Jan. 23, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On the road once again, the ninth-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team (8-0, 3-0 Big Ten) will return to action Saturday with a tri-meet meet against Eastern Michigan and Ball State. Taking place in Ypsilanti, Mich. on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, the competition is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start time.
MAKING THE RANKS
Ohio State is ranked ninth in the latest NCAA Division I rankings released by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (Jan. 21). Previously, the Buckeyes were 11th in the Dec. 11 edition of the CSCAA rankings. However, following a weekend of action at the Kenyon Winter Invitational Ohio State was able to make the jump, reclaiming its position among the top-10 teams in the nation.
Joining the Buckeyes in the rankings are Big Ten foes No. 1 Michigan, No. 8 Indiana, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 17 Purdue, No. 23 Penn State and No. 25 Iowa. The Northwestern Wildcats also received attention from the voters but remain just shy of the top 25.
Eastern Michigan is coming off impressive wins over Buffalo, 195-105, and Michigan State, 209-91 (Jan. 18). A member of the Mid-American Conference, the program has posted a winning streak of 64 wins over conference opponents. In 16 events against the Spartans, Eastern Michigan touched first in 14 races. Overall, the squad holds a record of 4-1 (1-0) MAC; its lone loss was to Northwestern in the season opener. Last season, Eastern Michigan placed on top the MAC standings and went on to finish tied for 29th at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
Ball State is also coming off a decisive win. The Cardinals recently took down Eastern Illinois, 148-75. Under the direction of head coach Bob Thomas, Ball State is 1-3 on the season in dual meet action. The team placed 2nd at the Doug Coers Invitational and fourth at the Eastern Michigan Invitational. Last season, Ball State took sixth at the MAC Championships.
FREEZING THE COMPEITION
Following two days of competition (Jan. 17-18) at Kenyon College, Ohio State pulled away with a first-place finish at the Kenyon Winter Invite. The Buckeyes totaled 741 points, ahead of Oakland (347), Kenyon (324), Cincinnati (188) and Ashland (125).
The final day of the meet concluded with Ohio State touching first in seven of eight races, including wins earned by five different Buckeye swimmers. Junior Tamas Gercsak was the man of the day, posting wins in both the 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
Also important to note, senior Tim Phillips, a returning All-American, made his 2013-14 collegiate debut with victories in the 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.
TALKING TOP TIMES
With the second half of the 2013-14 campaign already underway, let’s take a look at some of the fast times the Buckeyes posted thus far this season.
Top Buckeye National/Big Ten Times:
39. Josh Fleagle (19.93); 5th B1G
29. Josh Fleagle (43.59); 5th B1G
20. Michael DiSalle (1:35.57); 5th B1G
27. Rowan Williams (4:20.97); 5th B1G
11. Alex Miller (9:09.36); 3rd B1G
22. Alex Miller (15:10.55); 5th B1G
14. Connor McDonald (46.79); 3rd B1G
2. Connor McDonald (1:40.83); 1st B1G
34. Keanu Stevenson (54.06); 7th B1G
39. Chris Cowley (1:58.44); 9th B1G
29. Matt McHugh (47.15); 3rd B1G
26. Tamas Gercsak (1:45.24); 4th B1G
24. Steven Zimmerman (1:45.84); 4th B1G
12. Tamas Gercsak (3:45.49); 4th B1G
200 FREE RELAY
22. Fleagle, DiSalle, Komarov, Hillmer (1:19.68); 3rd B1G
400 FREE RELAY
11. Fleagle, Hillmer, Komarov, DiSalle (2:53.85); 2nd B1G
800 FREE RELAY
10. Hillmer, DiSalle, Fleagle, Miller (6:27.77); 2nd B1G
200 MEDLEY RELAY
3. McDonald, Stevenson, McHugh, Fleagle (1:25.57); 3rd B1G
400 MEDLEY RELAY
16. Trebilcock, Stevenson, McHugh, Fleagle (3:11.25); 3rd B1G
PHILLIPS BREAKS AMERICAN RECORD
Senior Tim Phillips was part of the 200 medley relay team which set an American record at the 2013 AT&T Winter National Championships, Dec. 6. Phillips, along with teammates Nick Thomas, Eric Knight and Cullen Jones, touched the wall in 1:23.02. Phillips' butterfly split was 20.02.
Phillips, who has competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, was swimming as part SwimMAC Team Elite, a training team based in North Carolina.
REWINDING THE RACES
The Scarlet and Gray got off to a solid start to the season with a 176-122 victory over Kentucky (Oct. 11). In front of a capacity crown at Lancaster Aquatics Center, Ohio state was fueled by wins from 11 different team members.
After a successful weekend of welcoming alumni back to campus, the team regrouped and dethroned the Kenyon Lords, 186-101. In all, Ohio State touched first in 14 swimming events to compliment two wins from the diving contingent (Oct. 25).
Continuing to build momentum, the Buckeyes picked up their third, fourth and fifth wins of the season at home vs. Virginia Tech, CSU and Denison (Nov. 1). Ohio State defeated Virginia Tech 156.50-135.50, Cleveland State 201.00-91.00 and Denison 202.00-90.00. Standouts included freshman Matt McHugh and sophomore Josh Fleagle, who each won multiple events.
In its first road trip of the season, Ohio State came out with wins over Big Ten foes Iowa, Northwestern and Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. The squad was led by Alex Miller, Fleagle and McHugh, who were all victorious in multiple events.
The always-competitive Ohio State Invitational concluded the first half of the season for the Buckeyes. Coming down to the wire, OSU was able to outlast second-ranked Florida, 12th-ranked Virginia, Kentucky and Purdue to once again sit atop the leaderboard. Following the exciting victory Coach Wadley summed it up by saying:
“I couldn’t be happier with the way we swam this weekend,” said head coach Bill Wadley. “We had some great times for this point in the season. It’s also a credit to the great competition we had this weekend – Florida, Kentucky, Purdue and Virginia really brought out the best in us.”
The Buckeyes welcome back eight of 12 swimming qualifiers from the 2013 NCAA Championships, including first team All-American Tim Phillips. On the diving side, All-American Shane Miszkiel also is set to return for the upcoming campaign.
Miszkiel finished strong at the conference championships, earning Co-Diver of the Big Ten Championships after taking home the 3-meter title. The swimming team brings back 14 Big Ten point scorers in all.
Returning NCAA Qualifiers
Returning Big Ten Point Scorers
Ohio State rounds out the month with a pair of high quality duals at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Up first, the Buckeyes will take on the West Virginia Mountaineers Friday, Jan. 31 (6 p.m.). With a quick turnaround, Ohio State gets No. 1 Michigan the following day (11 a.m.). As always, admission is free of charge.