is No. 50 in the conference with a career-best time of 4:59.22.
Leading the team in the backstroke events, Baisden is ranked No. 31 in the conference in the 200 backstroke with a career-best time of 2:00.80. She swam the fastest time of the season in the 100 backstroke at the U.S.A Winter Nationals with another career-best time of 56.78.
With a strong young core, the freshmen have stepped up for Michigan State, holding some of the team’s fastest times of the season. Freshman Michelle Garland holds the top time in the 100 breaststroke with career-best 1:03.55. Holding on to the No. 24 spot in the Big Ten, freshman Marina Borri has the fastest time for the Spartans in the 200 breaststroke, posting a 2:17.78.
A consistent contributor this season, freshman Elizabeth Brown is No. 33 in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:03.49 and is ranked No. 43 in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.42. Brown, a Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree, also holds the top times in both events for the Spartans.
Pierce is ranked No. 34 in the Big Ten and is the top Spartan in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:04.13. Also ranked in the event, Garland sits at No. 39 with a time of 2:04.69.
Looking for points on the boards, sophomore Alison Menzies takes the lead for the Green and White. Mory, an NCAA Regional qualifier, currently has the team's best 1-meter score on the year with a 283.80 mark set during the GVSU dual. She is also the top Spartan on the 3-meter board with a score of 300.45, also achieved against Grand Valley. Menzies was named the Big Ten Diver of the Week after she qualified for NCAA Regionals in the first meet of the season against Wisconsin.
MSU enters the Big Ten Championships after posting a 174-120 loss to Michigan at home on senior night on Friday, Jan. 25. Both Rusch and Menzies posted wins over the Wolverines to conclude meet of the regular season.