COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State swimmers won eight races in a quadrangular meet at the University of Michigan’s Canham Natatorium and in the process picked up wins over Penn State and Northwestern while dropping a close meet against the Wolverines.
Ohio State, nationally ranked at No. 11 this week, routed both the Nittany Lions, 235-87, and the Wildcats, 235-87, but dropped a narrow 187-141 decision to No. 13 Michigan. The results left the Buckeyes with a 9-1 dual meet mark heading into this week’s dual meet finale, a senior-day contest Friday, Feb. 4 against Eastern Michigan at 5 p.m. at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
“All-in-all I am pleased with the overall competitiveness of the team this weekend,” Ohio State coach Bill Wadley said. “We tied with Michigan for the number of swimming wins – each team won four each day – but they won three relays to our one. We also didn’t have divers competing but I would have to say this is the most competitive we’ve been against Michigan in a dual meet since we last beat them, in 1991.”
Junior Andrew Elliott led the Buckeyes’ charge in an intense two days of racing as the teams tune up for the Big Ten Conference championships one month from now in Minneapolis. Elliott, the 2010 Big Ten champion in the 100 backstroke, won both the 100 and 200 backstroke events and swam the leadoff leg of the team’s victorious 200 medley relay (1:28.54) that also included Elliott Keefer, Quincy Lee and Jason Schnur.
Two-time Big Ten swimmer of the week Justin Farra captured a pair of races, taking first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.
Brent Hitchcock lowered his Big Ten Conference-best in the 1000 freestyle by winning in 9:11.63, shaving more than five seconds off his previous season’s best time in the process.
“Farra was just outstanding again for us,” Wadley said. “And Andrew Elliott just continues to win races for us, Tim Phillips is as tough as nails and Brent Hitchcock really had a great time.”
Elliott Keefer, the 2010 Big Ten champion in the 100 breaststroke, was second to Farra at that distance but he won the 200 breaststroke in 1:59.64 on Friday, just three-tenths of a second in front of his 6-foot-10 teammate, who was second.
Phillips was a winner in the 200 freestyle in 1:38.01 and he took second in the 100 butterfly.
The 200 medley relay was Ohio State’s only relay win of the meet. Michigan took first in the 400 medley relay in 3:15.54 with Ohio State half a second back in second. Michigan also won the 200 and 400 free relays with the Buckeye teams taking second in each.
Schnur (50 free), Lee (200 butterfly) and Hitchcock (500 free) each finished as a runner-up on the weekend.
Michigan defeated the Buckeyes in this quad meet last year only to have Ohio State win one month later at the Big Ten championships. Michigan divers did not score a point at last year’s championships, but this weekend they produced three firsts and nine top four finishes to help the team’s cause. Ohio State was without the help of its two divers this weekend as they are competing in Iowa City, Iowa, at the U.S. Diving National Championships.
Friday & Saturday, Jan. 28/29, 2011
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ohio State 235, Penn State 87
Ohio State 243, Northwestern 85
Michigan 187, Ohio State 141
Ohio State Event Winners: 1000 freestyle – Hitchcock, 9:11.63; 200 freestyle – Phillips, 1:38.01; 100 backstroke – Elliott, 48.43; 200 breaststroke – Keefer, 1:59.64; 200 medley relay – Elliott, Keefer, Lee, Schnur, 1:28.54; 200 individual medley – Farra, 1:47.54; 200 backstroke – Elliott, 1:46.75; 100 breaststroke – Farra, 55.20.