Feb. 25, 2016
Columbus, Ohio—Day two of the Big Ten Championships are in the books and Ohio State has claimed its first title: Colin Zeng in the one-meter dive. The relay foursome of Matt McHugh, DJ MacDonald, Ching Lim, and Steffen Hillmer qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 400 medley relay.
Overall it was a successful day for the Buckeyes, who claim their first diving B1G title since 2012. Zeng’s score of 450.55 is the third-highest at Big Tens since the conference switched up the format in 2001. It’s the biggest achievement to date for the talented sophomore, who has had one of the best seasons for an Ohio State diver in quite some time.
The aforementioned relay group was the second this week to qualify for the NCAA Championships next month. Lim and Hillmer will now be competing in at least two relays at NCAA’s for the Scarlet and Gray.
Several other Buckeyes had significant outings today as well. Three swimmers- Hillmer, Joey Long, and Brayden Seal- all qualified for the A finals after posting impressive times during prelims this morning. Of those three, Long had the highest finish with his fourth-place time of 4:18.36. Seal and Hillmer finished back-to-back at sixth and seventh place, respectively, with times of 4:20.32 and 4:22.53. Also scoring points for the Buckeyes was Jovan Mitrovic, who earned a time of 4:22.48 which was the 12th-fastest in the event.
In the 200 IM that followed Ohio State was able to place another swimmer in the A finals. Andrew Appleby was the best OSU finisher after prelims, swimming the eighth-fastest time among all competitors. In the evening session, he finished in the same spot and posted a time of 1:45.06, an NCAA B mark. Three other OSU swimmers reached that benchmark too: Lim (1:46.32) and Dmitry Dolgov (1:47.95) bot competed in the B finals and Chris DePietro (1:47.12) garnered points in the C finals.
The Big Ten’s best sprinters came out to race in the 50 freestyle finals and a Buckeye finished in the top-five. McHugh’s time of 19.62 was the fourth-fastest among all swimmers and is also the fifth-best time in school history. Like the day’s prior events, multiple Ohio State swimmers were able to earn points up and down the heat sheet. Kevin Musterait (19.82) and Mossimo Chavez (20.21) finished 11th and 16th while swimming in the B finals and teammate Thomas Trace notched points with a 20.04 in the C finals.
Zeng’s win on the spring boards and the relay team’s NCAA qualifying performance capped the day for Ohio State. Thanks to the Buckeyes’ ability to place several swimmers in point-earning positions, they’ve put themselves in third place heading into day three tomorrow. Be sure to visit our Big Ten Championships preview for everything you need to follow along these last two days.
1. Michigan, University of 496
2. Indiana University 452
3. Ohio State University 427.5
4. University of Minnesota 308
5. University of Wisconsin 268