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Feb. 18, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team placed third with 495 points at the 2007 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Sunday at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. It was the highest finish for Ohio State since 1996.

Ohio State became the first Big Ten school since 1995 to sweep all three diving events when Wes Wieser (So., Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) clenched the platform title in a score of 386.55. The victory was Wieser’s first Big Ten title. However, the kudos for the diving team did not end there. Kellen Harkness (Sr., Puyallup, Wash./Cascade Christian) earned Big Ten Diver of the Year honors and shared diver of the championships honors with teammate, Columbus-native Burkley Showe (Fr., Upper Arlington). Showe also earned the Co-Freshman of the Year accolade. Head diving coach Vince Panzano was named Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year for a sixth time.

Mark Neiman (Fr., Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill) opened the meet with an Ohio State record in the 1,650-yard freestyle. His time of 15:16.06 is six seconds faster than the previous record and qualifies as a NCAA `B’ standard. He finished ninth in the event. Matt Patton of Michigan won the distance event, finishing the 64 laps in 14:54.24. He set a pool record and automatically qualified for the NCAA championships.

Nate King (Sr., Youngstown, Ohio/Warren Harding) maintained his preliminary standing of seventh place in the finals with a NCAA consideration time of 1:45.25. R.J. Lemyre (Sr., Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) improved his prelim time to finish 12th in 1:46.47. His time also qualifies as a NCAA `B’ standard. Tyler King (So., Youngstown, Ohio/Warren Harding) moved up one place into 21st when he stopped the clock at 1:50.09 in the 200-yard backstroke. Matt Grevers of Northwestern became the third person in history to swim the event under 1:40.00 when he hit the wall first in 1:39.53.

Joe Doyle (Sr., Centerburg, Ohio/Centerburg) swam the 100-yard freestyle in 43.92 to win the consolation finals. First to hit the wall at the 50-yard mark was Matt Voelker (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), who bettered his prelim time to finish sixth in a time of 43.67. Both Buckeyes qualified for a NCAA provisional time. Jake Busch (So., Toldeo, Ohio/Toledo Christiansen) and Joel Elber (Fr., Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) also competed in the race, finishing 21st and 23rd, respectively. Busch swam a time of 46.18, while Elber posted a time of 46.55. Bruno Barbic of Northwestern came from an outside lane to win the event in an NCAA automatic and pool-record time of 43.14.

Freshmen Sam Pelkey (Fr., Muncie, Ind./Delta) and Dani Malnik (Fr., Rishon Le-zion, Israel/Gan-Nahum) each competed in the final heat of the 200-yard breaststroke. Pelkey swam the event seven seconds faster than he ever has to finish fourth in a time of 1:58.81. The time is the second-fastest time swum in Ohio State history. Malnik hit the wall in 1:59.22 to finish seventh. Both men qualified for the NCAA `B’ standard. Mike Alexandrov earned Northwestern its third title of the night when he secured his ticket to the NCAA championships by breaking the Big Ten record in a time of 1:52.93. The time is just one second shy of Olympian Brendan Hanson’s American record.

Matthias Sigrist (So., Schaffhausen, Switzerland/Schaffhausen) captured 12th place in the 200-yard butterfly when he stopped the clock at 1:48.31. Niksa Roki won the bonus heat in a time of 1:49.81. Michigan’s Alex Vanderkaay took home the title when he touched in first at 1:43.29.

The Ohio State team of Doyle, Lemyre, Voelker and Mike Kordel (Fr., Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward’s) concluded the championships with a sixth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay in a NCAA `B’ time of 2:56.55. The time is just .07 seconds away the school record and was Ohio State’s 24th NCAA provisional time for the meet. Overall for the championships, the Buckeyes set eight school records and posted 39 lifetime bests.

Buckeyes Doyle and King made the All-Big Ten Second Team. Weiser, Showe and Harkness made the All-Big Ten First Team for their wins during the diving competition. Doyle also was chosen as the Ohio State Big Ten Sportsman of the Year.

The divers will participate in the NCAA Diving Zone meet in Ann Arbor, Mich., Mar. 2-4 for a chance to compete at the NCAA championships. Swimmers and divers who qualify will compete in the 2007 Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., March 15-17.

Ohio State Quotes

Bill Wadley, Ohio State head swimming coach
“I am extremely proud of our swimmers and divers. I am really happy for these guys to be able to do something special in front of their family and friends. This is the best conference in America, so to place so high is great. We also broke so many school records, so it is really special for these guys to be able to look back and say they swam on one of the fastest teams in Ohio State history.”

