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Feb. 23, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team will travel to West Lafayette, Ind. Feb. 26-28 for the 2004 Big Ten Championships. The conference meet will span three days and includes 21 events.

The Buckeyes aim to move up the Big Ten ladder and build on victories from the dual-meet season.

“We want all the team members to excel by achieving lifetime-best times in each event, performing well in the relay events and getting some of those NCAA qualifying times,” Bill Wadley, head swimming coach, said. “As a team, we want to see what we can do and move up a place or two (in the Big Ten conference) as we move into a new pool.”

At the 2003 conference meet, the Buckeyes finished in eighth place and posted 31 lifetime bests, 11 Ohio State all-time Top 10 times and eight NCAA consideration times.

SCOUTING THE BIG TEN
Five Big Ten schools are ranked in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll, along with two receiving votes. Minnesota is ranked seventh, along with Michigan at No. 10 and Wisconsin at No. 12. Northwestern is ranked No. 18 and Indiana rounds off the Big Ten’s presence in the Top 25 at No. 23. Purdue earned seven votes, while Iowa earned five.

“The Big Ten is the best it has ever been,” Bill Wadley, head swimming coach, said. “It is senior dominated and will require a lot more to qualify, but I expect it to be a great meet.”

Ohio State posted its only losses of the season to Big Ten schools, falling to Indiana 130-111 Jan. 10 and to Penn State 122-121. The Buckeyes posted five event wins at both meets over the Big Ten competition, dominating the 200-yard individual medley and the 1- and 3-meter dives.

Ohio State has won 12 Big Ten team championships and has earned 172 total individual championships as a participating school at Big Ten championships.

LAST TIME AT THE BIG TENS
The Buckeyes posted 31 lifetime bests, 11 Ohio State all-time Top 10 times and eight NCAA consideration times at the 2003 conference meet, placing eighth overall with 248 points. Michigan won the conference championship with 727 points, followed by Minnesota with 689 points and Indiana in a distant third with 455 points. Sixteen of the 18 Ohio State swimmers who competed posted at least one lifetime best during the conference meet.

Tommy Seay led in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing 10th overall. Adam Braun set a lifetime-best time of 45.99 and Jeff Gullett set his personal-best time of 46.49 in the 100-yard freestyle as well.

Marty Tomes participated in the consolation finals of the 200-yard butterfly and qualified for the B-Final with a lifetime best of 1:49.79. Tomes finished 14th in the preliminaries and 14th overall in the event.

In the 200-yard breaststroke, Rob Kauscher placed 13th overall with a time ranking fourth-best in Ohio State history.

Andreas Campioni placed 14th overall in the 200-yard backstroke, while Ryan Sciortino took 15th in the mile with a lifetime best time.

Mitch Richeson posted one of the Buckeyes’ strongest overall individual performances at the 2003 conference meet, placing third and second in the 1- and 3-meter dive, respectively, on consecutive days. Richeson earned second team All-Big Ten honors for his performance at the meet.

SETTING UP THE MEET
The 2004 Big Ten Championships will consist of three days and six sessions. The meet will begin Thursday, with each day featuring both a morning and an evening session.

Individual swimming events will include preliminary heats in the morning session, with the Top 16 competitors in each event advancing to the finals that evening. The top eight 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 eight 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 the race for the conference championship.

DIVING DOMINANCE
A diving dynasty in the Big Ten, Ohio State has won 71 Big Ten diving championships, with the closest team earning a mere 26 in the history of the Big Ten championships. Hoping to continue the tradition of excellence, Mitch Richeson returns to the diving well to improve on an already impressive dual-meet record.

Richeson won every 1-meter dive he participated in during the dual-meet season, posting the season -best scores of 364.28 in the 1-meter dive and 391.28 in the 3-meter dive. After his performance at the Ohio meet Jan. 3, Richeson was named Big Ten Diver of the Week.

At the 2003 Big Ten Championships, Richeson posted a second-place finish in the 3-meter dive with 583.40 points, missing the win by less than 15 points. In the 1-meter dive, Richeson finished third with 323.30 points, going head-to-head with Michigan diver Jason Coben and missing second place by only two points.

