COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State flexed a little Scarlet and Gray mite at the 2010 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships at Purdue University Friday, accumulating points from 13 different individuals and surpassing two teams to climb into fifth-place heading into the final day of action Saturday.
“Another good day,” Ohio State coach Bill Dorenkott said. “We swam well this morning and just built on it tonight. This group is open to improving and they are open to what it takes to improve. They have also been really good at making adjustments and they are awfully coachable. It’s a neat thing to watch this team grow up and make huge strides.”
Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin kept hop-scotching each other throughout the evening, but the Buckeyes got 50 points in the final two events to finish Friday in fifth-place with 283.5 points. Defending champion Indiana leads the championships with 451 points with Minnesota (418.5), host Purdue (318) and Michigan (314.5) holding the top four positions. Wisconsin is sixth with 255.5 points and Penn State is seventh with 230.
Sophomore Bianca Alvarez and senior Chelsea Davis went two-three on the three-meter springboard to score 33 points for the Buckeyes late in the meet. It was Alvarez’s second runner-up finish at this Big Ten championships.
And in the final race of the evening, three freshmen – Kelsey Moran, Lauren Massey and Elisabeth Tavierne – finished eighth, 11th and 15th for a combined 17 points in the 100 backstroke. Moran broke the school record with a time of 54.16. Those three were among the 11 Ohio State swimmers to score points Thursday.
“That was probably the neatest part of it,” Dorenkott said, referring to the 11 points scorers. “Coming back for finals with so many people getting ready to race was one of the highlights of the evening for me. We were busy tonight and that’s a good thing.”
The Buckeyes set four more school records, including a fourth relay record in four tries. That relay was the 400 medley relay team of Moran, Megan Alexander, Shannon Draves and Megan Detro that opened the meet with a fourth-place finish in a time of 3:37.37.
Junior Samantha Cheverton had the top finish among the swimmers with a third-place swim in the 200 freestyle in a school-record time of 1:45.78. Anita Beck also scored in the event, taking 14th.
Also swimming in a Thursday final was Shannon Draves (sixth in the 100 butterfly) and Megan Alexander (sixth in the 100 breaststroke). Alexander broke her own school mark in the event with a preliminary race time of 1:01.04.
Scoring points in the 100 breaststroke was senior Colleen Schweitzer (12th) and sophomore Catherine Eitel (13th), giving Ohio State two events with three different point scorers.
Angela Severn and Jill Lockhart contributed points with ninth- and 15th-place finishes, respectively, in the 400 individual medley.
Even with a day of swimming still to go, Ohio State’s points total represents a 13-year high for the swimming and diving program. The 1997 team scored 394 points on its way to a fifth-place finish, the last Top 5 finish for Ohio State at these championships.
Swimming and Diving
Women’s Big Ten Championships
West Lafayette, Ind.
Day 2 Team Scores: 1. Indiana 451; 2. Minnesota 418.5; 3. Purdue 318; 4. Michigan 314.5; 5. Ohio State 283.5; 6. Wisconsin 255.5; 7. Penn State 230; 8. Northwestern 171; 9. Iowa 102; 10. Michigan State 75; 11. Illinois 39.
400 medley relay – 1. Minnesota (3:35.12); 4. Moran, Alexander, Draves, Detro, Ohio State (3:37.37); 400 IM – 1. Vavra, Ind. (4:06.94); 9. Severn, Ohio State (4:17.96); 100 fly – Smailis, Ind. (52.66); 6. Draves, Ohio State (54.04); 200 freestyle – 1. Farrell, Ind. (1:45.32); 3. Cheverton, Ohio State (1:45.78); 100 breaststroke – Tyler, Minn. (59.35); 6. Alexander, Ohio State (1:01.17); 100 back – Meyer, Wisc. (52.27); 8. Moran, Ohio State (54.16); 3-meter diving – 1. Bryant, Minn. (386.60); 2. Alvarez, Ohio State (375.00).