Vince Panzano, Ohio State head diving coach
Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year
“The kids just had a great meet and I am really proud of them. They all had a great year and trained very hard and with the way they performed it says we are a pretty good team that worked and practiced hard.”

Wes Weiser, sophomore diver
Winner of platform diving
“This feels amazing. I knew it was going to be really close towards the end and I knew what I needed to get to get the job done. It’s just unbelievable. I have always had a bit of a problem with my arm stands, but this time I held it. Being at home and seeing everyone here, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

2007 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships
Final Team Scores

1. Minnesota – 612.5
2. Michigan – 608.5
3. Ohio State – 495
4. Indiana – 404
5. Northwestern – 470
6. Purdue – 375.5
7. Penn State – 295
8. Wisconsin – 245.5
9. Michigan State – 118
10. Iowa – 106

1,650-Yard Individual Medley
1. Matt Patton (Michigan) – 14:54.27
9. Mark Neiman – 15:16.06
19. Alex Chen – 15:38.52
20. George Markovic – 15:38.63

200-yard Backstroke
1. Mark Grevers (Northwestern) – 1:39.53
7. Nate King – 1:45.25
12. R.J. Lemyre – 1:46.47
21. Tyler King – 1:50.09

100-yard Freestyle
1. Bruno Barbic (Northwestern) – 43.14
6. Matt Voelker – 43.67
9. Joe Doyle – 43.92
30. Jake Busch – 45.41
34. Joel Elber – 45.76
42. Andrew Olson – 46.06

200-yard Breaststroke
1. Mike Alexandrov (Northwestern) – 1:52.93
4. Sam Pelkey – 1:58.81
7. Dani Malnik – 1:59.22
36. Scott Blake – 2:08.12

200-yard Butterfly
1. Alex Vanderkaay (Michigan) – 1:43.29
11. Mathias Sigrist – 1:48.31
17. Niksa Roki – 1:49.81
27. Dan Novak – 1:50.92
30. Stefan Sigrist – 1:51.82

Platform Diving
1. Wes Wieser – 386.55
15. Nick Hanneman – 250.55

400-yard Freestyle Relay
1. Minnesota – 2:52.83
6. Ohio State – 2:56.55

Big Ten Honors and Awards
Diver of the Year: Kellen Harkness, Ohio State
Diver of the Championship: Kellen Harkness (Ohio State) and Berkley Showe (Ohio State)
Diving Coach of the Year: Vince Panzano, Ohio State
Freshman of the Year: Danny Cox (Purdue) and Berkley Showe (Ohio State)
Swimmer of the Championship: Mike Alexandrov, Northwestern
Swimmer of the Year: Matt Grevers, Northwestern
Swimming Coach of the Year: Bob Bowman (Michigan) and Bob Groseth (Northwestern)

All-Big Ten Teams
First Team

Matt Alexandrov, Northwestern
Sal Barba, Michigan
Bruno Barbic, Northwestern
Kyle Bubolz, Northwestern
Igor Cerensek, Minnesota
Mario Delac, Minnesota
Matt Grevers, Northwestern
Kellen Harkness, Ohio State
Ben Hesen, Indiana
Eric Nilsson, Northwestern
Matt Patton, Michigan
Bobby Savulich, Michigan
Tyler Schmidt, Minnesota
Berkley Showe, Ohio State
Alex Vanderkaay, Michigan
Wes Weiser, Ohio State
Mike Woodson, Minnesota

Second Team
Evan Bernier, Minnesota
Joe Doyle, Ohio State
Mike Holmes, Minnesota
Ryan Jefferson, Ohio State
Nate King, Ohio State
David Legler, Indiana
Matt Lenton, Indiana
Romain Maire, Purdue
Todd Patrick, Indiana
Pat Penoyar, Indiana
Taylor Roberts, Indiana
Patrick Schirk, Penn State
Ales Volcansek, Minnesota
Nick Walkotten, Indiana

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Winners:
Indiana: David Legler
Iowa: Jake Moore
Michigan: Jamie Martone
Michigan State: Matt McNichols
Minnesota: Dan Berve
Northwestern: Daniel Walls
Ohio State: Joe Doyle
Penn State: David Kraft
Purdue: John Schmitt
Wisconsin: Taylor Mathis