MADISON, Wis. -- Back home in the UW Natatorium and just three weeks out from the Big Ten Championships, you had to believe the Badgers had something special in mind.
Senior Michael Weiss and Sophomore Ivy Martin certainly delivered something special for the Wisconsin swimming and diving team Friday at the Big Ten Quad Duals against Minnesota, Purdue and the Illinois women.
Weiss, swimming the 1,000-yard freestyle for just the second time this season, not only won the event, but set a school and pool record with a time of 9:05.21, just edging out Minnesota’s C.J. Smith by .10 seconds. And not only did Weiss break an 18-year-old UW record, he destroyed the previous top time of 9.11.44.
“Michael is just being Michael,” Wisconsin head coach Whitney Hite said. “He swam a great, gutty 1,000 yard race -- he didn’t exactly split like we would have wanted but he got the pool and team record so we will take it.”
For Ivy Martin, her excitement came in the sprint, setting a new Natatorium pool record with a time of 22.32. The time is her best this season after posting another pool record at the University of Virginia last week at 22.36. Martin’s personal best of 22.32 is one of the top eight times in the country this season.
“Ivy is becoming a star,” Coach Hite said. “We’ve had a lot of fast swimmers in this historic pool and whenever you can break a pool record that’s impressive. For her to go faster than she did last week is very impressive. I think she’s starting to believe in herself and coming into her own.”
The Badger men took a day-one lead over Purdue 102-84, but trail Minnesota 98-88. The women lead Purdue 118-68 and Illinois 154-32, while trailing Minnesota 111-75.
The women took home a win in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:39.92. Senior Ruby Martin, freshman Anna Meinholz, junior Rebecka Palm and Ivy Martin contributed to the effort.
Ruby Martin also led a Wisconsin 1-2-3 effort in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.49. Senior Hannah Ross took second while sophomore Shelby Wilson placed third.
The Wisconsin men won a dramatic 800-yard freestyle event to cap off the first day of competition. Trailing Minnesota for most of the event, senior Dan Lester took the lead in the third leg and Weiss sealed the deal down the stretch. Junior Tyler Hines and senior Garrett Mulchrone also contributed to the 6:40.28 effort.
Lester also took an individual title in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:47.94 while placing second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:40.29).
Meanwhile, Weiss added a third title to his belt Friday with a win in the 200-yard individual medley, racing in a time of 1:49.81.
In the diving well, freshman Hunter Atha placed third in the 3-meter dive with a season-high score of 331.55, coming in behind a pair of Purdue divers but beating out Minnesota.
“Overall today was a good first day,” Hite said. “We’re moving in the right direction each and every time we get in the pool. The most important part is to carry this momentum over into tomorrow. We have to make sure we have some momentum heading into tomorrow and capitalize on that.”