May 17, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a season that featured a runner-up Big Ten finish as well as a Top 15 showing at the NCAA championships, the Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team honored ten individuals at the program’s annual post-season awards banquet at the Ohio State University Faculty Club. Senior Andrew Elliott and junior Jason Schnur each received multiple awards at the ceremony.
Elliott, a Granger, Ind. native, was honored with the Coach John Bruce Award for his commitment to excellence and the Dale England Award for the team’s most inspirational senior performance.
A pivotal part of the program throughout his four-years at Ohio State, Elliott is known for his contributions as both a student and an athlete. A Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient this year, Elliott received the NCAA’s Elite 88 Award in 2010 when he had the highest grade-point average for an athlete competing at the NCAA championships. This season Elliott defended his Big Ten championship in the 200 backstroke after originally winning the title in 2011.
Schnur was recognized with the Bill & Mae McCorkle Award as the team’s most outstanding swimmer as well as the Charles and Irene Salie Award given to the highest placing swimming All-American.
With a breakout junior campaign, Schnur won a Big Ten championship in the 50 freestyle after a third-place finish last season. The Cincinnati, Ohio native broke three Ohio State school records: in the 50 freestyle (19.12); 100 freestyle (42.70); and as a member of the 200 freestyle relay (1:17.70). Perhaps his greatest accomplish of the season, however, came at the NCAA championships where Schnur boosted the Buckeye score with a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle.
Senior Lincoln Fahrbach was presented the Mike Peppe Award on behalf of the Ohio State coaching staff. A native of Fremont Ohio, Fahrbach has made continuous improvements during his time at Ohio State. A driving force behind the Buckeyes’ trademark relays, Fahrbach earned All-America honors in 2011 as a member of the 400 medley relay. This season, Fahrbach picked up honorable mention All-American honors in the 200 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay, 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay.
Shane Miszkiel, a sophomore from Victoria, British Columbia, was recognized with the Miller Anderson Award for the team’s most outstanding diver. A two-time Big Ten Diver of the Week honoree, Misziel was a significant part of Ohio State’s overall success this season - most notably for his win on the one-meter dive at the Big Ten championships.
The Carl Wirthwein Award honoring the most improved swimmer was given to sophomore freestyle specialist Alex Miller. Over the course of the season Miller not only committed to improving his technique but also developed into one of the key components of Ohio State’s distance unit. Entering the Big Ten championships Miller held Top 10 individual conference times in four events: 200 freestyle; 500 freestyle; 1000 freestyle; and 1650 freestyle. The Cincinnati, Ohio native went on to compete at the NCAA championships with the 800 freestyle relay and individually in the 1650 freestyle event.
Senior Steven Springer picked up the Skilken Award for his spirit of giving. Also a Cincinnati, Ohio, native, Springer earned Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honors after an impressive showing at the Ohio State Winter Invite in February. At the meet, Springer recorded first-place finishes in the 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay. The three wins marked a fitting McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion finale for Springer, who developed significantly in the pool after beginning his swimming career only a couple years prior to arriving at Ohio State.
Another senior swimmer recognized at the ceremony was Markus Sievers, who was given the John Westman Award Medal of Honor for the highest student-athlete selected by the coaching staff. Sievers, who originally came to the United States as an exchange student in high school, decided to leave his home of Hamburg, Germany to swim at Ohio State after being recruited by head coach Bill Wadley. Since becoming a Buckeye, Sievers has built a resume that included three NCAA championship appearances along with a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar recognition.
The Ric Mora Award for the team’s manager of the year was designated to Alex Smit.
Additions to the perpetual plaque for “Wins Against Michigan” were also announced at the banquet. Divers Misziel and Christian Holstein each earned their place with wins in the 1-meter and 3-meter events, respectively. Elliott notched an individual spot with a win in the 200 backstroke, while the 200 and 400 freestyle relays of Schnur, Zach Birnbrich, Fahrbach and Zach Holmes were also recognized.
Rounding out the awards presented were swimmers who broke varsity records over the course of the season. Schnur led the way with two individual records earned – 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, while Elliott broke the 200 backstroke in a time of 1:41.22. The 200 freestyle relay of Schnur, Birnbrich, Fahrbach and Holmes also posted a record time of 1:17.70.