Wolverines Tie for Second at Big Ten Championships
Chris Klein

Feb. 25, 2017

What You Need to Know
» The Wolverines finished in a tie for second place (1,382 points). Indiana claimed the team title (1,504 points).
» Felix Auböck won his second title and third medal of the week, taking the 1,650-yard freestyle with the third-fastest time in school history (14:29.25). Following the meet, he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
» Chris Klein and Jacob Montague posted the second- and third-fastest times in school history in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing second and third, respectively.

Photo Gallery 

Site: Columbus, Ohio (McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion)
Event: Big Ten Championships (Day 4 of 4)
U-M Team Standing: Tie-2nd Place of 10 Teams (1,382 Points)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 5 -- at OSU Last Chance Meet (Columbus, Ohio)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Six members of the No. 11-ranked University of Michigan men's swimming and diving team captured medals -- including a win in the 1,650-yard freestyle from freshman Felix Auböck -- to lead the No. 11-ranked University of Michigan men's swimming and diving team to tie for second place (1,382 points) at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday (Feb. 25) at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Indiana captured the team title with 1,504 points.

Over the course of the four-day meet, every member of the team's championship roster scored points, setting a total of 47 personal bests and accumulating 69 NCAA swimming standards (9 A, 60 B) in advance of next month's NCAA Championships.

Following the meet, Auböck was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Austrian made quite an impression at his first Big Ten Championships, sweeping the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyles and picking up a bronze in the 200-yard freestyle. He is the 15th swimmer in program history to earn the honor, first since Evan White shared the honor in 2015.

Indiana had the title clinched going into the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, but the race for second was still up for grabs, with Michigan holding a six-point lead over Ohio State going in. The Wolverines finished fifth (2:51.66) behind Paul Powers, James Jones, Tristan Sanders and Auböck, who had the fastest split on the relay (42.66) just two hours after swimming the mile. Indiana chased down Ohio State to win the race on the last leg, which bumped the Buckeyes to second, thus eliminating the margin altogether and forcing the tie.

The 1,650-yard freestyle has been a strong event for the Wolverines through the years, and this one was no different, as five swimmers combined for 97 points. Auböck and junior PJ Ransford, the defending champion in the event, were among three swimmers vying for the lead at the 1,000-yard mark, along with Northwestern's Jordan Wilimovsky, a U.S. Olympian in Rio. Auböck, who was outside in lane two, turned in 8:47.27 at the 1,000-yard mark -- the fourth-fastest time in school history -- and kept Wilimovsky at a body-length lead to win the race by five seconds (14:29.25). Ransford came in third (14:38.72), about two seconds off his winning time from last year.

Auböck now holds the third-fastest time in school history and finds his name sandwiched between four Olympic medalists, trailing only Chris Thompson and Connor Jaeger, but ahead of both Tom Dolan and Peter Vanderkaay.

A total of five swimmers scored points in the 200-yard backstroke, headlined by fifth-year senior Luke Papendick, who took third (1:42.22). Sanders, the defending champion, finished in fifth (1:42.35), while senior Jack Mangan was behind him in sixth (1:43.74). Two others scored in the consolation final, including freshman Rob Zofchak, who made the team's roster following his performance in this event at the First Chance Meet last week. He finished 12th (1:43.89). Sophomore Jordan Ross, the last man on the roster to score, was 15th (1:44.77).

Michigan also put three swimmers in the final of the 200-yard breaststroke, and two of them -- both local swimmers -- picked up medals. Senior Chris Klein, in arguably the best swim of his career, got the silver medal with the second-fastest time in school history (1:53.14). Three freshmen followed Klein in the top 10 -- Jacob Montague in third (1:53.33), Charlie Swanson in eighth (1:56.68) and Tommy Cope in 10th (1:56.24).

Two days after winning the 50-yard freestyle, Powers once again scored points in a sprint event, sneaking into the evening's final of the 100-yard freestyle and finishing eighth (43.34). Jones took the runner-up spot in the consolation final, finishing 10th overall (43.20).

Junior Evan White was the team's sixth and final individual medalist, finishing third in the 200-yard butterfly (1:43.42). Freshman Miles Smachlo finished closely behind in fourth (1:43.46).

Freshman diver Jake Herremans added a few points with a 19th-place finish on platform (289.65).

The Wolverines look to add more men to their roster for the NCAA Championships at the OSU Last Chance Meet next Sunday (March 5) back in Columbus. The official selections list for the NCAA Championships will be released on Wednesday, March 8.

