Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State swimming team will host the 2018 edition of the Ohio State Winter Invitational as it welcomes swimmers from 11 schools. Prelims on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 11 a.m. ET; Saturday’s finals are slated to begin at 5 p.m. ET and on Sunday the finals will start at 4 p.m.
The Buckeyes will be competing against swimmers from Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Eastern Michigan, IUPUI, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Notre Dame, University of the Pacific, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Purdue (women only) this weekend.
In the Rankings
Ohio State has a pair of top-15 teams in the latest College Swimming Coaches’ Association of America poll. The women enter the final regular season meet of the season ranked 12th, and the men are ranked the highest they’ve been all season at the No. 15 spot.
Ohio State will host the Women’s Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships next Wednesday through Saturday (Feb. 14-17) at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion; it will be the first time since 2015 that the Buckeyes have hosted the women’s conference meet in Columbus.
Exactly one month following the Big Ten meet, the Buckeyes will serve as the host of the 2018 Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. You have to travel back exactly a decade since Ohio State hosted the NCAA meet in Columbus.
Ohio State has seven athletes that currently rank inside the top 20 nationally. Meg Bailey’s season-best time of 4:05.80 in the 400 individual medley is the highest ranked. It currently is the eighth-fastest mark in America. Bailey, a senior from Australia, also owns the 17th-best 200 fly readout (1:55.40) in the nation.
Molly Kowal and Noah Lense are the only other two Buckeyes to have multiple marks in the top 20. Lense has earned the top 20 rankings in the 100 fly (46.17) and 200 fly (1:42.22). The time of 1:42.22 won Lense a USA Swimming short course national title in December. Kowal’s marks are in the 1000 freestyle (9:45.73) and 1650 freestyle (16:06.05). Joining Lense in the top 20 for the 100 fly is Michael Salazar; he clocked his season-best readout of 45.98 at the USA Swimming Winter National meet as well.
Kristen Romano set the school record at the 2017 USA Swimming Winter National Championships in the 200 backstroke with a readout of 1:52.86 to rank 15th nationally. A pair of 50 freestylers, Freya Rayner and Liz Li, clocked some blazing times earlier this season. Rayner went 22.25 at the USA Swimming Winter National Championships and Li clocked her season-best readout of 22.29 at the senior day meet on Jan. 20.
50 Free – Rayner (22.25), Musterait (20.04)
100 Free – Rayner (48.43), Loy (43.57)
200 Free – Romano (1:45.95), DeLakis (1:36.16)
500 Free – Romano (4:41.41), Seal (4:19.37)
1000 Free – Kowal (9:45.73), Seal (9:03.11)
1650 Free – Kowal (16:06.05), Hogsed (15:06.35)
100 Back – Bradley (53.32), Belanger (47.21)
200 Back – Romano (1:52.86), Trace (1:44.64)
100 Breast – Gresser (1:00.43), DeLakis (54.58)
200 Breast – Gresser (2:13.62), DeLakis (1:57.72)
100 Fly – Li (53.56), Salazar (45.98)
200 Fly – Bailey (1:55.40), Lense (1:42.22)
200 IM – Bailey (1:57.13), Loy (1:47.14)
400 IM – Bailey (4:05.80), Lim (3:50.70)
Liz Li: Big Ten Medal of Honor Finalist