Minneapolis, Minn. - Senior Bailey Pons finished her 500-yard freestyle career with a career-best time, three Husker divers placed in the top 16, and the Nebraska swimming and diving team finished the first full day of competition at the Big Ten Championships tied with Iowa for eighth place. The Huskers had five individual swimmers, three divers and the 200-yard freestyle relay team competing in final rounds on Thursday evening at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Rebekah Land, Taryn Collura, Shannon Guy and Alexandra Bilunas got the Huskers off to a good start, swimming the third-fastest time in school history. Their time of 1:31.48 earned Nebraska eighth place in the event.
In the evening's first individual event, Bailey Pons swam a career-best 4:47.34 to finish her 500-yard freestyle career. The senior earned 19th place in the event and an NCAA B cut for her effort.
Samantha Hardewig and Julia Roller took their turn in the C final of the 200-yard IM, placing 17th and 21st, respectively. Hardewig's time of 2:01.39 beat the career-best 2:01.47 she swam in Thursday's preliminary round.
Taryn Collura and Alexandra Bilunas, the other two Husker swimmers who qualified for Thursday evening's finals, finished 12th and 18th, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle. Both sprinters swam season bests and earned NCAA B cuts in the prelims.
The evening's final event saw Anna Filipcic, Nicole Schwery and Payton Michaud finish 10th, 13th and 16th in the finals of the one-meter dive. Filipcic's score of 307.65 was a career best for the freshman.
One-Meter Diving Results
10th - Anna Filipcic, 307.65 (Career Best)
13th - Nicole Schwery, 279.80
16th - Payton Michaud, 233.00
21st - Kaitlan Walker, 255.20
Head Coach Pablo Morales commented on the success his team had on day two of the Big Ten Championships and the position they are in going forward.
"Our 200 free relay got the session off to a great start with an eighth-place finish. It's always good to be in the top eight," Morales said. "Bailey Pons concluded her 500-yard freestyle career with a solid swim and a lifetime best, which was great. All in all, it was a really good day. We had three girls score in diving, which was huge, and we're in a battle with Iowa for eighth place. It's game on. We're looking forward to a lot of great swims tomorrow."
The Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships will resume on Friday morning at 11 a.m. with the preliminary rounds of the 400-yard IM, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke. Check back in to Huskers.com and follow @HuskerSwim on Twitter for updates.
Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 7
1. University of Minnesota 258
2. Indiana University 211
3. Pennsylvania State University 157
4. Ohio State University 151
5. Wisconsin, University of 144
6. Purdue University 138
7. Michigan, University of 131
8. University of Nebraska-Lincoln 81
8. University of Iowa 81
10. Michigan State University 47
11. Northwestern University 45
12. University of Illinois 36