Jan. 29, 2016
Columbus, Ohio—Close finishes and several notable individual performances highlighted Ohio State’s 203-97 dual meet victory over Kentucky on Friday evening.
The first event of the day was all Ohio State; Matt McHugh, DJ MacDonald, Ching Lim, and Mossimo Chavez captured the 200 medley relay with a season-best time of 1:28.32. That was followed by one of the closest races of the evening, the 1000 freestyle. Brayden Seal and Kentucky’s Drew Aviotti were both neck and neck for the final few laps, with Aviotti (9:11.03) just narrowly edging out Seal (9:11.04) to take first place. In the process, both swimmers broke the previous pool record of 9:14.30. In another photo finish, Steffen Hillmer tied with Kentucky’s Isaac Jones in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:39.68 while another UK swimmer placed first, giving the Wildcats the lead.
The 100 backstroke followed, as did the Buckeyes’ lead. McHugh (47.11) blew past the competition in the 100 backstroke with his NCAA provisional time, while teammate Mark Belanger (49.51) narrowly edged out a UK swimmer for second place. That OSU momentum kept rolling in the 100 breaststroke with DJ MacDonald (55.38), Michael Eaton (55.88), and Jack Barone (56.13) taking the top three spots. Following the theme of the meet, the 200 butterfly was yet another hotly-contested event that came down to a tiny margin. UK’s Kyle Higgins (1:46.37) edged out Lim (1:46.38) for the top spot, though three Buckeyes followed after that, helping to extend Ohio State’s lead. The final event heading into the first break was the 50 freestyle, which was won by Kentucky’s Cobe Garcia (20.21). Nathan Christian was the top Ohio State finisher in that event with a time of 20.76, squeaking by teammate Chavez at 20.79.
After coming back from break, McHugh’s good day continued with a first place finish in the 100 freestyle. His time of 44.63 bested the next two finishers, Wildcat Sean Gunn and OSU’s Christian. Those two tied for second place with their time of 45.29. Gus Whiteman (1:47.72) and Andrew Appleby (1:48.30) then took the top two spots in the 200 backstroke, extending the Ohio State lead even further.
A couple of seniors duked it out for the fastest 200 breaststroke time with MacDonald (2:02.19) swimming past teammate Dmitry Dolgov (2:02.63) for his second individual win of the meet. Another senior, Jovan Mitrovic, joined his fellow elder statesmen by winning the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:29.57, with Seal close behind at 4:30.03. Lim then gave Ohio State another NCAA B time (48.15) with his performance in the 100 butterfly before both teams headed into the final break.
Though it should come as no surprise by this point, Colin Zeng and the rest of the Ohio State divers had another great night. Zeng outscored all comers in the three-meter diving event with his score of 419.30, while teammate Clay White’s score of 381.23 was good enough to place first in the platform dive.
The final two events were won by Buckeyes. Senior Chris DePietro won the 200 IM with his time of 1:51.67 and the foursome of Christian, Appleby, Hillmer, and McHugh (3:00.11) beat out Kentucky’s top relay team in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Buckeyes will take their undefeated dual meet record into tomorrow’s matchups with Buffalo, Michigan, and West Virginia. Swimming is slated to begin at 1 pm, with Senior Day activities expected to start around 12:40. Ohio State’s six seniors- Keeler Callahan, Chris DePietro, Dmitry Dolgov, Peter Lyon, DJ MacDonald, and Jovan Mitrovic- will be honored prior to the start of the meet.