Marc Dreyer, Kellen Harkness and Nick Hanneman complete the rest of the diving squad, backing Richeson and earning high marks in both dives. Dreyer and Harkness finished in the Top 5 ten times this season in the diving events and Hanneman earned two first-place finishes in the 3-meter dive. The entire diving squad has reached NCAA qualifying marks in the diving events, with Richeson posting NCAA qualifying marks five times throughout the season.

SEAY LEADS FREESTYLE EVENTS
Dominating in the freestyle, Tommy Seay has led the Buckeyes with seven first-place finishes in the freestyle events. Seay also posted two first-place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay and one first-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley this season. Seay was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week Jan. 3 and holds the season-best times in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.81, 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.77 and 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:40.35. His time in the 100-yard freestyle Jan. 17 was an NCAA B qualifying time and narrowly missed the school record.

A lead-off in the relay events, Seay’s teams earned season-best times in the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relay, with Seay posting a lifetime-best time of 20.69 in the first leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay for the eventual first-place win.

MAKING THE TIMES
With a strong work ethic and dedication to the sport, the Scarlet and Gray improved times across the board throughout the dual-meet season.

As Seay led in the sprint freestyle, Benji Hershberger and Ryan Sciortino dominated the distance freestyle events. Hershberger holds the season-best time of 4:35.83 in the 500-yard freestyle and 9:29.76 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, concluding the dual-meet season with two first-place and four second-place finishes overall in the freestyle events.

Sciortino holds the season-best time of 16:08.74 in the 1,650-yard freestyle, while earning four first-place and one second-place finish in the freestyle events overall.

In the butterfly, Marty Tomes has earned four first-place finishes this season and holds the season-best times of 49.56 in the 100-yard butterfly and 1:51.72 in the 200-yard butterfly. Tomes has also participated in the relay and freestyle events, earning two first-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle and top finishes in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays and 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. As one of the two Buckeyes who competed at the Auburn Invitational Dec. 5-7, Tomes also set season-best times in the butterfly events in long-course meters.

Another solid performer for the Buckeyes, Rob Kauscher holds the season-best times in the breaststroke events, earning two first-place and three second-place finishes during the dual-meet season. Kauscher holds the season-best time of 56.30 in the 100-yard breaststroke and 2:03.14 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Also a participant at the Auburn Invitational, Kauscher set the season-best time in the 100-meter breaststroke in long-course meters.

A STRONG FINISH BY CAMPIONI
Andreas Campioni looks to conclude his Big Ten career at the 2004 conference meet by building on his success from the dual-meet season. Campioni holds season-best times of 51.03 in the 100-yard backstroke and 1:51.61 in the 200-yard backstroke, and earned the Buckeyes six first-place finishes and four second-place finishes in the dual-meet season.

In the relay events, Campioni has posted top finishes in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays and in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.

FRESHMEN PRESENCE
Contributing especially to the relay events, the freshmen class has had an exceptional first-season with Ohio State. Ten freshman will be representing the Buckeyes at the 2004 conference meet.

Gary Grant led the freshmen Buckeyes with six first-place finishes in the dual-meet season, showing a solid performance in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events.

Nate King holds the season-best time in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:08.22, while also posting four second-place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley.

While the medley relays were maintained by Matt Jeffries, Andreas Campioni, Marty Tomes and Chris Stoneburg, freshmen David Okeson and Kegan Beran also helped post the season-best times.

The freestyle relays were maintained by Tommy Seay, Jeff Gullet, Adam Braun and Tomes, with freshmen Joe Doyle, Kevin Shields, Tyler Prose, Grant and Okeson contributing to the events as well.

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
The Buckeyes received a “superior” team ranking from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America for their grade point average earlier this season, holding a 3.1 cumulative GPA after autumn quarter.

Bill Wadley, head swimming coach, said 23 members of the team earned above a 3.0, making the average GPA above the 3.0 required for a superior rating.

“The GPA is one of the highest we’ve had in many years,” Wadley said. “They did a great job.”

SEASON IN REVIEW: PENN STATE
The Buckeyes concluded their dual-meet season with a loss to Penn State 122-121 Feb. 8 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center. Mitch Richeson swept both diving events, while senior Andreas Campioni placed first in his last dual-meet event for the Buckeyes.

