COLUMBUS, Ohio – About an hour before the 11th-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming team would conclude its dual meet season by hosting defending Mid American Conference champion Eastern Michigan, head coach Bill Wadley assembled his team and told them: “This night is about honoring our 10 seniors who have given an awful lot of their lives to this team, showing them respect and letting them know how much we appreciate what they’ve done for this program.”
And that’s just what the team did. In honor of 10 highly intelligent, forward-thinking and forever and always 2010 Big Ten champions, the Buckeyes went out and cruised to a 167-89 win over the Eagles in the final dual meet of the season and, for some, the final meaningful racing event of their careers. The win capped a 10-1 dual meet season for the Buckeyes and improved the seniors’ four-year dual meet record to an impressive 39-5.
The dual meet record won’t be the legacy left by this group of fine young men that includes Justin Farra, Michael Hulme, Bobby Jenrow, Elliott Keefer, Jayson King, Quincy Lee, Sean Moore, Tom O’Neill, Ben Savonen and Phil Seleskie. No, their legacy will always start with the 2010 Big Ten championship, the first for Ohio State in 54 years, and it will include the fact that Ohio State became a dominant swimming and diving program once again during their careers as NCAA finishes of 16th, 12th and ninth the last three years will attest.
“We were a much different program when these guys came in,” Wadley reminded the rest of the team. “They trusted we were going somewhere special…and they are living proof that we have [gone somewhere special]. And they have started us on the next step: dominance!”
There may not be a tomorrow on the pool deck for the Ohio State seniors, but their run is certainly not done. In fact, it’s only just beginning. Consider:
Wow! The only thing more impressive than the accomplishments and future goals of Ohio State’s 10 seniors is knowing this team is full of underclassmen who have the same drive to succeed in the classroom and considerable skills in the pool; people like these who helped the Buckeyes sweep all 14 swimming events vs. Eastern Michigan:
Fahrbach, Jason Schnur, Birnbrich and Phillips then closed the meet and the dual meet careers of the seniors with a win in the 200 freestyle relay.
“This was a very special night in the lives of some special young men,” Wadley said.
It was special for those in attendance, too, knowing what these nine swimmers and one diver did for the program and for each other and for this school one year ago by being a part of that goose- bumps-on-top-of-goose-bumps experience at the Big Ten championships.
Thank you, seniors.
Men’s Swimming & Diving
Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion
Team Scores: Ohio State 167, Eastern Michigan 89
Ohio State Event Winners: 200 medley relay – Lancki, Farra, Phillips, Holmes, 1:30.43; 1000 freestyle – Perkins, 9:22.01; 200 freestyle – Fahrbach, 1:39.70; 100 backstroke – Elliott, 48.69; 100 breaststroke – Farra, 55.71; 200 butterfly – Jenrow, 1.49.98; 50 freestyle – Birnbrich, 21.04; 100 freestyle – Birnbrich, 46.09; 200 backstroke – Sievers, 1:48.04; 200 breaststroke – Keefer, 1:59.84; 500 freestyle – Boston, 4:32.82; 100 butterfly – Phillips, 48.37; 400 IM – Hulme, 4:00.84; 200 freestyle relay – Fahrbach, Schnur, Birnbrich, Phillips, 1:23.78