Final Team Standings

 1. Indiana                  1504
 2. MICHIGAN                 1382
    Ohio State               1382
 4. Minnesota                 879
 5. Wisconsin                 763
 6. Purdue                    721
 7. Penn State                554.5
 8. Iowa                      424
 9. Northwestern              349
10. Michigan State            273

Event Winners/U-M Finishers (Day 4)
Preliminaries time in parentheses if faster than finals time

1,650-yard Freestyle
  1. Felix Auböck, U-M             14:29.25*
  3. PJ Ransford, U-M              14:38.72*
 11. Cameron Stitt, U-M            15:08.96#
 12. Blake Maczka, U-M             15:09.22#
 18. Stephen Holmquist, U-M        15:19.64#
200-yard Backstroke
  1. Bob Glover, Indiana           1:41.25*
  3. Luke Papendick, U-M           1:42.22#
  5. Tristan Sanders, U-M          1:42.35#
  6. Jack Mangan, U-M              1:43.74# (1:42.75#)
 12. Rob Zofchak, U-M              1:43.89# (1:43.81#)
 15. Jordan Ross, U-M              1:44.77# (1:43.50#)
100-yard Freestyle
  1. Blake Pieroni, Indiana          41.44*B!^
  8. Paul Powers, U-M                43.34# (42.84#)
 10. James Jones, U-M                43.20#
 18. Mokhtar Al-Yamani, U-M          43.56# (43.55#)
 29. Vinny Tafuto, U-M               44.15#
200-yard Breaststroke
  1. Marat Amaltdinov, Purdue      1:52.89#
  2. Chris Klein, U-M              1:53.14#
  3. Jacob Montague, U-M           1:53.33#
  8. Charlie Swanson, U-M          1:56.68# (1:55.80#)
 10. Tommy Cope, U-M               1:56.24#
 31. Jeremy Babinet, U-M           2:00.86
200-yard Butterfly
  1. Vini Lanza, Indiana           1:40.97*
  3. Evan White, U-M               1:43.42#
  4. Miles Smachlo, U-M            1:43.46# (1:42.86#)
 17. Julian Ballestas, U-M         1:46.26#
 24. Jon Burkett, U-M              1:49.56 (1:46.76#)
Platform Diving
  1. Steele Johnson, Purdue         547.80&
 19. Jake Herremans, U-M            289.65
 25. Collin DeShaw, U-M             254.10
400-yard Freestyle Relay
 1. Indiana                        2:48.29*B!
    (Anze Tavcar, Ali Khalafalla,
    Mohamed Samy, Blake Pieroni)
 5. Michigan                       2:51.66*
    (Paul Powers, James Jones,
    Tristan Sanders, Felix Auböck)
& NCAA Zone Diving cut
^ Pool Record
M School Record
B Big Ten Record
! Big Ten Championships Record

Felix Auböck (2): 500-yard Freestyle, 1,650-yard Freestyle
Paul Powers (1): 50-yard Freestyle
Charlie Swanson (1): 400-yard IM

Swimmer of the Championships: Vini Lanza, Indiana
Diver of the Championships: Michael Hixon, Indiana
Freshman of the Year: Felix Auböck, MICHIGAN
Sportsmanship Award Honoree: Jackson Goethe

First Team: Felix Auböck, Paul Powers, Charlie Swanson
Second Team: Chris Klein, Jacob Montague, Tristan Sanders, Vinny Tafuto

1,650-yard Freestyle -- Felix Auböck (14:29.25)
1,650-yard Freestyle -- Stephen Holmquist (15:19.64)
200 Backstroke -- Jack Mangan (1:42.75)
200 Backstroke -- Rob Zofchak (1:43.81)
100 Freestyle -- Paul Powers (42.71)
100 Freestyle -- James Jones (43.20)
200 Breaststroke -- Chris Klein (1:53.14 -- No. 2 in school history)
200 Breaststroke -- Jacob Montague (1:53.33 -- No. 3 in school history)
200 Breaststroke -- Charlie Swanson (1:55.80)
200 Breaststroke -- Tommy Cope (1:56.24)
200 Breaststroke -- Jeremy Babinet (2:00.86)
200 Butterfly -- Miles Smachlo (1:42.86 -- No. 6 in school history)
200 Butterfly -- Jon Burkett (1:46.76)
Platform Diving -- Jake Herremans (289.65)

Previous Results: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Communications Contact: Brad Rudner