Women's swimming falls to fourth

A handful of individuals shine at Big Ten Championships, but team slips

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Senior swimmer Bethany Pendleton now owns the fastest time in the nation in the 400-yard individual medley after finishing in 4:08.92, more than five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. She had a preliminary time of 4:11.46 earlier in the day, nearly breaking the Big Ten record of 4:11.39.


"I knew something was coming. I didn't know to what extent but I knew it was going to be faster than this morning," Pendleton said.


After the third day of competition, the No. 9 Badgers are currently fourth at the Big Ten Championships with 343 points, more than 50 points behind first-place Indiana, which has 401.5 points. Michigan is in second with 379 points and Penn State trails the Wolverines with 360 points.


"Although we didn't get everything we hoped for today, we think it puts us in a good position for the NCAA championships in March," head coach Eric Hansen said. "Carly (Piper), Amalia (Sarnecki) and Susan (Johnson) also were very impressive tonight given the limited preparation for this meet."


Pendleton was not the only Badger to do some damage Friday. Johnson, a freshman, took second in the 100 backstroke and earned an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 54.14. She also took third in the 100 butterfly.


Piper also had a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle, which she won last year. She did earn an NCAA automatic qualifying time by finishing in 1:46.41. Sarnecki, a sophomore, took third in the 100 breaststroke, broke a school record and earned an automatic berth to the NCAAs. She broke her own record of 1:02.55 by finishing in 1:01.61 in the preliminaries and then 1:01.55 in the finals.


The Big Ten Championships wrap up Saturday in Minneapolis.

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