Fifth-year senior Ashley Jones and the Hoosiers know what it’s like to be in an early hole at the Big Ten Championships.
“We kind of went in with no expectations,” Jones said. “When I was a freshman — and we won that year — after the first day, we were behind by 30 points, so we were expecting, at worst, we’d be back 30 to 50 points.”
This year, however, the situation is reversed from Jones’ freshman campaign.
The Hoosiers have a 279-236 lead over second-place Minnesota — and the rest of the field — following the first two days of competition. Junior Allysa Vavra and Jones finished first and second, respectively, in the 200-yard IM. It’s an event they have swum together many times this season, but never with such success and on this grand of a stage.
A fourth-place finish in the 200-yard relay led off a successful night for IU. Juniors Brittany Strumbel and Nikki White finished second and third, respectively, in the 500-yard freestyle behind Minnesota junior Ashley Steenvoorden.
The Hoosiers look to maintain their lead during the next two days of competition at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center when the teams return for prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6:30 p.m.
— Alex McCarthy
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