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Feb. 17, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Minneapolis, Minn. Feb. 18 for the 2004 Big Ten Championships. The conference meet will span four days and includes 21 events.

The Buckeyes look to move up the Big Ten ladder and build on victories from the dual-meet season. In 2003, the Buckeyes finished ninth overall in the Big Ten, but posted 16 lifetime-best times, three NCAA consideration qualifying times and six times that ranked in the Top 5 in program history.

COACH FLECK ON THE MEET
Building up the team with each season, Jeanne Fleck, head women’s swimming coach, closed her most successful dual-meet season while at Ohio State. The Buckeyes posted a 9-5, 2-3 Big Ten finish, earning Big Ten wins against Iowa and Michigan State and narrowly losing to Illinois 178.5-174.5 and Michigan 153.5-146.5.

“We had a great dual-meet season and look forward to moving up in the Big Ten,” Fleck said. “We are a stronger team this year and know how to win and have a taste for it. Hopefully, some of the student-athletes will also make cuts for the NCAA championships.

“Our team is also a better conference meet team than a dual-meet team and we hope to show that.”

SCOUTING THE BIG TEN
Five Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 25 by the NSCAA, along with two receiving votes. Ranked No. 10, Wisconsin leads with an undefeated 6-0 Big Ten dual-meet record. Penn State is ranked No. 12 and Indiana, last years Big Ten champions, at No. 13.

Michigan is ranked No. 16, while Minnesota rounds out the Big Ten presence at No. 24 in the poll. Purdue and Illinois also earned votes in the poll, earning three and one vote each, respectively.

“The Top 4 teams are mostly set, but after that, everyone is competitive. It is anyone’s game for fifth through ninth place at the conference meet,” Fleck said. “We will shoot for the best and look to finish in the top half of the Big Ten.

“It should be a great and exciting meet.”

SETTING UP THE MEET
The 2004 Big Ten Championships will consist of seven sessions in four days. The meet will begin on Wednesday with solely an evening session, while Thursday through Saturday will feature both a morning and an evening session.

Individual swimming events will include preliminary heats in the morning session of a given day, with the Top 16 competitors in each event advancing to the finals that evening. The Top 8 swimmers from preliminary heats race in the A-Final for the Big Ten championship in the respective event, while finishers nine through 16 race in the B-Final.

Diving will follow the same progression with the Top 8 in each preliminary competition advancing to finals that evening, vying for the conference title.

Relay events will be held during evening sessions and will feature no preliminaries. Each Big Ten squad fields one team that participates in one race for the conference championship.

LIVE SCORING AT THE BIG TEN MEET
Event results and scoring will be available live throughout the conference meet at the women’s swimming and diving page under schedule/results at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

LAST YEAR AT THE BIG TEN MEET
Ohio State finished ninth overall at the 2003 Big Ten Championships, with Indiana placing first and Wisconsin and Penn State taking the second- and third-place spots. The Buckeyes moved up two spots from 11th place in 2002.

Stephanie Raezer led the Buckeyes with NCAA consideration times in the 1,650-yard freestyle, finishing 11th overall, and in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing 14th overall. Raezer also set a personal-best time with her 11th-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley at last year’s conference meet.

Deanna Strunk set a lifetime-best time with her 12th-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, while Katie Severson posted a time in the 100-yard freestyle which ranked fourth in program history.

Ohio State’s biggest victory came in the form of graduated senior Natalie Diea’s second-place finish in the platform, fourth-place finish in the 3-meterdive and seventh-place finish in the 1-meter dive. Diea went on to win Ohio State’s first NCAA platform diving champion.

DEPTH FROM DOWN UNDER
Australian natives Kylie Lancken and Rebekah Rychvalsky have had a huge season with the Buckeyes, each dominating in the backstroke and breaststroke events.

Lancken currently holds the season-best times in the backstroke events, earning a time of 58.09 in the 100-yard backstroke at the Auburn Invitational Dec. 4-6. Lancken also posted a season-best time of 2:04.44 in the 200-yard backstroke at the Illinois/Iowa meet Jan. 24.

Under the weather at last year’s conference meet, Lancken returns in good health and should make a strong impact for the team in the backstroke.

