No. 7 Buckeyes Primed For Big Ten Championships

Josh Fleagle
Josh Fleagle

Feb. 25, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The seventh-ranked Ohio State men's swimming team hits the pool in Ann Arbor, Mich., for the 2014 Big Ten Championships Wednesday, Feb. 26 through Saturday, March 1.

Canham Natatorium on the University of Michigan campus will play host to the four-day event. Preliminary races begin 11 a.m. ET each day, followed by finals at 6:30 p.m. Daily recaps and results will be available at

Wednesday, Feb. 26 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
200 Medley Relay
3-Meter Synchronized Diving (Exhibition)
800 Freestyle Relay

Thursday, Feb. 27 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
500 Freestyle
200 IM
50 Freestyle
1-Meter Diving
400 Medley Relay

Friday, Feb. 28 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
200 Freestyle Relay
400 IM
100 Butterfly
200 Freestyle
100 Breaststroke
100 Backstroke
3-Meter Diving

Saturday, March 1 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
1,650 Freestyle
200 Backstroke
100 Freestyle
200 Breaststroke
200 Butterfly
Platform Diving
400 Freestyle Relay



The first six sessions of the 2014 Big Ten Championships - Wednesday evening, Thursday morning/evening, Friday morning/evening, Saturday morning - will be available for viewing via the Big Ten Digital Network for a fee.

With a subscription through a cable provider, fans can watch the final session of the meet - Saturday night - live online and mobile with the BTN2Go application. The final evening will run in its entirety on Big Ten Network Sunday, March 2 on a tape-delayed basis (time TBA). 

Get a behind the scenes look into the Buckeyes at Big Tens by following the squad's official Twitter account @OhioState_MSwim. Assistant Coach Dave Rollins will be manning the Twitter takeover, providing the very latest in news, insight and, of course, entertainment.

Ohio State has won 13 Big Ten Championships. Only Michigan (37) and Indiana (24) have more conference titles than the Buckeyes. The program has obtained 53 All-Big Ten selections since the recognition began in 1984. The last time the Buckeyes took home the team title was 2010, when Ohio State hosted the conference showdown at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

The 2013 Big Ten Championships resulted in a third-place overall finish for head coach Bill Wadley's squad. Diver Shane Miszkiel shined individually in the Scarlet and Gray, taking home first-team All-Big Ten recognition with his win on the one-meter springboard. Second-team All-Big Ten honorees included Zach Birnbrich, Zach Holmes, Connor McDonald, Tim Phillips, Jason Schnur, Keanu Stevenson and Garrett Trebilcock.

The Buckeyes won six races and two diving events, but lost a hard-fought contest to No. 1 Michigan, 151-157, Saturday, Feb. 1 at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The difference between winning and losing came down to the final event of the day, the 200 freestyle relay. Ohio State's contingent of Josh Fleagle, Michael DiSalle, Steffan Hillmer and Tim Phillips placed first in 2:55.78. However, Michigan was able to eke out the dual victory by collecting points for second and third in the event.

It was a busy weekend for the Buckeyes. The squad also had a home meet vs. West Virginia Friday, Jan. 31. Ohio State finished first in 10 events to defeat the Mountaineers, 177-99.

Ohio State is ranked seventh in the latest NCAA Division I rankings released by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (Feb. 20). Previously, the Buckeyes were tied for fourth in the Feb. 5 edition of the CSCAA rankings. Ohio State has not competed as a team since the previous rankings were released.

Joining the Buckeyes in the rankings are Big Ten foes No. 2 Michigan, No. 6 Indiana, No. 11 Minnesota, No. 22 Purdue and No. 25 Penn State.

