Ress, Miller hope to lead IU to Big Ten title

The Hoosier men are coming back to the 2013 Big Ten Championships with a vengeance.

After finishing 3.5 points behind second place in 2012, the No. 8 IU men’s swimming and diving team has its eyes set on a top-two spot.

The Hoosiers will play host to the Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, which will take place at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.

The meet begins at 6:30 p.m. today and will conclude March 2.

In total, the Hoosiers have won 24 team titles and have 10 straight top-five finishes at the Big Ten meet. IU was the location of the Big Ten Championships in 2006, when the team won its most recent conference title.

Junior Eric Ress is currently ranked second in the conference in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:42.72 and is in pursuit of his second Big Ten title in the 100-yard backstroke, where he is currently ranked eighth. In the 2011 Big Ten Championships, Ress won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 45.11.

“I know when it is the night before I’ll definitely keep visualizing and thinking about how I want to swim my race, but for the most part I feed off of the energy from my teammates,” Ress said. “When we’re having a good time and swimming for each other, we do well.”

Junior Cody Miller is also shooting for his third straight Big Ten title in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke. Winning the 100-yard breaststroke at this Big Ten meet would make Miller the third swimmer in Big Ten history to win three straight and the fourth to win three titles overall.

Not only is Miller ranked in the top five in the breaststroke events, but he is also ranked second in the 200-yard individual medley.

“Our breaststroke is looking like one of our deepest events,” Ress said. “Cody Miller has been consistently a top performer at conference, and we have a strong group of guys like Sam Trahin, Tanner Kurz, Mike Hurley and Ian Boggs to be up there in the mix.”

In the 100-yard breaststroke, Miller is ranked fourth with a time of 53.69, while he is ranked second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:54.89.

As the defending Big Ten Champion in the 3-meter springboard, diver Darian Schmidt looks to continue his reign in the event.

Schmidt set a new dual meet record earlier in the season in the 3-meter springboard event with a score of 460.20 points.

“We have 10 guys that could legitimately score on all three events,” senior Mick Dell’Orco said. “Many other teams will only bring four or five divers at the most. We are definitely going to do some damage this year,”

With the IU swimming team lacking depth compared to No. 3 Michigan, the main goal is to place high in the consolation finals,
sophomore Steve Schmuhl said.

“I am very confident that the work that I have put in will produce the results that I am looking for,” he said. “The whole team has been working hard, and I’m sure that this will be our best Big Tens to date.”

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