At the Michigan meet Nov. 14, Rychvalsky won the 200-yard breaststroke with a new pool record of 2:18.79. Rychvalsky also holds the team season-best times in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.16 and in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:18.50.

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
Holding the top times in the Big Ten in the 200-yard butterfly, freshman Gulsah Gunenc leads the Buckeyes in one of their strongest events. Gunenc was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week Feb. 9 after her double-win performance at the Tennessee meet. Gunenc set the season-best time in the 200-yard butterfly at the Tennessee meet, placing first with a time of 2:02.67 and took home her ninth overall first-place finish in the event for the season.

Deanna Strunk also backs Gunenc in the butterfly events, earning second-place finishes at three dual-meets in the 200-yard butterfly this season and several top finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Gunenc also set national records in both the 50- and 100-meter butterfly for her native Turkey at the European Championships in short-course meters in Dublin, Ireland Dec. 12. Gunenc swam the 50-meter butterfly in a time of 28.91 and the 100-meter butterfly in a time of 1:02.27, placing in 42nd and 38th place in the events overall. Both times are new Turkish national swimming records. Also participating in the 200-meter butterfly, Gunenc finished in 28th place with a time of 2:16.80. All events were in short-course meters.

MAKING THE TIMES
The freestyle events established season-best times early in the season, with Nicole Maglich leading the team in the 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. Maglich posted all season-best times at the Auburn Invitational Dec. 5-7, finishing the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.81, the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.68 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:56.20.

Maglich did not participate in the conference meet last year and looks to make her mark at the Big Ten championships for the first time.

Katie Severson holds the season-best time in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.38, while Stephanie Raezer holds the season-best times in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:11.54 and in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:50.32.

Deanna Strunk holds the season-best times in the individual medley events, posting a time of 2:06.49 in the 200-yard freestyle and a time of 4:23.88 in the 400-yard freestyle.

DIVING DOMINATION
Made up of four freshmen and one sophomore, the diving squad has won at least one event at every dual-meet this season. Freshman Julie Broms leads the team with 13 overall first-place finishes in the 3-meter dive and was named Big Ten Diver of the Week for her performance at the Tennessee meet Feb. 8.

Never losing to a Big Ten diver, Broms earned a score of 321.20 at the Tennessee meet in the 3-meter dive, defeating a three-time All-American diver. Broms holds the team season-high score in the 3-meter dive with 332.10 points from the Illinois/Iowa meet Jan. 24.

Broms has also earned seven overall first-place finishes in the 1-meter dive, with freshmen Ashley Bourland posting one first-place finish and Amber Simmons posting two overall first-place finishes. Simmons holds the team season-high score of 302.40 in the 1-meter dive.

ANOTHER CLOSE FINISH
The Buckeyes close the 2003-04 season with a 9-5 record, losing two Big Ten and one non-conference meet by less than eight points each. Against Michigan Nov. 14, Ohio State moved ahead of the Wolverines after the second to last event, but narrowly missed the first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay and lost by seven points, 153.5-146.5.

Entering its second Big Ten match-up Jan. 24, Ohio State also entered the last event ahead of Illinois, but missed the win by 67 one-hundredths of one second in the 200-yard freestyle relay to secure the win. The Buckeyes lost by four points, 178.5-174.5.

With a solid performance in the 3-meter dive that put the Buckeyes ahead before the last event, Tennessee pulled ahead and won the 400-yard freestyle relay for the win. The Buckeyes lost by four points, 151.5-147.5.

“We know we could have beaten all of those teams, but if anything, it gave the student-athletes confidence,” Fleck said. “The close ones were confidence builders and I am excited to know that we will not lose too many close ones next year.”

SEASON IN REVIEW:
TENNESSEE
The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team concluded its dual-meet season with a 151.5-147.5 loss to Tennessee Feb. 8 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center. The Buckeyes entered the last event of the meet ahead of the Volunteers, but missed the first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay for the meet win.

