UW Health Sports Medicine 

Badgers Earn Three Top-5 Finishes on First Day



The University of Wisconsin's 18th-ranked men's swimming and diving team is in fifth place after the first day of competition at the Big Ten championships Thursday night at the University Aquatic Center.

The Badgers got off to a hot start with top five finishes in two of the first three events, and ended strong with another in the final event of the night.

Setting the school record and getting the night started in the right dierction was the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Adam Mania (Hickman, Neb.), Eric Wiesner (Montrose, Colo.), Tim Liebhold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and Scott Speer (Fitchburg, Wis.), which finished third in the finals with a time of 1:19.41.

In the other relay of the night, the 400-yard medley relay, the team of Liebhold, Mania, Tom Molzahn (Barrington, Ill.) and Wiesner took fourth in an NCAA B time of 3:14.16.

Along with his relay finishes, Liebhold swam to fourth in the 200-yard IM in an NCAA A time of 1:46.53.

"All in all we did well tonight, we were happy with the relay squads," said head coach Eric Hansen. "We had some guys step up and do well tonight."

Like Liebhold, Wiesner also competed in an individual event, finishing second in the consolation finals of the 50-yard freestyle to earn an NCAA B time of 20.26, which would have been quick enough for the eighth spot in the championship finals.

Also in a consolation final, Molzahn finished fifth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:27.25, and teammate Michael Hamm (Waukesha, Wis.) took eighth in 4:32.01.

Justin Bonner (Ridley Park, Pa.) took 23rd in the 1-meter diving prelims to lead the divers, who did not qualify anyone for the finals.

The Badgers tallied 102 points after six events on day one. The host school, Minnesota, is in first place with 218 points.

Wisconsin will compete in the 200-yard medley relay, the 400-yard IM, the 100-yard butterfly, the 200-yard freestyle, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 100-yard backstroke, the 800-yard freestyle relay and the 3-meter diving tomorrow.

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