Coming into the start of the Big Ten Women’s Swim and Dive championship inside of Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center, swim coach Ray Looze kept his mindset simple.
“We just have to do our thing. We’re not that balanced of a team, but we have to get points where we can get them,” Looze said leading up to the event.
The Hoosiers, led by senior Lilly King, wasted no time doing just that Wednesday night winning a Big Ten Championship in the 200 Medley Relay. They finished the night in second place to only Michigan, trailing 120-114.
In the 200 Medley, Morgan Scott (Back), Lilly King (Breast), Christie Jensen (Fly) and Shelby Koontz (Free) combined for a time of 1:34.71, beating Michigan’s 1:34.98.
King’s efforts helped IU to a lead that Michigan ultimately couldn’t recover from despite a strong push down the stretch.
Here are the final results from the 200:
- IU, 1:34.71
- Michigan, 1:34.98
- Ohio State, 1:35.85
- Wisconsin, 1:35.87
- Minnesota, 1:36.22
The win gave IU a 64-56 lead over no. 2 Michigan — a big step towards following through on Looze’s goal.
“The sooner we can send a message that we’re any sort of threat to them, the better because that will apply a bit of pressure,” Looze said last week. “The longer they’re under stress and pressure, then we can look across the pool and see crisis management occurring. We have to squeeze the pressure around them so they start to make some mistakes.”
Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, that lead wouldn’t last.
An early event win ensures Indiana a spot on Michigan’s radar, but the Wolverines immediately proved why they’re the favorites to make this year their fourth-straight Big Ten title.
To respond, they pulled off an impressive come from behind victory in the 800 Freestyle Relay. Throughout the race, Minnesota held a hefty lead and looked as if they just might pull off an upset over Michigan.
The Wolverines felt it and pulled ahead, winning by nearly six seconds (6:54:48 over their 7:00.10)
Time will tell just how much weight IU’s win will carry, but Looze sounded happy following the team’s night.
— Indiana Swim & Dive (@IndianaSwimDive) February 21, 2019
Here are the final results from the 800 yd. Freestyle Relay:
- Michigan, 6:54.58
- Minnesota, 7:00.10
- Wisconsin, 7:00.39
- Ohio State, 7:02.93
- Indiana, 7:07.41
Like Looze said, the more pressure the Hoosiers can apply to Michigan, the better. Teams are always easier to beat when they’re out of their element and Indiana has two strong factors playing into that for this meet.
One, the Hoosiers have been fantastic inside the CBAC this season. They posted a 3-1-1 record while knocking off two ranked opponents.
Two, Michigan does not have a tremendous amount of experience in the high-pressure situations Looze talks about creating. This season, only three opponents have posted scores in triple digits.
Additionally, only Indiana has given them much competition.
Thursday will be impactful in terms of overall success for Indiana as it is tasked with some of their weaker events, while Michigan will have some of its strongest.
Overall, here are the final standings from Wednesday night:
- Michigan, 120.0
- IU, 114.0
- Wisconsin, 106.0
- Minnesota, 106.0
- Ohio State, 106.0