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Feb. 16, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team is in first place with 186 points after the first day at the Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Friday at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

Columbus native Burkley Showe (Fr., Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) led four Ohio State divers in the finals to a 1-2-4-7 finish on the 1-meter springboard. Showe won his first Big Ten title in a score of 379.80. Ryan Jefferson (Fr., Madison, Wis./Madison Edgewood) followed as the runner-up with 336.30 points. Kellen Harkness (Sr., Puyallup, Wash./Cascade Christian) placed fourth in the event with a score of 329.35. Wes Wieser (So., Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) took seventh when he dove a score of 309.95.

“All four of our divers did great today,” Vince Panzano, Ohio State diving coach, said. “It was great to see Berkley (Showe) win. They’ve been training hard all year and hopefully they’ll continue to do well through the next two days.”

Minnesota is in second place in the team standings with 173 points and Michigan sits in third with 172 points. The Buckeyes recorded nine NCAA `B’ times throughout the day, as well as 14 lifetime best times.

Nate King (Sr., Youngstown, Ohio/Warren Harding) bettered his Ohio State record he set during preliminaries earlier in the day on Friday to finish second in 1:46.29. The time is the ninth fastest collegiate time this year and is a NCAA `B’ standard. Wildcat Mike Alexandrov was responsible for the win, swimming the event in an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:45.11. Niksa Roki swam the 200-yard individual medley two seconds faster than he did earlier today to finish 19th in a time of 1:50.99.

Joe Doyle (Sr., Centerburg, Ohio/Centerburg) followed King’s example, finishing second in the 50-yard freestyle in a NCAA `B’ time of 19.70. The place is Doyle’s highest career finish at the Big Ten championships. Matt Voelker (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) completed the sprint in 19.97 to place sixth. Wildcat Matt Greevers became the first swimmer in the history of the Big Ten to win the event four consecutive times when he stopped the clock first at 19.53.

Ohio State opened the meet with a third-place finish and an Ohio State record in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The team of Doyle, Voelker, Joel Elber (Fr., Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) and R.J. Lemyre (Sr., Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) swam the event in 1:18.86 to qualify for a NCAA provisional standard. The time is just 0.39 seconds away from automatically qualifying for the NCAA championships. Northwestern erased its own Big Ten conference record, winning the event in 1:17.21. The time is the second fastest in the country this year.

George Markovic (Fr., Sydney, Australia/St. Ives) broke the Ohio State record teammate Mark Neiman (Fr., Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill) set earlier in the day in the 500-yard freestyle to win the consolation finals. His time of 4:21.34 is three seconds under the previous record and qualifies as a NCAA `B’ standard. Neiman finished behind Markovic in 10th place. He also swam a time under his previous record, completing the event in 4:22.92. Matt Patton of Michigan secured his ticket to the NCAA championships when he won the event in an automatic time of 4:17.16. His time also is a pool record.

Stefan Sigrist (Fr., Schaffhausen, Switzerland/Schaffhausen) posted his first career NCAA `B’ qualifying time of 4:24.18 to win the bonus heat of the 500-yard freestyle. Jake Busch (So., Toldeo, Ohio/Toledo Christiansen) fell from his preliminary placing of 12th to 16th, hitting the wall in 4:27.18.

The Buckeyes ended the night with a sixth-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay. The quad of Lemyre, Felipe Travesso (So., Belo Horizonte, Brazil/Lawrences North), Doyle and Voelker swam the event in a NCAA `B’ time of 3:13.25. Northwestern set its second conference record to win the relay in 3:06.99, becoming the fastest team in the country in the event.

“We have to give credit to our head diving coach Vince Panzano and our divers for their work today,” Bill Wadley, head swimming coach, said. “We broke school records on every event but the final relay today so our swimmers are swimming up a storm. It’s only two sessions of six but it is still nice to be on top going into the second day.”

The championships continue Saturday with prelims beginning at noon and at finals at 7 p.m. Events Saturday include the 200-yard medley relay, the 400-yard individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly, the 200-yard freestyle, the 100-yard breaststroke, the 100-yard backstroke, the 800-yard freestyle relay and the 3-meter springboard. Single session tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.

Team Standings (official through day one)
1. Ohio State 186; 2. Minnesota 173; 3. Michigan 172; 4. Northwestern 168; 5. Indiana 131; 6. Purdue 103.50; 7. Penn State 82; 8. Wisconsin 74.50; 9. Michigan State 34; 10. Iowa 32.

Individual Event Winners
200-yard Freestyle Relay
1. Northwestern – 1:17.21
3. Ohio State – 1:18.86

500-Yard Freestyle
1. Matt Patton (Michigan) – 4:17.16
9. George Markovic – 4:21.34
10. Mark Neiman – 4:22.92
16. Jake Busch – 4:27.18
17. Stefan Sigrist – 4:24.18
30. Alex Chen – 4:30.30
48. Ryan Stoneburg – 4:35.49

200-yard Individual Medley
1. Mike Alexandrov (Northwestern) – 1:45.11
2. Nate King – 1:46.29
19. Niksa Roki – 1:50.99
39. Sam Pelkey – 1:52.28
45. Andrew Olson – 1:53.25
53. Daniel Malnik – 1:55.94

50-yard Freestyle
1. Matt Grevers (Northwestern) – 19.57
2. Joe Doyle – 19.70
6. Matt Voelker – 19.97
33. Felipe Travesso – 20.80
40. Joel Elber – 20.93
51. Mike Kordel – 21.31

1-meter Diving
1. Burkley Showe
2. Ryan Jefferson
4. Kellen Harkness
7. Wes Weiser
24. Nick Hanneman – 229.50

400-yard Medley Relay
1. Northwestern – 3:06.99
6. Ohio State – 3:13.25