Berlin, Germany— Former Buckeye standout Aliena Schmidtke won a pair of national titles at German National Championships, earning gold in the 50 and 100 butterfly.
Her performance has earned her a spot on the German national team, the first time she has earned a spot on the squad, and she will compete at the 2017 FINA World Championships. She was added to the roster for the 100m butterfly leg in the 400 mixed medley relay.
“Aliena’s performance has been a long time in the making,” director of swimming and diving Bill Dorenkott said. “She was unbelievably disappointed last year after achieving the FINA A standard and not getting picked up for Rio. She took her disappointment and turned it into a positive. Aliena has the work ethic and strong will to achieve at the highest levels of the sport. Jordan Wolfrum was a key factor in getting Aliena prepared for German World Champ Trials. With the program being combined and my focus on hiring a staff, Jordan took the lead on Aliena’s preparations and guided her onto the team.”
In addition to earning her first appointment to the German national team, the national titles were firsts for Schmidtke as well. Her time in the 50 butterfly was a national record and is the tenth-fastest in the world, while her 100 fly time is 15th-fastest in the world.
Schmidtke joins a growing list of both current and former Buckeyes who will be making appearances on the international stage this summer: Matthew Abeysinghe (Sri Lanka) and Michelle Williams (Canada) will both also be competing at World Championships in Budapest, while Meg Bailey (Australia) Christo Law (United States, diving), and Zulal Zeren (Turkey) have all earned spots for their respective countries at the World University Games.
“We are proud of our international performers,” Dorenkott said. “Ohio State Swimming, Diving and Synchro have one of the greatest traditions across the world in the history aquatic sports. We aim to build on the Buckeye legacy of elite performance on the world stage."
The 2017 FINA World Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary and will take place from July 14-30.