With Penn State holding the lead with a score of 107-100 before the last two events, the Buckeyes had a chance to pull ahead but were held back when the Nittany Lions scored a first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. Ohio State had a 1-2 finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay to conclude the meet, losing to Penn State by only one point.

Richeson won the 1-meter dive with a season-high score of 364.28 and the 3-meter dive with another season-high score of 391.28, pacing the closest Nittany Lion by more than 30 points in both events. Nick Hanneman scored lifetime-best scores in both the 1- and 3-meter dives and joined the rest of the Ohio State diving squad in reaching NCAA qualifying marks this season.

At the start of the meet, the Buckeyes finished second in the 400-yard medley relay with a season-best time of 3:22.36. Gary Grant narrowly missed the win in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.55, missing first place by less than half of one second. In the 200-yard individual medley, Nate King won the Buckeyes first event of the evening with a time of 1:53.07, followed closely by Jeffrey Gullet in second place with a time of 1:54.11.

Marty Tomes finished second with a season-best time of 1:51.72 in the 200-yard freestyle, along with Campioni finishing his last dual-meet event for the Buckeyes with a first-place finish. Campioni pulled ahead of Penn State swimmers in the 200-yard backstroke and won with a time of 1:52.05.

“Close races is what competing is all about and the guys hung in there and no one gave up,” Bill Wadley, men’s head swimming coach, said.

MIAMI (OHIO)
The Buckeyes won 12 of 13 events to defeat Miami (Ohio) 151-86 Jan. 17 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center. The Buckeyes set two lifetime-best times and brought their record to 6-1 on the year.

The Buckeye’s had 1-2 finishes in five events and swept first through third-place in five other events as well. A double-event winner, Marty Tomes won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:42.79 and the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.16. Jeff Gullet brought in his second consecutive win in the 200-yard individual medley, placing first with a time of 1:54.23. Gary Grant won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.49, along with Andreas Campioni winning the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 51.16 and Ryan Sciortino winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:41.72.

In the diving well, Marc Dreyer won the 1-meter dive with a score of 281.25, while Nick Hanneman won the 3-meter dive with a score of 309.37.

INDIANA AND S. ILLINOIS
The Buckeyes defeated Southern Illinois 172-71 Jan. 10, while taking their first loss of the season to Indiana 130-111. The Buckeyes set six lifetime-best times and six team season-best times, bringing their overall dual-meet record to 5-1.

Tommy Seay continued to lead in the freestyle, winning the 100-yard freestyle with a lifetime-best time of 45.14 and missing first place in the 200-yard freestyle by one-tenth of a second also with a lifetime-best time of 1:40.35. Benji Hershberger won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a season-best time of 9:29.76, along with Jeffrey Gullet who won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:53.14.

Along with Seay, Nate King set a lifetime-best time in the 200-yard backstroke, Marty Tomes set a lifetime-best time in the 200-yard butterfly, R.J. Lemyre set a lifetime-best time in the 200-yard backstroke and Gullet also set a lifetime-best time in the 200-yard backstroke.

The Buckeyes saw continued success in the diving well, winning both diving events and maintaining an undefeated diving record for the season. Mitch Richeson won the 1-meter dive with a score of 281.50, with Marc Dreyer following close behind in second with 271.80 points. Kellen Harkness brought in his second first-place finish for the Buckeyes, winning the 3-meter dive with 304.73 points.

OHIO
The Buckeyes swept all 13 events to defeat Ohio 153-82 Jan. 3 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center, improving its undefeated dual-meet record at the time to 4-0.

Tommy Seay led in the freestyle, winning the 50-yard freestyle with a lifetime-best time of 20.81 and in the 100-yard freestyle with a season-best time of 45.31. Andreas Campioni also won the 100-yard backstroke with a season-best time of 51.03

The Buckeyes had 1-2-3 finishes in eight events, dominating Ohio in the 50-, 100- and 500-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard backstroke, the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Mitch Richeson improved his season best with a score of 334.43 in the 1-meter dive and scored 296.25 in the 3-meter dive.

AUBURN INVITATIONAL
Rob Kauscher and Marty Tomes represented the Ohio State swimming team Dec. 5-7 at the Auburn Invitational, setting several season best times in both long-course meters and yards.

