May 15, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Classes may be on hiatus for the remainder of the summer but members of the Ohio State men’s and women’s swimming teams are still hard at work in the pool. Current and former Buckeyes recently made a trip to North Carolina for the fifth stop of the Arena Grand Prix Series, which took place last weekend at Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in downtown Charlotte.

Representing the men’s squad were Tim Phillips, a redshirt junior from Vienna, W. Va., and Steven Zimmerman, a sophomore hailing from Morrow, Ohio. On the women’s side juniors Kelly Ann Baird, Alex Norris and Michelle Williams competed, while former Buckeye and current Team Canada representative Sam Cheverton also swam at the meet.

Alongside teammates from SwimMAC Carolina, Phillips earned a first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay in a long course time of 3:25.07. An NCAA All-American this past season for Ohio State, Phillips also recorded top 10 times in the 800 freestyle relay (2nd, 7:45.84), 50 butterfly (5th, 24.42) and 100 butterfly (6th, 54.14). Rounding out a full weekend of swimming, Phillips placed 18th in the 100 freestyle in 50.78 and 31st in the 50 freestyle in 24.47.

Predominately a backstroke specialist for the Buckeyes, Zimmerman shined at the Arena Grand Prix in his signature events. With a time of 56.24 he placed 10th in the 100 backstroke on Saturday, building momentum for a sixth-place finish in the 200 backstroke (2:01.75) on Sunday. Zimmerman also competed in the 50 backstroke, where he took 17th-place with a time of 26.19.

Between Phillips and Zimmerman Ohio State posted four individual qualifying times for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials. The meet will be held June 25-29 in Indianapolis, Ind.

A native of Lexington, North Carolina, Baird dropped a time of 9:09.02 in the 800 freestyle for 15th place. Qualifying for finals in the 400 freestyle, the Buckeye junior placed 28th with a time of 4:26.09.

Baird’s classmate Alex Norris recorded two top 20 finishes during her time in Charlotte. In the 200 freestyle the Cincinnati, Ohio product touched 14th in 2:04.05, while in the 400 freestyle she took 16th in 4:19.63.

Vying for a spot on Team Canada at the World University Games this summer in Russia, Williams’ best finish of the weekend was in the 50 freestyle where she clocked a time of 26.67 for 22nd place. The Buckeye junior has had a busy summer thus far with a performance at the Canadian World Championship Trials already under her belt.

Cheverton, who made the Canadian World Championship Team last month, earned fifth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:00.99. Growing into a consistent representative of Buckeye swimming on the international level, the 2011 graduate of the Ohio State program also took 15th in the 400 freestyle (4:17.96) at the meet.

Ohio State in the Finals
Men’s Swimming

Tim Phillips
1st – 400 Free Relay with SwimMAC’s Josa, Jones and Darmody (3:25.07)
2nd – 800 Free Relay with SwimMAC’s Darmody, Josa and Chadwick (7:45.84)
5th – 50 Butterfly (24.42)
6th – 100 Butterfly (54.14)*
18th – 100 Free (50.78)*
31st – 50 Free (24.47)

Steven Zimmerman
6th – 200 Back (2:01.75)*
10th – 100 Back (56.24)*
17th – 50 Back (26.19)

Women’s Swimming
Kelly Ann Baird
15th – 800 Free (9:09.02)
28th – 400 Free (4:26.09)
Sam Cheverton (Former Buckeye, 2007-11)
5th – 200 Free (2:00.99)
15th – 400 Free (4:17.96)

Alex Norris
14th – 200 Free (2:04.05)
16th – 400 Free (4:19.63)

Michelle Williams
22nd – 50 Free (26.67)

* designates 2013 U.S. World Championship Trials Qualifying Time