Top 25
1. Florida
2. Michigan
3. California
4. Stanford
5. Southern California
6. Indiana
7. Ohio State
8. Texas
9. Auburn
10. Georgia
11. Minnesota
12. Louisville
13. Arizona
14. North Carolina
15. Virginia Tech
16. Harvard
17. Tennessee
18. North Carolina State
19. Florida State
20. Virginia
21. Princeton
22. Purdue
23. Yale
24. Missouri
25. Penn State

The Buckeyes have been hard at work training for the postseason. The following list includes Ohio State's fastest times in each competitive event, as well as its national and conference standing.

Top Buckeye National/Big Ten Times:

61. Josh Fleagle (19.93); 5th B1G

100 FREE
44. Josh Fleagle (43.59); 5th B1G

200 FREE
32. Michael DiSalle (1:35.57); 5th B1G

500 FREE
40. Rowan Williams (4:20.97); 5th B1G

1000 FREE
13. Alex Miller (9:09.36); 3rd B1G

1650 FREE
29. Alex Miller (15:10.55); 5th B1G

100 BACK
23. Connor McDonald (46.79); 3rd B1G

200 BACK
3. Connor McDonald (1:40.83); 1st B1G

43. Keanu Stevenson (54.06); 7th B1G

55. Chris Cowley (1:58.44); 10th B1G

100 FLY
41. Matt McHugh (47.15); 4th B1G

200 FLY
35. Tamas Gercsak (1:45.24); 4th B1G

200 IM
37. Steven Zimmerman (1:45.84); 4th B1G

400 IM
16. Tamas Gercsak (3:45.49); 4th B1G

31. Fleagle, DiSalle, Komarov, Hillmer (1:19.68); 3rd B1G

15. Fleagle, Hillmer, Komarov, DiSalle (2:53.85); 2nd B1G

15. Hillmer, DiSalle, Fleagle, Miller (6:27.77); 2nd B1G

11. McDonald, Stevenson, McHugh, Fleagle (1:25.57); 3rd B1G

20. Trebilcock, Stevenson, McHugh, Fleagle (3:11.25); 3rd B1G

This season Buckeye swimmers and divers have acquired recognition from the Big Ten Conference on several occasions. In all, Ohio State has garnered nine such awards. Freshman swimmer Matt McHugh as well as divers Stephen Ettienne and Christian Holstein have received multiple individual mentions.

Big Ten Freshman of the Week
Steffen Hillmer (Oct. 15)
Matt McHugh (Oct. 29; Nov. 26; Feb. 4)

Big Ten Swimmer of the Week
Connor McDonald (Nov. 26)

Big Ten Diver of the Week
Stephen Ettienne (Oct. 29; Feb. 4)
Christian Holstein (Nov. 5; Nov. 26)

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.

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 crowd 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."

After a hiatus for winter training, Ohio State returned to competition with the Kenyon Winter Invite, Jan. 17-18. 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.

Ohio State was scheduled to take on Eastern Michigan and Ball State in Ypsilanti, Mich. Jan. 25. However, due to inclement weather the Buckeye swimmers did not make the journey.

To round out the Scarlet and Gray's home campaign, the team hosted the Ohio State Winter Invitational. An individual meet in essence, winners for the Buckeyes included Ian Betts, Nick Wrightson, Dominic Pecze, Keanu Stevenson and Matt Moen.

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
Michael DiSalle
Tamas Gercsak
Connor McDonald
Alex Miller
Shane Miszkiel
Tim Phillips
Keanu Stevenson
Garrett Trebilcock
Steven Zimmerman

Returning Big Ten Point Scorers
Ryan Bubb
Chris Cowley
Michael DiSalle
Stephen Ettienne
Tamas Gercsak
Christian Holstein
DJ MacDonald
Connor McDonald
Alex Miller
Shane Miszkiel
Jovan Mitrovic
Tim Phillips
Keanu Stevenson
Dak Stone
Garrett Trebilcock
Rowan Williams
Steven Zimmerman

As a tune-up for NCAAs, Ohio State will face Georgia Tech in dual meet action March 9 in Atlanta, Ga. The 2014 NCAA Championships will follow, taking place March 27-29 in Austin, Texas.