Tomes finished the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 49.56 and the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:36.44. Tomes also swam the 100-meter butterfly in a time of 55.70 and the 200-meter butterfly in a time of 1:49.95 at the Saturday morning time trials, both season best times in long course meters. Kauscher placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 56.30 and swam the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:03.04, along with setting a season best time in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:05.20.

CLEVELAND STATE
The Buckeye squad took home its third consecutive win Nov. 25 against Cleveland State, placing first in 11 of 13 events and taking the meet 137-96.

Marty Tomes was a double-event winner, placing first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:41.84 and in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.59, both season best times. Rob Kauscher won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 56.97, followed closely by Matt Jeffries in second place with a time of 57.97, each setting unshaved lifetime best times. Andreas Campioni also set an unshaved lifetime best time, placing first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 51.04.

Ryan Sciortino improved his season best time by four seconds in the 1,000-yard freestyle, while Gary Grant placed first with a season best time in the 50-yard freestyle. Grant also was the leadoff leg in the 200-yard freestyle relay, along with the 200-yard medley relay team also setting season best times.

Mitch Richeson placed first in the 1-meter dive with a score of 195.00, along with freshman Kellen Harkness bringing in his first Buckeye win in the 3-meter dive with 215.75 points.

PURDUE INVITATIONAL
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Tommy Seay, Gary Grant, Joe Doyle and Adam Braun placed second Nov. 21-23, swimming a time of 1:23:74. Both 400-yard medley relay teams also finished well, with Andreas Campioni, Matt Jeffries, Seay and Marty Tomes setting a season best time of 3:23.41. Seay also swam his best time of the season, going 1:52.50 in the 200-yard individual medley and 45.46 in the 100-yard freestyle.

Tomes finished the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:36.00, improving his season best time by two seconds and leading the Buckeyes in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:43.40.

Campioni swam the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 51.34 while also beating the season best time by three seconds in the 200-yard backstroke, swimming it in 1:51.93.

Rob Kauscher swam the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 57.33 and 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 2:05.4. The 200-yard medley relay team finished with a time of 1:32.67 and the 800-yard medley relay team finished with a time of 6:50.62. The 800-yard medley relay time was a season best, along with Ryan Sciortino’s finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle.

LOUISVILLE AND WEST VIRGINIA
The Buckeyes defeated Louisville, 166-69 and West Virginia 130-107 at the first dual meet of the season Nov. 7 at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center, earning their first two dual meet wins of the season. With the victory over Cleveland State, the squad closed the fall dual-meet season with a 3-0 record.

Freshman Nate King earned his first win for the Buckeyes, taking the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 1:55.55. Marty Tomes won the 200-yard butterfly in a closely timed race, pushing forward and narrowly defeating West Virginia’s Pedro Pinto.

Ryan Sciortino won the 1,000-yard freestyle and Tommy Seay won the 100-yard freestyle, with Ohio State taking the 400-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay. Rob Kauscher placed first in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Taking both the 1- and 3-meter dives, Mitch Richeson finished with 310.65 points in the 1-meter dive and 336.70 points in the 3-meter dive.

ABOUT COACH WADLEY
Bill Wadley enters his 15th year as the men’s head swimming coach, compiling a record of 129-22 (.854) at the helm of the Buckeyes and a 153-32 (.827) overall career record. Wadley has coached 12 Olympians and his teams have been ranked in the NCAA Top 20 for 11 of the past 15 seasons. Producing more than 30 world ranked swimmers in his coaching career, 12 of his student-athletes have reached the Olympic level.

A seasoned coach, Wadley has represented the United States on numerous occasions. He has coached the 1986 Olympic Festival and the 1988 and 1992 Gold Medal teams comprised of top non-collegiate swimmers in preparation for the Olympics. In 1991, Wadley coached the U.S. team at the World University Games and in 1993 was coach of the U.S. National Team training camp.

Most recently, Wadley was the head men’s coach of the 1998 Goodwill Games team that broke seven Goodwill Games records.

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 medalists, 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
The Buckeyes travel to Bloomington, Ind. March 5-7 to compete at Sectionals at the Indiana Last Ditch.