COLUMBUS, Ohio – A youthful and energetic and supportive band of Buckeyes is making some waves at the Big Ten Conference championships, being contested at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on the campus of Indiana University. The team is in third place after the second day of action but just six points separates the third-through-sixth-place teams with Indiana and Minnesota one-two with 279 points and 236, respectively.
“We are in a dogfight with a number of other teams,” Ohio State third-year coach Bill Dorenkott said. “We are a young and still relatively inexperienced team so this meet is all about growth. And the best way I can think for this team to grow is to jump into the fire. As the saying goes: ‘the more times you put steel into the fire the stronger it gets.'”
Twelve different individuals scored points for the Buckeyes, who have 149 points and are just in front of Michigan (147), Purdue (146.5) and Penn State (143), and nine of those individual point scorers are freshmen or sophomores.
Sophomore Megan Detro, who scored in seven events at this meet last year, made her third career individual final a memorable one by placing third in the 50 free in a school record time of 22.35. It was her second record of the day as she initially set the 50 free mark of 22.37 in the prelims.
Another sophomore, Angela Severn, broke and then re-set the school record in the 200 individual medley as she, too, captured third-place with a time of 1:58.54 in the final. At the conclusion of her race, the team erupted.
“The team is doing a terrific job of getting behind each other,” Dorenkott said. “I looked up after Angela finished third and I saw a bunch of her teammates going bonkers behind her lane. To me, that is what makes collegiate athletics special…young people coming together for a common goal.”
Samantha Cheverton, the most experienced Buckeye and a senior in her last Big Tens, also was a finalist Thursday. She made the finals in the 500 freestyle and placed fourth in 4:40.72.
Two freshmen and a sophomore also scored in individual events. Freshman Alex Norris was 12th in the 200 individual medley (2:00.42), freshman Kelly Ann Baird was 14th in the 500 freestyle (4:47.23) and sophomore Shannon Draves was 16th in the 200 individual medley in 2:02.65.
Junior divers Bianca Alvarez and Kristen Asman were ninth and 13th, respectively, on the one-meter springboard.
And the 200 free relay team opened the evening with a seventh-place effort in a school-record time of 1:31.92. The members of the team were Detro, sophomore Jackie Brousseau, freshman Michelle Williams and sophomore Kelsey Moran.
The Big Ten championships continue Friday with preliminaries and finals in six swimming events and on the 3-meter springboard.
2011 Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships
Day 2 Team Scores: 1. Indiana 279; 2. Minnesota 236; 3. Ohio State 149; 4. Michigan 147; 5. Purdue 146.5; 6. Penn State 143; 7. Wisconsin 99.5; 8. Iowa 75; 9. Northwestern 74; 10. Michigan State 53; 11. Illinois 53.
Events: 200 free relay – 1. Michigan, 1:29.44; 7. OSU (Detro, Brousseau, Williams, Moran), 1:31.92; 500 freestyle – 1. Steenvoorden, Minn. (4:37.66); 4. Cheverton, OSU (4:40.72); 200 IM – 1. Vavra, Indiana (1:57.01); 3. Severn, Ohio State (1:58.54); 50 freetyle – 1. Thompson, Wisconsin (22.22); 3. Detro, Ohio State (22.35); 1-meter diving – Bryant, Minn. (370.30); 9. Alvarez, Ohio State (330.80).