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200 IM update

In the consolation final of the 200 individual medley, senior Candice Peak was second after backstroke leg but finished eighth in 2:03.47 to add a point to the Badgers' tally.

Redshirt freshman Monika Stitski earned a 20th-place overall finish by taking fourth in the "C" final of the 200 IM in 2:03.02.

Next up is the 50 freestyle, with sophomore Beckie Thompson and junior Maggie Meyer seeded 1-2 for the championship final. Thompson's prelims time of 22.24 ranks as the No. 2 time in the nation heading into tonight's finals session.

The Badgers stand sixth in the team race with 105 points heading into the 50 free. Minnesota leads the way at 167 points.

500 freestyle update

Senior Gabby Maddalena took seventh in the consolation final of the 500-yard freestyle, clocking in at 4:48.79.

That performance adds valuable points to the Badgers' total heading into the 200 IM, where Candice Peak also is in position to score as the top seed in the consolation final.

Sophomore Danielle Beckwith won the "C" final of the 500 free with a personal-best time of 4:48.25.

So nice, they did it twice

The Badgers opened the second night of the Big Ten championships Thursday the same way they opened things Wednesday, by scoring a relay win.

The quartet of sophomore Beckie Thompson, junior Maggie Meyer, junior Kelsey Gergen and freshman Ruby Martin claimed the win in 1:28.97.

The mark is the second-fastest time in school history and propelled the Badgers into an early lead in the team standings, with 102 points. Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan are just behind at 96 points each.

Thompson started things off with a 23.40 split, which Meyer followed with a blazing 50-yard leg of 20.81 to stake the Badgers the lead at the race's halfway point. Gergen split 22.41 and Martin brought the effort home in 22.35 to ensure the Badgers never trailed again.

The race makes the Badgers the first team in the nation to break the 1:29 mark this season, although a number of other conferences are contesting the 200 free relay at championship meets tonight, as well.

The performance also marks the first time in which the Badgers have swept the championships in the 200 free and 200 medley relays in the same season.

On deck is the 500-yard freestyle, which includes sophomore Danielle Beckwith in the "C" final and senior Gabby Maddalena in the consolation final.

Don't forget to follow along with live results and live video.

Pictures from the pool

Here's a photo gallery from this morning's prelims session. I'll add photos from the finals as I get them tonight.

Putting a period on prelims

The 1-meter diving competition has concluded, which officially wraps up today's prelims session.

The Badgers did not advance a diver to either the consolation final (which begins in 15 minutes) or tonight's championship final.

Freshman Roxanne Fitter posted a score of 247.80 to finish 18th, and Ciara Rinaudo was 25th with a score of 237.60. Emily Cheffins was 31st (213.95) and Leslie Cannon was 33rd (204.40).

Heading into tonight's finals in the pool, Beckie Thompson's conference-best time of 22.24 in the 50-yard freestyle stands as the No. 2 mark in the country this year. Michele King of Tennessee clocked a 22.22 in the prelims of the SEC championships this morning that stands as the NCAA's fastest time so far.

Four for finals

The Badgers pushed four swimmers through to tonight's finals in the 50-yard freestyle, with sophomore Beckie Thompson and junior Maggie Meyer finishing 1-2 in the prelims session.

Thompson's time of 22.24 would be the fastest in the nation this year based on marks entering the day, but a number of other conferences also are contesting their championship meets this week.

Meyer clocked in at a season-best 22.54 to earn the No. 2 seed for tonight's championship final.

Advancing into the consolation final, also with the opportunity to score valuable team points for the Badgers tonight, are freshman Ruby Martin and junior Kesley Gergen.

The 50 free could be a big-time scoring event for the Badgers, who also have an opportunity to add to their total in the 200 freestyle relay, as well.

Senior Candice Peak also is in scoring position and will swim in the consolation final of the 200 individual medley after laying down an NCAA "B" cut of 2:10.79

Senior Gabby Maddalena can say the same after recording the 16th-fastest time in the 500-yard freestyle at 4:49.25, an NCAA "B" cut, to earn a spot in the consolation final of that event.

The swimmers are heading back to the hotel, but I'll stick around to provide updates from the 1-meter diving competition, which begins at noon.

I would swim 500 yards...

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... and I would swim 500 more ... OK, well I wouldn't. But five Badgers will this morning as we kick off the second day of the Big Ten championships in the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.

The first of nine heats of the 500-yard freestyle preliminaries is in the water, with Emma Cabrera leading things off for the Badgers this morning.

Also set to swim in the 500 free are Kelly Winckler (heat 2), Abby Soderholm (heat 5), Gabby Maddalena (heat 6) and Danielle Beckwith (heat 7).

Check back here for updates throughout the morning prelims session. Also, follow live results, and check out Purdue's live (and free!) video stream.

Badgers 1-0

The Wisconsin women's swimming team is off to a hot start at the Big Ten championships after scoring a win in the 200-yard medley relay to open the meet Wednesday at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.

The Badgers grabbed the win -- their second-consecutive Big Ten title in the event -- by clocking a pool-record time of 1:37.34 to finish over a second ahead of runner-up Minnesota.

The time, recorded by the foursome of junior Maggie Meyer, sophomore Ashley Wanland, junior Karlyn Hougan and sophomore Beckie Thompson, is the fourth-fastest mark in school history and is an automatic NCAA qualifying mark.

Meyer staked the Badgers to an early lead by splitting a 24.16 on the opening 50-yard backstroke leg. Wanland followed with a strong swim on the breaststroke leg, and the Badgers owned a lead of nearly a second over Michigan at the halfway point.

Hougan followed with a split of 23.82 to keep the Badgers out front, and Thompson anchored the winning effort home in an outstanding time of 21.86.

The title is third-career championship for Meyer, Thompson and Wanland, and the first for Hougan.

The 800-yard freestyle relay is up next, at 6 p.m.

10-minute warning

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We're 10 minutes out from the start of the 200-yard medley relay and the opening of the 2010 Big Ten Championships.

The Badgers will swim out of lane 3 in the second of two heats. Michigan, with a seed time of 1:39.87, drew lane 4. Wisconsin's top time in the event is 1:40.77.

In the 800 free relay, the Badgers will swim out of lane 1 in the second of two heats, with a seed time of 7:23.13.

Follow live results here, and also check back here for results after each race tonight.

In their own words

Thanks to Drew Scharenbroch and the video services staff, we have posted a pair of videos previewing the Big Ten championships: