COLUMBUS, Ohio – The University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center is the sweet spot to be this week as it will play host to the 2011 NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships. Included in the field will be one of the larger contingents of Ohio State swimmers and divers in at least 25 years…perhaps longer…and possibly even ever: seven swimmers and two divers for nine total competitors.
“This week is definitely the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae of swimming,” Emily Creran, from Haddonfield, N.J., said before a recent practice.
Competition will take place starting Thursday, March 17 and continue through Saturday, March 19. On pool deck for swimming coach Bill Dorenkott and assistant Stefanie Williams will be a team that features only one previous NCAA qualifier – senior Samantha Cheverton – and includes senior Anita Beck and a handful of precocious underclassmen: sophomores Creran, Megan Detro, Kelsey Moran and Angela Severn, and freshman Alex Norris.
Diving coach Vince Panzano’s two qualified divers have each tasted success at the NCAA championships with junior Bianca Alvarez a four-time All-American and senior Katie Bell having earned one All-America honor.
2011 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
Big Time Time Drops Ohio State, one of six Big Ten schools to send swimmers to the NCAA championships, has been on a roll under the direction of third-year coach Bill Dorenkott. The team has climbed to fifth and then a 17-year-best third at the Big Ten championships since his first season and his NCAA qualifiers have increased from one to three to seven.
“Where we were and where we are now is significant,” Dorenkott, who has coached teams to three Big Ten championships, said. “We have caught the eye of club coaches, high school coaches and recruits.”
What Dorenkott was talking about was time drops. Kelsey Moran, for instance, came to Ohio State swimming the 100 backstroke in the 58s and she has gone as low as 53.2. Megan Detro came to Ohio State as a 1:51 200 freestyler and today she is swimming it in 1:44.2.
“What we are doing in terms of helping our kids swim faster and improve stacks up with anyone in the country,” Dorenkott said.
In other words: don’t be surprised if Buckeye swimmers are among the 30 percent of swimmers who typically equal their season bests times at the national meet.
“We are going to NCAAs to hold times or go faster than our season bests,” Dorenkott said. “It is realistic to believe we can repeat our season bests.”
Excited, But Nervous These Buckeyes deserve this opportunity to compete on the national stage. After all, they earned the honor to be at this invite-only event and compete against the best of the best with two relays that are Top 12 nationally and super fast swims at the Big Ten championships to produce enough “B” qualifying times to have a Buckeye compete in virtually every stroke.
“I’m excited but obviously a little nervous,” Cheverton, who will compete at her third national championships, said. “It is going to be fun having so many people going.”
“I dream of the day when we have 18 individuals going to this meet,” Dorenkott said.
With the way this Buckeye program is progressing under Dorenkott, the wait for 18 competitors won’t take nearly as long as the wait was for nine. And the only way to describe that thought is: sweet!
Buckeye Events Ohio State’s swimmers and divers are qualified or have been invited to compete in the following events at nationals (some swimmers may not swim all the events):
Bianca Alvarez – 1-meter; 3-meter;
Anita Beck – 200 free; 500 free; 200 fly; 400 free relay; 800 free relay;
Katie Bell – 10-meter platform;
Samantha Cheverton – 200 free; 500 free; 200 back; 400 free relay; 800 free relay;
Emily Creran – 100 back; 200 back; 400 IM;
Megan Detro – 50 free; 100 free; 200 free; 400 free relay; 800 free relay;
Kelsey Moran* – 100 back; 200 back;
Alex Norris – 200 free; 200 fly; 200 IM; 400 free relay; 800 free relay; and
Angela Severn – 200 breaststroke; 200 IM; 400 IM.
*A first alternate waiting to be picked up
The Schedule of Events
Thursday Preliminaries – 11 a.m.
Finals – 7:00 p.m.
Friday Preliminaries – 11 a.m.
Finals – 7 p.m.
Saturday Preliminaries – 11 a.m.
Finals – 7:00 p.m.
NCAA History Ohio State has two Top 10 finishes at the NCAA championships – 10th in 1983 and a program-best seventh in 1994 – and 10 Top 20 finishes with the last coming in 1995 (16th). Ohio State has finished 24th and 22nd, respectively at the last two NCAA championships.
NCAA Champions Five Ohio State Buckeyes have won NCAA championships: Janelle Bosse (400 IM in 1987); Karen LaFace (1-meter diving in1987); Kim Fugett (3-meter diving in 1988); Natalie Diea (10-meter platform in 2003) and Chelsea Davis (3-meter diving in 2008).
All-Americans & More There have been 28 different swimmers to earn All-American accolades for Ohio State and that group was honored a total of 50 times. The last swimming All-America was Gulsah Gunenc in 2006. A total of 20 divers have been honored as an All-American 45 times with Bianca Alvarez picking up the last two of those awards in 2010.
Ohio State Third at Big Tens Ohio State completed a 17-year-best run at the Big Ten Championships in late February with a third-place finish. Samantha Cheverton (200 free) and Megan Detro (100 free) were Big Ten champions and the 800 and 400 free relay teams were each runners-up. Individually, Ohio State had 11 individuals compete in a championship final. The finalists honor roll:
Fast Times Ohio State swimmers have broken 13 school records this season (out of 19 events), including all five relays. Most impressive was the 800 free relay carving nearly seven seconds off the old mark and the 400 free relay knocking over four seconds off the old mark.
2010-11 Dual Meet Season Update The Buckeyes, under the direction of third-year swimming coach Bill Dorenkott and 33rd-year diving coach Vince Panzano, are coming off an 11-1 dual meet season that set a school record for wins. The team was third of eight teams at the Purdue Invite and fifth of 15 teams at the U.S. Short Course National Championships.
Team Captains Ohio State’s team captains, as chosen by the team members, are seniors Samantha Cheverton and Anita Beck, junior Lisa Narum and sophomores Megan Detro and Emily Creran.
View the attached pdf for season best times, updated school records, bios of the Buckeye competitors and much, much more.
Don’t forget to click on photos above to experience a delightful photo album of the Buckeyes competing this week.