Columbus, Ohio— With the swimming and diving season just a couple months away, Ohio State announced its schedule for the 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday.
Highlights include: the annual Ohio State Invitational in November, which always features one of the strongest fields of any invitational in the country, a regular season visit from Michigan, as well as both the women’s Big Ten and NCAA Championship meets in Columbus. It is a strong and challenging slate from beginning to end, but it’s something that the Buckeyes are excited about.
“We are excited for the schedule we have put together,” director of swimming and diving Bill Dorenkott said. “Our goal is to ramp up our level of national level competition over the next few years to better prepare our athletes for the Big Ten and NCAA Championships.”
After hosting the Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in 2016-17, Ohio State will host even more big events this season. Women’s Big Tens and NCAA’s, an NCAA Zone Diving Meet, and 2017 AT&T Winter National Championships are just some of the big time swimming and diving events that will be held at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in the next 12 months.
“The Ohio State University has some of the best facilities, support and resources of any athletic program in the world,” Dorenkott said. “This coming year we will host the USA Nationals in December, Big Ten’s in February, NCAA’s in March, and the Arena Grand Prix Meet in July. We love hosting the fastest meets in the world year in and year out.”
In its first season as a combined program under Dorenkott, Ohio State will face stiff competition all year long both at home and on the road. The year begins with a dual meet at home against Kenyon on Oct. 27, which will be followed by another dual meet at McCorkle against Denison and Akron on Nov. 3. The men will head to Minnesota’s Diving Invitational the weekend of Nov. 9-11.
The third weekend in November (17-19) will be the Ohio State Invitational which will play host to 10 teams from all over the country. Kenyon and Denison will be coming back to McCorkle that weekend, and joining them will be: NC State, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Marshall, Washington State, Yale, and Florida Gulf Coast. Headlining the field are the Wolfpack from NC State, reigning ACC Champions on both the men’s and women’s side. Yale also earned its first Ivy League title in 20 years and FGCU won its eighth CCSA championship in program history
Competition picks back up in early January with a couple road trips for the Buckeyes. On Jan. 5-6 they will head down to Lexington to compete against Kentucky and Toledo, and on Jan. 18 Ohio State travels to Tuscaloosa for a dual meet against Alabama. The Crimson Tide’s men’s contingent finished inside the Top 10 at NCAA Championships last year.
On Jan. 20 Michigan comes to Columbus along with Virginia Tech and Rutgers, and the following weekend Ohio State heads to Notre Dame for the Shamrock Invitational. In addition to the Fighting Irish and the Buckeyes Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri State, and Akron will be in attendance. The Ohio State Winter Invitational closes out the regular season.
While the women will be able to swim at home in Columbus for Big Tens and NCAA’s, the men’s swimmers and divers will be heading to Minneapolis for both events. Last season Ohio State finished in the Top 20 at both the men’s and women’s NCAA Championships.