COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Ohio State swimming and diving team has been on such a roll this season that not even a disqualification in its first race of the 2010 NCAA championships could slow the wave of momentum the team is riding. As a result, Ohio State sits in ninth-place after Day 1 of the championships with 46.5 points and seven Buckeyes have picked up All-America honors.
The championships continue Saturday with prelims at 12 noon and the finals set for 7 p.m. at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Less than 100 tickets remain for both Saturday and Sunday evening championship sessions.
Senior George Markovic, whose stirring win in the 500 freestyle was the spark that lifted the team to championship heights at the Big Ten championships one month ago, came back with another from-the-heart performance to place fifth in the 500 free in a school record time of 4:14.41. His All-American swim picked up the first 14 team points for the Buckeyes at this championship.
Senior Stefan Sigrist made the consolation final in the 500 free and finished ninth in a personal best time of 4:17.39 to earn nine points and honorable mention All-America honors.
Their efforts, and those that followed, quickly put the thoughts of the 200 free relay team’s DQ in everybody’s rear view mirror.
“It was a terrible way to start the meet,” Big Ten Coach of the Year Bill Wadley said, “but we swam fast in that relay. And our guys continued to swim fast in their individual events.
“If we had DQ’d and not swam very well, that would be concerning. But we swam lights out and that helped to quickly put any negative thoughts in the past.”
Wadley was incredibly proud of the way the senior 500 swimmers helped pick the team up tonight.
“It was just unbelievable watching George’s swim,” Wadley said. “He went from not scoring a point in the NCAAs to swimming to win. He was in the hunt and he gave so much energy to the team by competing with all he had.
“And Stefan’s swim was a special race. I think his win in the consolation finals really gave George a boost of energy going into his race.”
Senior Wes Wieser also competed in the consolation finals of the 1-meter springboard, finishing 11th with 369.80 points. His honorable mention All-America honor was the third such honor of his career. Senior Ryan Jefferson was 19th and senior Burkley Showe was 22nd in the event.
Also swimming well Friday – at or near their seed times – were sophomores Brent Hitchcock (19th in the 500 free), Marcus Sievers (32nd in the 200 individual medley) and Lincoln Fahrbach (26th in the 50 free in a personal best time of 19.87).
Ohio State’s 400 medley relay team capped the team’s Day 1 highlights with a ninth-place, consolation final win, good for 18 points and honorable mention All-America honors for the foursome of Andrew Elliott, Elliott Keefer, Tim Phillips and Joel Elber. The team’s time of 3:08.24 established a new school record.
Prior to the start of the meet Elliott was recognized as the Division I men’s swimming and diving first-ever winner of the NCAA’s Elite 88 award, signifying the student-athlete with the highest grade-point average in the competition. Elliott, a sophomore from Granger, Ind., is a business major.
Texas leads the championships with 145 points and is followed closely by California with 139.
2010 NCAA Championships
McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion; Columbus, Ohio
Day 1 Team Scores: 1. Texas 145; 2. California 139; 3. Florida 118; 4. Auburn 114.5; 5. Stanford 106; 6. Arizona 87; 7. Michigan 77; 8. Virginia 53; 9. Ohio State 46.5; 10. Kentucky 34.
Results: 200 freestyle relay – 1. Adrian, Moore, Daniels, Barnea, California (1:15.71). 500 freestyle – 1. Conor Dwyer, Florida (4:13.64); 5. George Markovic, Ohio State (4:14.41); 9. Stefan Sigrist, Ohio State (4:17.39). 200 individual medley – 1. Austin Surhoff, Texas (1:42.95); 32. Markus Sievers, Ohio State (1:46.00). 50 freestyle – 1. Josh Schneider, Cincinnati (18.93); 26. Lincoln Fahrbach, Ohio State (19.85). 1-meter diving – 1. David Boudia, Purdue (468.65); 11. Wes Wieser, Ohio State (369.80); 400 medley relay – 1. Barnea, Dugonjic, Shields, Adrian, California (3:02.83); 9. Elliott, Keefer, Phillips, Elber, Ohio State (3:08.24).