Hoosiers take lead in Big Ten Championships' second night


IU senior Kristin Cihoski, right, surges off the starting block for a 100-meter backstroke heat during a double dual meet against Ohio State and Missouri on Jan. 17, at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. Cihoski finished fifth in the finals. James Brosher

Halfway through the Big Ten Championships, the Hoosiers’ conference title hopes are very much alive.

After Thursday’s five events, the IU women’s swimming and diving team muscled ahead  of the competition, earnign 158 points. The effort gave them a 30-point cushion over Minnesota and the rest of the field.

Freshman Nikki White led the way with a conference meet record-setting effort in the 500-free preliminary Thursday afternoon, only to smash it by more than one second in Thursday night’s final. Her time of 4:37.38 earned White her first ever Big Ten title.

“The nice thing about Nikki is she’s always gunning for more," IU coach Ray Looze said. "She wants to have gone faster. She’s satisfied, but still wants to do even better.”

Five more events follow on Friday where the Hoosiers will look to hang onto their lead.

Friday will be run much like Thursday with 11 a.m. preliminaries preceding 6:30 p.m. finals. The events will be the 400-meter medley relay, 40-meter individual medley, 100-meter butterfly, 200- free, 100- breast, 100- back and three-meter diving.
– By Kevin Loughery

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