Feb. 25, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men’s swimming and diving team are set to race against conference foes at the 2014 Big Ten Championships this week. Held at the Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich., the meet is hosted by defending Big Ten champions University of Michigan. Competition will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 26 through Saturday, March 1, with prelims at 11 a.m., diving at 1 p.m. and finals slated for 6:30 p.m.
The first six sessions of the meet will be shown online via the Big Ten Digital Network (paid subscription is required). Click here to find links for each individual session.
The finals on Saturday, March 1 can be seen live on BTN2Go, which can be accessed online at www.btn2go.com or on mobile devices through your cable provider. Saturday night's finals will be shown on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, March 2, at 10:30 a.m.
“I think they’ve done a really nice job putting a lot of work into the season,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis. “We have a really nice team. We’re ready and excited for the meet. With men’s swimming in the Big Ten, you play for keeps. We have some people who have been through it before, some who have been through it quite a few times and then some freshman who we really hope swim fast, but it’s a difficult adjustment. There’s a lot of intensity at the meet and you have to get used to it.
“One of our personal goals is to turnover 20 percent of our top-times list, the top-10 in every event. So we need 28 swims on there and I think we can do it. Our guys should be really excited because our women swam fantastic last week. Our guys have worked equally as hard as the women did, they are very talented like the women are and they should be ready to go. I’m really looking forward to it with how well the women did.”
Leading the Spartans in the butterfly events will be senior Bryan Williams, who will look to score points in the event finals. He enters the meet at No. 6 in the 100 butterfly with a time of 47.37, and ranks 19th in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:48.23. Also assisting in the butterfly events will be Oguz Aslanoglu, who sits at No. 20 in the 100 butterfly with the MSU freshman record time of 48.46, and 21st with a time of 1:48.60 in the 200 butterfly. Junior Kyle Workman and senior Michael Uggeri will look to add some depth in the butterfly events as well.
In the sprint freestyle, Aslanoglu and senior Pat Falconer will pace the Spartans as Aslanoglu (20:39) holds the 17th fastest 50 freestyle time in the Big Ten, while Falconer ranks 34th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.89. In the 200 freestyle, Williams holds the MSU’s fastest time of the season, ranking 31st in the conference with a time of 1:37.89. Freshman Jon Burke has led the Spartans all season and will look to score in the distance freestyle events, ranking No. 13 in the Big Ten in the 1,650 freestyle (15:32.88) and 35th in the 500 freestyle (4:28.48).
Senior Nick McGown and freshman Adam Marsh lead the Spartans in the 100 backstroke, as their times rank 40th (49.77) and 42nd (49.82), respectively. In the 200 backstroke, junior Ian Rodriguez and freshman Sam Hiller are tied for the top time on the team at 1:48.74, owning the 37th and 38th-best time in the conference. Seniors Sam Schulze and Drew Goins will look to add depth in the backstroke events, as well.
Ranked No. 19 in the Big Ten in the 100 breaststroke and 28th in the 200 breaststroke, freshman Alex Kandt holds the teams top times of 54.91 and 2:00.65, respectively. Also representing the Spartans in the breaststroke events will be senior Nick Roberts, as well as sophomores Chad Cathey and Jacob Cook. In the individual medleys, Kandt and junior Nate Weeks will take the reigns in the 200, while Roberts, Rodriguez and junior David Zoltowski will pace MSU in the 400.
On the boards, freshman Brennan Labar looks to make an major impact for MSU in his conference championship debut as he leads the team on both the 1- and 3-meter. Labar will be assisted by sophomore Charles Mauer.
The Spartans will kick off competition on Wednesday, Feb. 26 with the 200 medley relay, the 3-meter synchronized diving and the 800 freestyle relay.