Big Ten Championships Next For No. 15 Ohio State

Feb. 18, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 15th-ranked Ohio State women's swimming and diving team (9-1, 2-1 Big Ten) looks to build on a consistent regular season showing when it travels to Minneapolis, Minn. for the 2014 Big Ten Championships. Hosted at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center for the second-consecutive year, the conference contest will take place Feb. 19-22.

Wednesday, Feb. 19 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
200 Medley Relay
3-Meter Synchronized Diving (Exhibition)
800 Freestyle Relay

Thursday, Feb. 20 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
200 Freestyle Relay
500 Freestyle
200 IM
50 Freestyle
1-Meter Diving

Friday, Feb. 21 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
400 Medley Relay
400 IM
100 Butterfly
200 Freestyle
100 Breaststroke
100 Backstroke
3-Meter Diving

Saturday, Feb. 22 - Finals - 6:30 p.m.
1,650 Freestyle
200 Backstroke
100 Freestyle
200 Breaststroke
200 Butterfly
Platform Diving
400 Freestyle Relay
*Please note, times are listed in CST.

Ohio State has won five team Big Ten Championships - consecutive between 1982-86 under coach Jim Montrella. The Buckeyes have also won 84 Big Ten swimming, diving and relay titles. 

  • 48 swimming championships; last was Shannon Draves in 2013 (200 butterfly)
  • 24 diving championships; last was Cheyenne Cousineau in 2012 (platform)
  • 12 relay wins; last came in 1991 (400 and 800 freestyle relays)



The Buckeyes finished fourth at the 2013 Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. Highlighting the meet was senior Shannon Draves, who defended her Big Ten title in the 200 butterfly with a school-record time of 1:55.12. Minnesota took home the team title for the second year in a row, scoring 831.5 points on its home turf.

Buckeye Taylor Vargo was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the conference announced Feb. 4. A Native of Sandusky, Ohio, Vargo put together a stellar weekend in Ohio State's dual meet victory over No. 20 Michigan. She met NCAA provisional standards with a win in the 200 breaststroke, as well as recorded runner-up finishes in the 100 breaststroke and 400 medley relay.

Suitors of the Scarlet and Gray have received three weekly individual awards from the conference this season. Along with Vargo, Amy Bopp also received the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award (Oct. 15). More recently, senior Alex Norris was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week (Jan. 21).

The Buckeyes are currently ranked 15th among NCAA Division 1 programs in the latest poll released by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (Feb. 17). Along with Ohio State, six other teams hailing from the Big Ten Conference made the cut – No. 12 Minnesota, No. 13 Indiana, No. 17 Michigan, No. 19 Wisconsin, No. 21 Purdue and No. 23 Penn State. 

The Buckeyes have been hard at work training for the postseason. The following list includes Ohio State's fastest times in each competitive event, as well as its national and conference standing.

Top Buckeye National/Big Ten Times:
65. Michelle Williams (22.81); 7th B1G

100 FREE
49. Michelle Williams (49.44); 7th B1G

200 FREE
56. Aliena Schmidtke (1:46.99); 9th B1G

500 FREE
32. Alex Norris (4:43.16); 6th B1G

1000 FREE
26. Kelly Ann Baird (9:53.40); 4th B1G

1650 FREE
41. Kelly Ann Baird (16:27.04); 9th B1G

100 BACK
134. Annie Gillig (55.11); 16th B1G

200 BACK
85. Annie Gillig (1:58.00); 11th B1G

74. Taylor Vargo (1:02.27); 7th B1G

58. Taylor Vargo (2:13.88); 7th B1G

100 FLY
48. Aliena Schmidtke (53.58); 5th B1G

200 FLY
85. Amy Bopp (1:59.51); 14th B1G

200 IM
85. Ashley Vance (2:00.97); 12th B1G

400 IM
47. Lindsey Clary (4:15.01); 8th B1G

22. Williams, Cater, Schmidtke, Jongekrijg (1:31.40); 5th B1G

13. Williams, Schmidtke, Norris, Cater (3:17.42); 2nd B1G

13. Schmidtke, Norris, Cater, Luchansky (7:13.28); 4th B1G

53. Dona, Dzierzak, Norris, Vance (1:42.18); 9th B1G

57. Davis, Dzierzak, Cater, Baird (3:44.53); 8th B1G

Under the guidance of head coaches Bill Dorenkott and Justin Sochor, the squad has established an overall record of 9-1 record (2-1, Big Ten) thus far this season.

Ohio State opened the 2013-14 campaign with a resounding 195-104 over Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. In all, the Buckeyes had 10 different members earn at least one victory. Sophomore Annie Gillig led the charge with three individual wins, while freshman Amy Bopp contributed two individual victories.

From that point on it was full steam ahead for OSU. Ohio State recorded its second win of the season with a 191-99 performance over Kenyon College in a home dual (Oct. 25). The Buckeyes posted 14 top-times on the swimming side, as well as a pair of wins from diver Taylor Ford.

The Scarlet and Gray only continued building momentum Nov. 1 with wins posted against Cleveland State (252-48), Denison (251.5-48.5) and Virginia Tech (191-109). The quad-meet resulted in 12 of 16 events awarded in OSU's favor. 

Then it was on to West Lafayette, Ind. to face the team's first Big Ten opposition - Northwestern and Purdue (Nov.8). Behind tough, gutty performances, Ohio State defeated the Wildcats, 211-89, but fell to the host Boilermakers, 157-143. Individual first-place finishers for the Buckeyes were Kelly Ann Baird, Lindsey Clary and Alex Norris.

After a competitive Big Ten opener, OSU returned to Columbus to take on Ohio University the very next day (Nov. 9). The Buckeyes defeated their in-state foe, 193-106.

The first half of the season rounded out with the eighth-annual Ohio State Invitational, Nov. 22-24. This season the meet featured No. 5 Florida, Kentucky, No. 12 Virginia, No. 16 Purdue, as well as the then 19th-ranked Buckeyes. After three days of competition, OSU placed third with 616.50 points earned.

Ohio State returned from the winter academic break in dominating fashion, taking down Toledo, 206.5-93.5. The Buckeyes finished first in 12 of 16 events, moving to 8-1 on the season in the process.

The Buckeyes swam to a first-place finish at the Kenyon Winter invite Jan. 17-18. It was a strong showing for the squad as pool records fell on both days of action. On the second day alone, Ohio State placed first in all eight events and set three pool records, bringing its total to five for the meet.

Most recently, Ohio State downed rival Michigan in a closely contested battle in Columbus. The Buckeyes eked out the victory in the final event of the meet. The 400 freestyle relay team of Michelle Williams, Anne Jongekrijg, Aliena Schmidtke and Alex Norris pulled through with a first-place time of 3:20.80.

Ohio State maintained a four-year run of top-five Big Ten finishes with a fourth-place effort last season. Adding to that effort were point scorers Kelly Ann Baird, Phoebe Cater, Rachel Dzierzak, Taylor Ford, Kristyn Fulcher, Annie Gillig, Annie Jongekrijg, Katy Luchansky, Alex Norris, Aliena Schmidtke, Ashley Vance and Michelle Williams.

The Buckeyes also bring back four NCAA qualifiers. Cater, Jongekrijg, Norris and Williams will all bring back the experience they gained at the premier national meet.

"We're a very young team from an experience standpoint," Dorenkott said. "The girls have done a good job this summer to get a good start from a training perspective, and that I'm very excited about. We have a couple freshmen who are going to end up being pretty darn good and that's always a positive thing."