Buckeyes Open 2013-14 Campaign at Kentucky

Oct. 10, 2013


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team will begin its 2013-14 campaign at Kentucky at 5 p.m. Friday in Lexington, Ky. Taking on the Wildcats in a dual-meet showdown, the Buckeyes have an early opportunity to face a Top 25 nationally ranked opponent from last season.  Ohio State is coming off a 12th-place showing of its own at the 2013 NCAA Championships as well as a third-place ranking at the Big Ten Championships.

“Our guys have done a good job of developing into a nice team,” Ohio State head coach Bill Wadley said. “They’ve done a good job of contributing and collaborating, and realistically, I feel confident they’ll only continue to do well. Our expectations are to go to the first meet and compete very well, be very tough and represent the Buckeyes in a great way athletically but in an even better way out of the pool.”

Justin Sochor was named head coach of the Ohio State diving team. Sochor, who was head coach for Team USA at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, this past summer is no stranger to the remarkable Buckeye diving program.

The 2010 USA Diving Junior National Coach of the Year, Sochor transitioned from a three-year stint at the helm of the U.S. Elite Diving Academy to the program manager and head coach of the Ohio State Diving Club in 2010. Sochor, who was a volunteer assistant coach for the Buckeyes from 2007-10, worked closely with former coach Vince Panzano and considers his predecessor as his coaching mentor.

"Mike Peppe, Ron O'Brien and Vince Panzano. For more than 80 years, these three men have created the finest diving community for student-athletes to achieve their highest level of success personally, competitively and academically," Sochor said. "These coaches have inspired me to continue the tradition of excellence at this great university. I am truly honored and humbled to step forward as the fourth head diving coach of the Buckeyes."

Most recently, Sochor led the Ohio State Diving Club to back-to-back overall national titles at the 2013 USA Diving Junior National Championships Aug. 10 in Minneapolis, Minn. The OSU boys club also claimed a national championship.

It’s often said there is no off-season in swimming. If Ohio State’s busy schedule this summer was any indication, that phrase just might ring true.

With classes on hiatus, members of the squad started off the summer with a trip to North Carolina for the fifth stop of the Arena Grand Prix Series. Highlighting the competition were Buckeyes Tim Phillips and Seven Zimmerman. Phillips recorded Top 10 individual times in the 50 butterfly (5th, 24.42) and 100 butterfly (6th, 54.14), while Zimmerman shined in his signature 100 backstroke (10th, 56.24) and 200 backstroke (6th, 2:01.75) events.

Behind two Top 3 finishes from Phillips and two record-breaking performances from Zimmerman, the Buckeyes continued at the Phillips 66 National Championships & World Championship Trials in Indianapolis, Ind. Zimmerman kicked off the competition by breaking an Ohio State long course record in the B Final of the 200 backstroke for 10th-place. With a time of 1:59.98, Zimmerman became the first Buckeye swimmer in history to post a time under two minutes in the event. It wasn’t the only Ohio State record Zimmerman dropped at the meet. He also took down Olympian Niksa Roki’s record time of 55.50 in prelims of the 100 backstroke, touching in 55.19.

In late July, Ohio State traveled to Oxford, Ohio, for the central zone, sectional three leg of the USA Swimming Speedo Champions Series. Competing alongside the Ohio State University Swim Club as well as the women’s team, the Buckeyes took third with 918 total points. First-place finishers on the men’s side included Dmitry Dolgov, Garrett Trebilcock, Dak Stone and David Morgan.

The final preparations for the upcoming season took place at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships in Irving, Calif. Taking place July 30 - Aug. 3, the meet offered a strong field of international and national competition to round out the Buckeyes' summer campaign.

“It’s exciting to go out and have some great swims leading into fall training," head swimming coach Bill Wadley said following the U.S. Open. "I was happy to see Michael DiSalle and Tim Phillips break 50-seconds in the 100 freestyle, and DJ MacDonald preform strongly in both breaststroke events. Our relays were also outstanding this meet. Between the 400 medley relay setting a new varsity record and the 400 free relay and 800 free relay each finishing strong, it was a great overall showing for Buckeye swimming.”

This season the Ohio State swimming and diving program will welcome some elite competition to Bill & Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

The Buckeyes play host to in-state Division III powerhouse Kenyon College in a co-ed dual alongside the Ohio State women’s program Oct. 25. Last season, the Kenyon men earned the program's 32nd national title by winning the 2013 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship. Another co-ed meet will follow Friday, Nov. 1, when Ohio State takes on Virginia Tech, Cleveland State and Denison at home.

Offering a close to the first half of the season, the annual Ohio State Invitational will take place Nov. 22-24 and feature Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, Purdue, as well as Ohio State. Of the five schools competing, each placed in the Top 30 at the 2013 NCAA Championships, while four of the five ranked in the nation's Top 25.

The Buckeyes return for the second half of the season with three dual home meets remaining - West Virginia (Jan. 31), Michigan (Feb. 1) and Wright State (Feb. 7). The regular season concludes with the Ohio State Winter Invitational hosted at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion Feb. 8-9.

Ohio State is scheduled to meet the Kentucky swimming program twice during the regular season, as the Wildcats also will travel to Columbus for the Ohio State Invitational. The UK men are coming off a 22nd-place finish nationally and a third-place finish in the SEC conference. However, plenty of change is in store for the program with the first new head coach in 23 years, Lars Jorgensen, set to take the helm. The team opened its season with a 162-110 loss to Georgia Sept. 25.

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

The men’s swimming program signed a 13-member freshman class for the 2013-14 season. The group of National Letter Intent signees includes nine top swimmers and one decorated diver from Ohio, standouts from Wisconsin and Connecticut and two impressive international swimmers.

2013 Ohio State Signing Class
Andrew Appleby
Mark Belanger
Kevin Bressler
Charlie Fry
Alex Gonzalez
Jack Hendricks
Steffen Hillmer
Vladislav Komarov
Joey Long
Matt McHugh
Matt Moen
Alex Rosen
Micah Simpson

The Buckeyes will return to Columbus for the annual Scarlet vs. Gray exhibition Friday, Oct. 18. With the Alumni vs. Varsity showcase taking place the following day, the opening home slate will offer an opportunity for current student-athletes to welcome back former team members to their alma mater.