The No. 17-ranked Badgers opened the third night of the Big Ten championships with a third-place showing in the 400-yard medley relay, clocking a time of 3:36.47.
The mark is fourth-fastest in school history.
Junior Maggie Meyer had the Badgers staked to the lead after leading off with a split of 52.76 on the backstroke leg, and sophomore Ashley Wanland followed with a strong effort in the breaststroke to keep the Badgers on top at the halfway mark, at 1:52.68.
Freshman Laura Miller followed on the butterfly with a 55.45 leg, and the Badgers stood second with 100 yards to go.
Sophomore Beckie Thompson had nearly two seconds to make up on the freestyle leg when she made the final exchange and couldn't close the gap despite recording the fastest anchor split in the field, at 48.34.
Minnesota won in 3:35.12, with Indiana second in 3:36.12.
Here's a breakdown of the Badgers' entries for tonight's finals session, which beings in just under an hour, at 5:30 p.m.:
400 Medley Relay
- Maggie Meyer, Ashley Wanland, Karlyn Hougan, Beckie Thompson
- Monika Stitski (4:21.31)
- Gabby Maddalena (4:19.74), Libby Brooks (4:20.40)
- Karlyn Hougan (55.24)
- Rosie Morahan (1:49.41)
- Paulina Gralow (1:03.09), Libby Brooks (1:03.53), Brittany Kimmitt (1:03.64)
- Ashley Wanland (1:00.43)
- Sara Goff (54.86), Amie Osten (55.04)
- Maggie Meyer (53.49), Candice Peak (54.70)
Junior Maggie Meyer, the national leader in the event at 52.41, swam a 53.49 to grab fourth overall and earn the No. 4 seed for tonight's championship final of the 100-yard backstroke.
Senior Candice Peak earned a spot in the championship final, as well, by swimming a season-best 54.70 to grab the No. 8 seed.
Meyer split 25.52 for the first 50 yards of her prelims race and held the lead at the midway point, before she was eventually overtaken by Indiana's Taylor Wohrley. The Hoosiers duo of Kate Fesenko and Donna Smailis also are seeded ahead of Meyer based on prelims performance.
Senior Sara Goff clocked in at a season-best 54.86 to finish 10th overall and earn a spot in the consolation final, where she will be joined by sophomore Amie Osten, who was 11th-fastest with a season-best time of 55.04.
Sophomore Ashley Wanland will have a chance at her second Big Ten title of the week tonight after qualifying No. 2 for the championship final of the 100-yard breaststroke with a season-best time of 1:00.43.
She and Minnesota's Jillian Tyler, who clocked a nation-leading time of 1:00.09, will be the top two seeds for tonight's final. Wanland finished second to Tyler as a freshman at last year's Big Ten championships.
Wanland's time is the sixth-fastest in school history, trailing only five marks she had previously set. Friday, she split a 28.95 for the first 50 yards to hold the lead at the midway point and never looked back.
Freshman Paulina Gralow clocked in at 1:03.09, tying for 18th overall and earning a spot in the "C" final.
Freshman Brittany Kimmitt finished second in her heat, posting a significant time drop down to 1:03.64 that has her 23rd overall and into the "C" final, as well.
Rosie Morahan clocked a 1:49.41 to finish 24th overall, and she will swim in the "C" final tonight.
Sophomore Danielle Beckwith won her heat in 1:49.55, with senior Anna Chang clocking in at 1:52.04 to finish sixth in the section. Beckwith ended up 25th overall, with freshman Laura Miler (1:49.60) in 26th. Chang stacked up 49th overall.
Freshman Ruby Martin clocked in at a personal-best 1:50.35 to finish 31st, while Kelsey Gergen posted a time of 1:52.86 and was 57th
Next up is the 100-yard breaststroke, for which sophomore Ashley Wanland is the No. 2 seed.
Junior Karlyn Hougan cracked the final of the 100-yard butterfly by swimming a time of 55.24 to finish 15th overall. She will compete in the consolation final tonight.
West Lafayette native Anna Chang dropped more than three tenths off her seed time and finished in 56.19, good for 32nd overall.
On to the 200 free prelims, with eight Badgers set to swim.
The Badgers will have a pair of swimmers in the consolation final of the 400-yard individual medley.
Senior Maddalena won her heat with the fastest time of the morning to that point, dropping 10 seconds off her seed time with a finish in 4:19.74.
The time ended up placing Maddalena 11th overall, giving her a spot in the consolation final.
She grabbed the lead during the breaststroke leg and had the top spot at the wall with 100 yards to go. She then extended her advantage over the final freestyle leg.
Maddalena's personal-best mark in the race is 4:16.53.
Senior Libby Brooks went 4:20.40 to finish sixth in her heat, and the time stacked up 15th overall. Her lifetime best in the event is 4:14.04.
Redshirt freshman Monika Stitski just missed a chance at scoring, finishing 17th in 4:21.31 to end up in tonight's "C" final.
Amid all the excitement of the Badgers' wins in the 200 freestyle relay and 50 freestyle last night, I forgot to mention one of the most interesting developments of the evening.
As the top eight finishers from each race are paraded to the awards stand to pick up their medals, the fight song of the winning athlete (or relay) is played inside the pool. It's a nice touch to the ceremonies, but it was taken up a notch after the Badgers won the 200 free relay.
Sophomore Beckie Thompson grabbed her second Big Ten title of the night by claiming the 50-yard freestyle championship for the second-consecutive year.
Thompson trimmed her time to 22.23 on her way the win, while junior teammate Maggie Meyer grabbed fourth place with a time of 22.58.
A 22.97 for junior Kelsey Gergen earned her a win in the consolation final -- and a ninth-place finish overall. Freshman Ruby Martin was seven in the consolation final -- and 15th overall -- in a time of 23.26.
All four were part of the Badgers' championship effort in the 200 freestyle relay, as well.
Senior Rosie Morahan grabbed a fourth-place finish in the "C" final in 23.30.