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COLUMBUS, Ohio The nationally ranked, unbeaten and dual meet-dominant Ohio State swimming and diving team will host Top 20 team Indiana at noon Saturday in the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Admission is free.

Ohio State, No. 12 in the latest Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America poll, has been strong in dual meets so far this season, averaging over 11 wins per meet and winning by an average of almost 80 points over Kenyon, Miami, Denison, Cleveland State and Wright State. Indiana will present a much different challenge for the Buckeyes, and it is something that Bill Wadley, in his 21st year as head coach, is looking forward to:

“Event-for-event it is going to be who is most ready to take on the challenge and most prepared for the challenge,” Wadley said. “It’s going to be a fun meet and I’m excited. The guys are excited and they are ready for a fun, fast college dual meet.”

Indiana, fifth at the 2009 Big Ten championships, will unquestionably provide the Buckeyes’ with their most difficult test of the season to date. The Hoosiers come into the meet with a record of 1-3 but have faced the nation’s No. 1 and No. 7 teams in dual meets already. IU lost to No. 1 Texas in September, 179-149, and it is coming off a 158-82 loss at No. 7 Michigan this past Saturday.

Major General is Honorary Coach  Major General John Peabody will speak to the Ohio State team about leadership prior to the meet, and then he will stay and serve as the team’s honorary captain. MG Peabody is Commander and Division Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes & Ohio River Division. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College with a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies.  He also holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.

Live Meet Scoring/Results  Access to “live results” of the Ohio State vs. Indiana meet is available on the main men’s swimming home page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

Here’s Where to Park  Parking is available at an hourly rate in the Neil Avenue Parking Garage just south of theMcCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and the Tuttle Park Place Parking Garage north of the facility. Pay to park – $1 per hour – is also available in the surface lots next to Ohio Stadium. Just remember to pay to park.

Toss Out Last Year  Although this is a matchup of teams that each finished among the top five at the 2009 Big Ten championships – Ohio State was second and Indiana was fifth – Wadley said last year’s finish has no bearing at all on this meet.

“It all starts now,” Wadley said. “The swimmers know that all of our training and prep work and opportunity to get ready to race starts now with this beginning of the second half of our season.”

And the Stakes are Higher  Wadley expects the meet to be one featuring plenty of close races that come down to the last five yards with the victors being the swimmers who have the best race strategy and who are most confident.

“The guys know this is the time of year where the challenges are greater, as they should be, and the stakes are higher,” Wadley said. “They know that someone may get an edge on another person and they don’t want to be wondering if they can beat this guy the next time they compete.” 

Some Races to Watch  While Wadley feels every race is going to be competitive Saturday, he did mention that the 500 and 200 freestyle events, along with the backstroke and breaststroke races should be particularly interesting and enjoyable. Breaking them down…

  • 200 Free – Ohio State boasts senior Andrew Olson, who has the fifth-fastest time in the Big Ten (1:37.33) while Indiana will counter with Titus Knight, who was 13th at the U.S. Short Course Nationals in December in 1:37.65. Knight was second in the event last week vs. Michigan; an impressive feat considering the Wolverines have the top four times in the conference to date.
  • 500 Free – Knight, a junior from Austin, Texas, also leads the Hoosiers in the 500. The Buckeyes counter with Stefan Sigrist and George Markovic, who have the fastest and fourth-fastest times in the conference to date at 4:20.36 and 4:23.18, respectively.
  • Breaststroke – Ohio State has the top four times in the conference in the 200 (and four of the top six in the 100), led by defending Big Ten champion Sam Pelkey’s 1:58.99. Indiana counters with 2009 Big Ten runner-up Aaron Opell, who earned a spot on the U.S. National Team this summer after a fifth-place swim in the event at the World Championship trials in Indianapolis.
  • Backstroke – Indiana’s Doug Spraul has multiple wins in the event this season and is coming off a 10th place effort in the 200 at the 2009 Big Ten championships. Ohio State is led by Andrew Elliott, who has eight wins in the backstroke events this season and has Top 4 times in the Big Ten at both distances. OSU’s Phil Seleskie has the third-fastest time in the 200 at 1:45.26.

One talented backstroker we won’t see Saturday is IU’s Eric Ress. The Hoosier sophomore, a runner-up in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the 2009 Big Tens, is red-shirting the 2009-10 season. 

Diving will be Delightful, Too  Ohio State’s divers – seniors Wes Wieser, Ryan Jefferson and Burkley Showe; Sean Moore is injured – will face formidable competition from Hoosiers David Piercy, who swept the springboard events last weekend vs. Michigan, and Casey Johnson, who won on platform.

A Week Off  Ohio State will take next week off before hosting Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern in a two-day quadrangular meet Jan. 29-30, just one month from the Big Ten championships.

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