No. 19 Buckeyes Dive into Big Ten Campaign

Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams

Nov. 7, 2013


COLUMBUS, Ohio – A busy weekend of competition is in store for the 19th-ranked Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team (5-0). The Buckeyes will face Big Ten opponents Purdue and Northwestern at 4 p.m. Friday, before welcoming in-state foe Ohio University to McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion Saturday at 1 p.m.

There will be two breaks scheduled for 1- and 3-meter diving competition.

1. 400 medley relay
2. 1000 free
3. 200 free
4. 50 back
5. 50 breast
6. 100 fly
7. 50 free
8. 100 free
9. 3-meter diving
10. 100 back
11. 100 breast
12. 500 free
13. 50 fly
14. 1-meter diving
15. 100 IM
16. 200 free relay

The College Swimming Coaches Association (CSCAA) announced its first NCAA Division 1 rankings of the season Oct. 31 with Ohio State in 19th. The Buckeyes are ranked fourth among Big Ten competitors with the Hoosiers holding the conference’s highest position in 10th.

The CSCAA will produce in-season rankings of the 25 best performing teams. Rankings will be released on a regular basis, alternating weeks between men’s and women’s team rankings. 

Big Ten Nationally Ranked Teams

10. Indiana
14. Minnesota
17. Michigan
19. Ohio State
20. Wisconsin
25. Penn State

Under the direction of head coach Bill Dorenkott, the team has earned a record of 5-0 thus far this season. The Scarlet and Gray tallied three wins – Virginia Tech (191-109), Denison (251.50-48.50) and Cleveland State (252.00-48.00) – last weekend at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Twelve of 16 events held went to the Buckeyes, with eight different team members earning first-place finishes. 



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 squad was also impressive in its season-opening win over Kentucky. In front of a capacity at Lancaster Aquatics Center in Lexington, Ky., the Buckeyes took down the Wildcats 195-104. In all, the Scarlet and Gray had 10 different members earn at least one victory over the Wildcats. Sophomore Annie Gillig led the charge with three individual wins, while freshman Amy Bopp each had two individual victories.

It’s no secret Ohio State swimming is off to a fast start this season. Among their Big Ten counterparts, the Buckeyes hold 18 for the 10-fastest times spread over 12 events. Senior Alex Norris is ranked among the conference’s Top 10 in four events, while fellow senior Michelle Williams maintains the standing in four as well. The freshmen class also is well represented with Lindsey Clary, Amy Bopp and Taylor Vargo all posting top times. 

Top 10 Times – Big Ten
50 free
5. Michelle Williams (23.11)

100 free
4. Michelle Williams (50.08)

200 free
5. Alex Norris (1:49.14)
10. Phoebe Cater (1:50.06)

500 free
4. Kelly Ann Baird (4:51.63)
6. Alex Norris (4:54.41)

1000 free
5. Lindsey Clary (10:00.19)
7. Kelly Ann Baird (10:01.01)
10. Alex Norris (10:08.64)

100 back
9. Annie Gillig (55.84)

200 back
9. Annie Gillig (1:59.90)

100 breast
7. Amy Bopp (1:04.23)
9. Taylor Vargo (1:04.36)

200 breast
6. Taylor Vargo (2:17.16)
8. Amy Bopp (2:18.05)

100 fly
9. Aliena Schmidtke (55.47)

400 free relay
2. Williams, Cater, Norris, Schmidtke (3:22.89)

200 medley relay
6. Dona, Dzierzak, Sprau, Williams (1:43.43)

Purdue is coming off a strong 155.5-144.5 dual-meet victory over Notre Dame. Taking place a Boilermaker Aquatic Center last Friday, the squad captured 13 of the 17 points in the final event of the night, the 400 freestyle relay, to pull out the win. Overall, Purdue holds a dual win over Miami (Ohio) and a first-place showing at the Indiana Intercollegiates.

Northwestern has taken down three teams in dual meet action so far this season, including one Big Ten opponent. The Wildcats opened the season Friday, Oct. 18 at home, defeating Illinois (166-133) and Eastern Michigan (199-100). In its first road meet of the season, Northwestern took down Western Kentucky, 155-145, in Bowling Green, Ky.

On Saturday, Ohio State will take on another undefeated team. The Ohio University Bobcats have posted two decisive wins this season – one over Ball State (162-138) and another over Buffalo (143-89).  In the team’s win over Buffalo, Ohio claimed nine of 13 events.

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.”

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.

After five years at the helm of the Ohio State women's swimming program, Bill Dorenkott accepted a five-year contract extension this summer. Announced in late July, the revamped deal will run though 2018.

Under the steady leadership of Dorenkott, the women's swimming program has solidified a foundation for future success. In just his second season in Columbus, the team finished fifth at the Big Ten championships. The top-five effort represents the highest finish for the program in 13 years. In 2011 and 2012, the progression of the program only continued as the Scarlet and Gray concluded each season in the Top 3 in the conference.

The Buckeyes will go on a brief hiatus before hosting the highly competitive Ohio State Invitational Nov. 22-24.