March 1, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Wisconsin Badgers are going to have find some extra money once the Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship are all said it done. They’re going to need to replace a lot of signage on the record boards.
With five new school records already in the first two days of the meet, the Badgers broke two more Friday and tied a third in Bloomington, Ind. Senior Michael Weiss alone set his fifth school record of the meet Friday, including his third individual record.
“We probably had one of the best morning sessions this morning that we’ve had in the last decade or so,” Head coach Whitney Hite said. “So we were really awesome and it paid off tonight. We have some great swims. Certainly highlighted by Michael Weiss.”
Weiss, who set new school records in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle the first two days of the meet, saved his greatest performance yet for Friday, winning the Big Ten title and setting a new top time in the country this season in the 400-yard individual medley.
“It feels great,” Weiss said. “It has been something I have been aiming at for a long time. I wanted to win the 500 and came up a little short, so I was really excited to get this win tonight.”
Weiss’ time of 3:39.17 is the best in the 400-IM in the NCAA this season and just .02 seconds slower than the time that won the NCAA title in the event last season. The time is over 13 seconds faster than Weiss’ previous season best and nearly four seconds faster than the school record he set last season.
“It is really just about doing what I have been doing over the last couple of months and just to stay confident and focused,” Weiss said of what he needs to do between now and the NCAAs. “If I do all of these things, I should be in good shape.”
Sophomore Nicholas Schafer also set a new school record in the 100-yard breaststroke. A mid-season addition to the Wisconsin squad, Schafer placed eighth in the event with a time of 53.65, taking down the old record of 54.03 set back in 2007.
“I’m awful proud of him,” Hite said. “Nick has come in and done just an awesome job. We knew he was really good. He hasn’t disappointed us a bit.”
Meanwhile, sophomore Drew teDuits tied a school record in the 100-yard backstroke. At 46.86, teDuits took ninth in the event Friday. Junior Tyler Hines placed tenth in the 200 yard-freestyle with a time of 1:36.18, over two seconds faster than the team’s season best. Both finishes were NCAA ‘B’ qualifying times.
The Badgers stand in seventh place through three days at the Big Ten Championships. At 187 points though, Wisconsin is just three points behind Iowa and 29 points behind Purdue with one day to go.
“We had a terrific day and it’s going to be a fight between us and Purdue and Iowa for fifth place,” Hite said. “We’ll give it all we have and we’re excited.”