Gulsah Gunenc was a double-event winner in the butterfly events, placing first in the 200-yard butterfly with a season-best time of 2:02.67 and in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.48. Dominating in the breaststroke, Rebekah Rychvalsky was also a double-event winner with a first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.80 and in the 200-yardwith a time of 1:04.80 and in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:19.08.

Nicole Maglich won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:16.49 and Deanna Strunk won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:25.51.

Finishing the second to last event behind the Volunteers 134-128, the diving squad earned a 1-2-5 finish in the 3-meter dive to bring Ohio State the lead before the final event. Julie Broms led the Buckeyes with 321.45 points in the 3-meter dive for the win, defeating three-time All-American diver Lauryn McCalley by more than 21 points.

Ohio State finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a season-best time of 3:30.68, bringing its final score short of four points from the Volunteers. Gulsah Gunenc and Julie Broms were named Big Ten Simmer and Diver of the Week after their performance at the meet.

MICHIGAN STATE AND NOTRE DAME
The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team earned its second Big Ten win of the season Jan. 30, coming back from a 28-point deficit for the win against Michigan State, 152-147. The Buckeyes also lost to No. 20 Notre Dame, 194-105, in the double-dual meet in East Lansing, Mich.

Trailing behind the Spartans midway through the meet, Ohio State came back with wins against Michigan State in the last six individual events. Deanna Strunk placed third in the 200-yard backstroke behind two swimmers from Notre Dame with a time of 2:07.42. The Buckeyes took first-, second- and third-place points over the Spartans. In the next event, Rebekah Rychvalsky won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:20.49, followed by a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle by Stephanie Raezer with a time of 5:03.40.

Gulsah Gunenc won the 100-yard butterfly with a season-best time of 57.23, leaving Ohio State needing a 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard individual medley for the win over Michigan State. Strunk narrowly missed the win over Notre Dame by 15 one-hundredths of a second with a time of 2:08.16, but got the first-place finish in scoring against the Spartans, with Gunenc and Liz Osterer taking second- and third-place for the meet win.

Raezer dominated the distance freestyle events, also winning the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:15.09, while Rychvalsky and Gunenc were touched out for first place in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard butterfly.

Julie Broms continues her streak over Big Ten teams in the diving well, placing second to Notre Dame in both events. Ohio State earned first-, second- and third-place points against Michigan State in both the 1- and 3-meter dives.

“We needed the 1-2-3 win in the 200-yard individual medley to win the meet and we got it,” Jeanne Fleck, women’s head swimming coach, said. “Its important to get that win during this time in the season.”

IOWA AND ILLINOIS
Posting its first Big Ten victory of the season, the Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team defeated Iowa 225.5-126.5, while losing to Illinois 178.5-174.5 Jan. 30 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center. The Buckeyes exchanged the lead several times with the Fighting Illini, entering the last event ahead by five points.

Entering the last event, the Buckeyes led 214-165 over Iowa and held first place with five points over Illinois. The Buckeyes swam head-to-head with the Illini for first place in the final event, missing the win by 67 one-hundredths of one second and taking second-place with a time of 1:36.67 in the 200-yard freestyle medley.

The Buckeyes placed second in the 200-yard medley relay and Deanna Strunk missed second-place in the 1,000-yard freestyle by four one-hundredths of one second with a time of 10:16.09. Strunk came back two events later to place second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.24, but won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:24.41. Gulsah Gunenc won the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:04.00, while Katie Severson pushed ahead of Illinois’ Barbie Viney in the 50-yard freestyle and won with a time of 24.38.

Nicole Maglich won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:57.61. Kylie Lancken tied for first in the 200-yard backstroke with a season-best time of 2:04.44, with Steph Fennell backing her in third place.

The diving squad took first through third place in both diving events, adding 34 points to the Buckeye total. Amber Simmons won the 1-meter dive with a season-best score of 302.40 and Julie Broms won the 3-meter dive with a season-best score of 333.40. Anesa Beard placed third in the 1-meter with a score of 267.65, allowing her to join Broms and Simmons on the list of NCAA diving qualifiers for the season in the 1-meter dive.

AKRON
The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team defeated Akron 187-113 Jan. 16, winning 13 of 16 events and taking both first and second place in five events.

