Feb. 25, 2004
Big Ten Top Five: Medley Relays (200- and 400-yards)
Based on Taper & Shave rankings and '03 Big Ten results
Wisconsin: The Badgers enter the Big Ten Championships with a high national ranking in both the 200 and 400 medley relays. Wisconsin is ranked second in the 400 medley relay and fourth in the 200 medley relay. Recently, at the Big Ten Triangular against Purdue and Minnesota the Badgers set a pool record with a first place finish in the 200-yard medley relay of 1:29.32. Adam Mania, Kevin Zakrzewski, Matt Marhall, and Dale Rogers comprised this winning relay team.
Minnesota: The Gophers head into the Big Ten Conference with confidence, despite returning only one swimmer from last year's gold-medal winning medley relay teams: Terry Silkaitis. This year's medley relay teams are ranked second in the conference in the 200-medley and fourth in-conference for the 400-yard medley; their top season times are 1:29.70 and 3:17.01. Silkaitis was recently declared swimmer of the week by the Big Ten Conference, for his performance in the Minnesota Challenge. The Golden Gophers' 200 medley team is comprised of Daniel Berve, Sean Kelly, Neil Osten and Ales Volcansek. Their top 400 swimmers have include Silkaitis, Adam Mitchell, Sean Kelly, Lucas Peterson and Sean McCaffery.
Indiana: The Hoosiers hope to improve their standings at this year's Big Ten Conference. With a fifth place finish in the 400-medley relay, and a third place finish in the 200-medley relay last year, Indiana has to nowehere to go but up. Against Purdue, senior Matt Leach, junior Murph Hal, sophmore Kevin Swander, and freshman Colin Russel set a season best (3:17.82) in the 400-yard medley relay, which also served as an NCAA provisional mark.
Michigan: Like the Hoosiers, the Wolverines are in place to improve on their standings from last season. They placed second in the 400-medley relay of last year's Big Ten Championships, but sixth in the 200 medley. Michigan has three returning swimmers from last years competition, Chris DeJong Davis Tarwater, and Dan Kethchum, which should help the catapult into the top three of each race. The Wolverines top season times have been marked at 1:31.31 and 3:16.07.
Northwestern: The Wildcats enter the 2004 Big Ten Championships as the No. 2 seed in the 400-medley relay and are the fifth-seed in the in the 200 medley. Northwestern is led by star freshman Matt Grevers, who came up with a split time of 47:31 to help his team set a school and pool record in the 400-medley relay (3:15.22) against Michigan on Jan. 3. This same Northwestern team also broke Iowa's pool record on Feb. 7, with a time of (3:17.91), and Purdue's pool record with a mark of 3:16.20 at the Boilermaker Invitational last November. The Wildcats possess top season times of 1:30.06 and 3:15.22.