Jan. 30, 2016
Columbus, Ohio–It’s always an important day when Ohio State takes to the pool with its biggest rival, but it was also a big day out of the pool as the Buckeyes honored its six seniors prior to the day’s events. Keeler Callahan, Chris DePietro, Dmitry Dolgov, Peter Lyon, DJ MacDonald, and Jovan Mitrovic were all honored at Senior Day today. The group, which holds several impressive accolades including Olympic Qualifying times, NCAA appearances, and myriad academic awards, was cheered on by the Buckeye faithful they had swam in front of for four years here.
The opening event of the meet, the 200 medley relay, came down to Ohio State’s top foursome and Michigan’s top foursome, with the Wolverines (1:27.09) edging out Matt McHugh, MacDonald, Ching Lim, and Mossimo Chavez (1:27.76). In the 1000 freestyle it was another tight finish near the top, with Brayden Seal (9:14.79) finishing in third place just behind Michigan’s Ian Rainey (9:14.36). Wolverine PJ Ransford outpaced the competition by a significant margin, setting a new pool record with his time of 9:08.47.
The 200 freestyle followed, where Ohio State’s top finishers were Steffen Hillmer (1:38.64) and Callahan (1:40.92). The 100 backstroke was next, and sophomore Mark Belanger (49.09) was able to place fourth for the Scarlet and Gray.
One of the best finishes on the men’s side came in the 100 breaststroke. MacDonald (54.67) and Michigan’s Chris Klein (54.71) were neck and neck with Klein having the early advantage, but MacDonald surged past him during the final stretch (his split of 14.63 well ahead of Klein’s 15.03) to nab that top spot. The Buckeye faithful in the stands at McCorkle let him hear it as well, erupting when the results were shown on the video board.
In the final two events before the first break, Ohio State was able to place a few swimmers in the top-four. Lim (1:46.00) and Lyon (1:49.39) were third and fourth, respectively, in the 200 butterfly and Kevin Musterait (20.35) was the third place swimmer in the 50 freestyle. Lim’s 200 fly time put him under the NCAA provisional cut line in that event.
Joining him and MacDonald in posting an NCAA B time would be McHugh in the 100 freestyle. His time of 43.86 was just barely beaten by Michigan’s Paul Powers (43.84), but was well under the NCAA’s provisional standard. Wolverines finished 1-3 in the 200 backstroke, with Gus Whiteman (1:47.75) and Andrew Appleby (1:48.42) rounding out the top five.
Klein and MacDonald battled again, this time atop the 200 breaststroke. Unfortunately, it was the Wolverine (1:59.75) who came out on top this time, with MacDonald posting a time of 2:00.49 to take second. Fellow senior and teammate Dmitry Dolgov was right behind him at 2:01.00, edging out a swimmer from West Virginia for third place. The 500 freestyle followed, where Seal (4:30.04) and Mitrovic (4:31.07) were the top finishers for Ohio State, rounding out the top-five of the event.
Another exciting finish came in the 100 butterfly when McHugh and Michigan’s Dylan Bosch duked it out for the top spot. McHugh (47.55) outdueled his Wolverine counterpart for his first individual first place finish on the day, but the fourth of the weekend for the junior. That was followed up by yet another race that brought the crowd to its feet: the 200 IM. Lim (1:46.99) finished with a 24.99 in the final leg, fast enough to overtake the swimmer he ended up beating out for the top spot. The relay team of Vlad Komarov, Thomas Trace, Jack DiSalle, and Justin Dunn placed fifth in the final event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay, with a time of 3:03.46.
Diving-wise it was a typical Buckeye performance, that is to say that it was outstanding. Phenom Colin Zeng won both events, registering a 418.15 on the platform and 457.00 on the three-meter. Stephen Romanik also had himself a nice day, placing second on the three-meter (331.65) and third on the platform (319.85). Teammate Clay White was in between Zeng and Romanik on the platform with a score of 339.20
Ohio State still has one dual meet left on its schedule which will take place next Friday, Feb. 5. Wright State will be coming to McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion to face the Buckeyes and the meet is scheduled to start at 5 pm.