Swimmers place third at Big Ten Championships

Piper named Swimmer of the Year

Wisconsin senior swimmer Carly Piper won the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Big Ten Championships at Indiana, while leading the Badgers to a third-place finish overall Saturday night. Wisconsin finished with 479 points while Penn State won with 693 points.

Piper won the 1,650 free for the fourth year straight, setting an Indiana pool record of 16 minutes 11.76 seconds, which is also an NCAA automatic qualifying time.

For her feats at the meet and throughout the season, Piper was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Year. She also received the award in 2003. Sophomore Susan Johnson and Piper were named to the first team all-conference list.

Johnson won the 200 backstroke Saturday, finishing in an Indiana pool record time of 1:56.87, an NCAA "A" time. Teammate junior Anna Trinidad finished fifth in the same event in 1:58.98, an NCAA "B" standard time.

Junior Amalia Sarnecki placed second in the 200 breaststroke in 2:14.34, earning an NCAA "B" standard time. The 400 freestyle relay team of Trinidad, junior Sarah Hernandez, Johnson and Piper placed second in 3:20.41, good for an NCAA "B" time.

"I'm really happy with how we finished tonight," head coach Eric Hansen said. "We came together as a team and closed out on a high note. Our preparation for the NCAA championships is looking great."

In diving, junior Amanda Witte placed 13th with 334.85 points in platform diving to lead the Badgers.

Freshman Jenny Gelden, Hernandez, Liz Klanderman, freshman Hannah McClurg, Sarnecki, Trinidad and freshman Jackie Vavrek made second-team All-Big Ten.

Up next for the Badgers is the NCAA Indoor Tournament, held March 17-19 at Purdue.

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