Five Buckeyes were double-event winners, with Nicole Maglich winning the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:27.90 and the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:06.23. Kylie Lancken won the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events with times of 1:54.59 and 5:06.48.

Rebekah Rychvalsky also was a double-event winner, dominating the breaststroke with a first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.15 and the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:19.40. Gulsah Gunenc also added two wins, placing first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:03.80 and the 200-yard individual medley with at time of 2:09.77.

The relay events were both won in season-best times, with Ohio State finishing the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:48.57 and the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:37.39.

Julie Broms and Amber Simmons continue to make their presence felt in the diving well. Broms won the 1-meter dive with a score of 255.00 and the 3-meter dive with a season-best score of 306.00.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AND INDIANA
The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team defeated Southern Illinois 186-57 Jan. 10, while taking its second Big Ten loss of the year, to Indiana, 175-67.

Kylie Lancken won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:05.11, along with having a close swim in the 200-yard freestyle event. Julie Broms won Ohio State’s only other event, scoring 286.80 points in the 3-meter dive.

Rebekah Rychvalsky was touched out for the win in the 200-yard breaststroke, missing first place by 32-hundredths of a second with at time of 2:19.02, along with Amber Simmons coming in a close second with 234.75 points in the 1-meter dive. The diving squad has given up a first-place finish in only one diving event so far this season.

OHIO
The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team swept all 13 events to defeat Ohio 171-72 Jan. 3 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center, improving its dual-meet record to 5-1. Three Buckeyes were double-event winners, along with sweeping first, second and third place in two events.

Katie Severson won both the 50-yard freestyle with a season best time of 24.47 and the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.36. Nicole Maglich won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:19.64 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:02.62. Also a double-event winner, Deanna Strunk won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.74 and the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:09.54.

In the 50-yard freestyle, Katie Kolles and Ashley Barnes backed Severson in the 1-2-3 finish, along with Rebekah Rychvalsky leading Liz Osterer and Stephanie Raezer in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Julie Broms took home her eighth first-place finish of the season in the 3-meter dive and Ashley Bourland placed first in the 1-meter dive. The diving squad swept first through fourth places in both events.

AUBURN INVITATIONAL
Ohio State walked away with nine season best times and one NCAA B qualifying mark after three days of competition at the Auburn Invitational Dec. 4-6.

Improving her season best time by 32 seconds and making the NCAA B qualifying mark, Stephanie Raezer swam the 1,650-yard freestyle in a time of 16:50.32. Dominating the freestyle events, Nicole Maglich set two season best times and one lifetime best time, along with joining the 400- and 800-yard medley relay team. Maglich swam the 200-yard freestyle in a lifetime best time of 1:51.68, the 500-freestyle in a time of 4:56.20 and the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 52.81.

Rebekah Rychvalsky, Deanna Strunk and Kylie Lancken also teamed up with Maglich in the relay events, setting season best times in the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:51.24 and in the 800-yard freestyle with a time of 7:34.30.

Strunk narrowly missed the NCAA B qualifying mark in the 200-yard butterfly, placing third in a time of 2:02.88, along with setting a season best time in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:06.49. Lancken also matched the current season best time in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.47.

CLEVELAND STATE
At the Cleveland State meet Nov. 25, the Buckeyes swept all 13 events. Improving the season best time she set against Michigan, Nicole Maglich won the 100-yard freestyle and joined Katie Kolles, Ashley Barnes and Kristina Lipskis to set a season best time in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Both double event winners, Deanna Strunk won the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke and Stephanie Raezer won the 500-yard freestyle and the 1,000-yard freestyle.

Freshman Julie Broms continued her streak at Ohio State, staying undefeated in the 1-meter dive and placing first in all but one of the 3-meter divesthis season. Broms won the 1-meter dive with a score of 182.20 and the 3-meter dive with 193.25.

NORTHWESTERN INVITATIONAL
At the Northwestern Invite Nov. 21-22, Deanna Strunk led the Buckeyes with a first-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley and set a lifetime best in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.73.

Nicole Maglich set a lifetime and season best time, placing second in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:52.29. Kylie Lancken also placed second in the 200-yard backstroke.

