West Lafayette, Ind.— The first day of 2017 Big Ten Championships is done, and Ohio State turned in two good performances in both relay events.
" That was an outstanding night of racing," said head coach Bill Dorenkott. "I am proud of the eight young ladies who stepped up and competed this evening. We are putting together a championship caliber program and it starts with days like today."
Eight different Buckeyes suited up and swam on Wednesday, and six of them had never raced in a championship relay before- Big Ten or NCAA.
Only the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay were held on Wednesday evening, and Ohio State posted NCAA B times in both events. In the first event of the meet Elizabeth Auckley, Molly Washko, Liz Li, and Macie McNichols combined for a time of 1:37.23, good for fourth place and just barely missing a school record (1:37.14). Wednesday's time is now the second-fastest in team history.
In the second and final race of the day Lindsey Clary, Meg Bailey, Kathrin Demler, and Maria Coy put up a time of 7:06.53 to put the Buckeyes in fifth place. Ohio State improved upon its previous season-best time by over nine seconds in that event and just missed out on an automatic NCAA Championships qualifying time. Wednesday's mark was six seconds faster than the one posted by the Buckeyes at Big Tens last season.
Competition resumes on Thursday with prelims at 11:00 a.m. ET. The 500 freestyle, 200 IM, and 50 freestyle will be held as well as one-meter diving. The Top 24 swimmers earn points at Big Ten Championships and, looking at the psych sheets, Ohio State currently has three swimmers each with Top 24 times this season in the 500 freestyle and 200 IM, and four in the 50 freestyle.
All eight Ohio State swimmers turned in excellent performances on Wednesday. A few impressive benchmarks that were reached tonight:
- Clary led off the 800 free relay tonight with a 1:46.7 200 free...she was a 1:55.45 out of high school
- Coy split a 1:47.1 in the 200 free...she was a 1:53.75 out of high school
- Bailey and Demler had never been under 1:49 in the 200 free before tonight and split 1:46.7 and 1:45.9, respectively
- McNichols dipped under 22 seconds for a 50 free relay split for the first time in her career while anchoring the 200 medley relay
Standings through Day One:
- Minnesota 118
- Michigan 114
- Wisconsin 110
- Indiana 108
- Ohio State 102