MICHIGAN
In the most suspenseful meet of the season, the Buckeyes opened Big Ten competition against Michigan Nov. 14 and were narrowly defeated by a seven-point margin, 153.5-146.5. Both Ohio State and Michigan exchanged the lead several times and the Buckeyes entered the final event ahead of the Wolverines.

With Michigan leading by three points going into the next to last event, Deanna Strunk took an early lead in the 400-yard individual medley and placed first. Liz Osterer and Stephanie Raezer took third and fourth, scoring a total of 14 points in the event to put the Buckeyes ahead 144.5-138.5.

Head coach Jeanne Fleck immediately switched up her relay teams, spreading her talent in hopes of taking at least second and third place in the 400-yard freestyle relay to maintain the point lead.

Ohio State finished only three seconds behind Michigan to take third and fourth place, giving up the dual meet win by seven points.

Gulsah Gunenc took her third consecutive win in the 200-yard butterfly and freshman Julie Broms also continued her success with the Buckeyes, placing first in both the 1-meter dive with a score of 281.70 and the 3-meter dive with a score of 293.63, both NCAA zone diving qualifying marks.

Breaking a pool record set by Michigan at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center in 1994, Rebekah Rychvalsky also won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:18.79 and also won the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:04.16.

LOUISVILLE AND WEST VIRGINIA
At the first home meet Nov. 7, the squad earned its second and third win against Louisville, 171-62, and West Virginia, 169.5-65.5, sweeping all of the events. Nicole Maglich brought in two wins, placing first in the 200-yard freestyle and in the 500-yard freestyle. Deanna Strunk also won two events, taking first-place in the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke.

The squad placed first, second and third in the 200-yard breaststroke, with Rebekah Rychvalsky placing first in the 200-yard breaststroke, followed closely by Stephanie Raezer in second place and Liz Osterer in third. This was the first time in head coach Jeanne Fleck’s tenure at Ohio State that the squad took first, second and third in an event.

Kylie Lancken won the 50-yard freestyle and Katie Severson won the 100-yard freestyle, along with Stephanie Raezer setting an impressive season best in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Gulsah Gunenc also won the 200-yard butterfly, a streak she would continue against Michigan. The Buckeyes placed first in the 400-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. Julie Broms won the 1- and 3-meter dives.

BOWLING GREEN
The Buckeyes defeated Bowling Green in the season opener, with Nicole Maglich placing first in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle and Ashley Barnes and Katie Severson taking the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. Kylie Lancken won both the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke, with Gulsah Gunenc taking the 200-yard butterfly.

Julie Broms earned her first Buckeye win at the Bowling Green meet in the 1-meter dive. Anesa Beard also took her first Buckeye win at the Bowling Green meet, scoring 234.45 points in the 3-meter dive.

ABOUT COACH FLECK
Head coach Jeanne Fleck enters her fifth year with the Buckeyes, one garnered with 25 All-Big Ten selections and 41 OSU Scholar-Athletes. Fleck lost no Big Ten scorers last season and has recruited nationally and internationally ranked freshman to the team this season.

Before taking over the Ohio State program prior to the 1999 season, Fleck was both the women and men’s head coach at Northern Illinois for eight years. In her final season at NIU, Fleck was named Mid-American Conference Coach of the year after she led her women’s and men’s teams to third- and fifth-place finishes, respectively.

ABOUT COACH PANZANO
With his top diver taking home the NCAA platform diving championship for the first time in school history last year, head diving coach Vince Panzano looks to move into his 26th year at Ohio State building on that success.

In his 29 years of coaching, Panzano has produced one world champion, one junior world champion, two Olympic medallists, 22 U.S. diving champions, 10 NCAA champions, 14 NCAA runners-up, 42 Big Ten champions and 65 All-Americans.

Panzano has been awarded the “Mike Peppe Award” twice and has been selected Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year seven times. Along with three NCAA Diving Coach of the Year titles, Panzano was also inducted into the Ohio State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

UP NEXT
Members of the Buckeye squad who post NCAA qualifying times and select individuals who post NCAA consideration times will compete in the 2004 NCAA Championship, March 18-20, in College Station, Texas.