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Feb. 27, 2003

Columbus, OH – Mitch Richeson (So., Indianapolis, Ind./Greenwood) finished third in the 1-meter dive and Andy Swonger (So., Springfield, Ohio/Springfield North) took fifth in the 50 freestyle as three Buckeyes posted Top 15 finishes and four NCAA consideration times were set on the first day of competition at the 2003 Big Ten Championships. Tommy Seay (So., Buffalo, N.Y./McKinley) rounded out the trio of Buckeyes in the Top 15 with a 15th-place finish in the 200 individual medley. After one day of competition, the Buckeyes sit in seventh place with 90 points.

Richeson finished both the preliminary competition and the finals in third-place with scores of 301.55 and 323.30, respectively. Winning the 1-meter was Indiana’s Marc Carlton (361.15), followed by Jason Coben of Michigan (325.30). Freshman Marc Dreyer (Port Elizabeth, South Africa/Grey) finished ninth in the event with a score of 258.80, just .55 points away from joining Richeson in the finals.

In the 50 free, Swonger’s time of 20.15 in the preliminaries not only beat his previous lifetime best by nearly a half second, but also tied the third-best time in program history and marked an NCAA consideration time. In the A-Final Thursday evening, Swonger finished in 20.49 to place fifth. Andreas Campioni (Jr., Erfurt, Germany/University of Nebraska) also marked a lifetime best in the 50 free, finishing at 21.16 in the preliminaries, while three more Ohio State swimmers posted season’s best times in the event.

In the 200 IM, Seay finished the preliminary competition with an NCAA consideration time and lifetime best of 1:49.16. The time ranks Seay second in program history in the event, behind only Jason Fox (1:48.47), who set the Ohio State record in the 200 IM in 1998. Seay completed his effort in the event’s B-final with a time of 1:50.67, placing 15th overall. The event as a whole was a strong point for the Buckeyes, with four out of four Ohio State participants setting lifetime bests. In addition to Seay, career best times in the 200 IM included Jeff Gullett (Fr., Byron, Ill./Byron) at 1:51.72, senior Matt Rusnov (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward) at 1:52.49 and Matt Jeffries (So., Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) with 1:54.75.

The final two NCAA consideration times of the day came during relays. To open the evening session, the team of Swonger, Seay, Campioni and Nick Rees (Sr., Nassau, Bahamas/St. Augustin) finished tied with Michigan for fifth in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:20.72, which ranks as the fourth-fastest time in program history. To close out the relays, the Buckeye team consisting of Campioni, Rob Kauscher (So., Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson), Rees and Seay finished seventh in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:16.95, which ranks seventh in program history.

The 500 free for the Buckeyes was indicative of the forever-quickening competitiveness of the Big Ten. While last season, a time of 4:30.90 was all one needed to finish in the Top 16 and qualify for the consolation finals, this season’s cutoff quickened nearly three seconds to 4:27.94. During preliminary heats, Vladi Dusil (Sr., Darmstadt, Germany/Justus-Liebig) marked a season’s best time of 4:28.56 and Ryan Sciortino (So., Maitland, Fla./Lake Highland) finished with a lifetime best of 4:30.88. Both times would have landed spots in the consolation finals last season, but were not quick enough to reach the plateau in 2003. Tim Webb (Fr., Sarasota, Fla./Sarasota) and Marty Tomes also set lifetime bests in the event, finishing at 4:32.52 and 4:33.15, respectively.

Overall on day one, the Buckeyes, posted six lifetime bests and 15 personal season’s best times.

“It was a very good day,” Bill Wadley, Ohio State head coach, said. “I’m very proud of our team. We had great team spirit, great attitudes and excellent determination. It’s great to have a young team here doing so well.”

The team will resume competition at the meet at noon, tomorrow, with a second morning session of preliminary heats. The finals for events tomorrow will be held during the evening session at 7 p.m. Competitions Friday include the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 3-meter diving. The championships run through Saturday in Ann Arbor and include morning and evening sessions each day at the same time.

2003 Big Ten Championships – Event Summary Event Winner Time Top Buckeye Finisher(s) Place Best Time 200 Freestyle Relay Minnesota 1:19.44 Swonger, Seay, t-5th 1:20.72*^ Campioni, Rees 500 Freestyle P. Vanderkaay (Mich.) 4:16.28 Vladi Dusil 19th 4:28.56*@ 200 IM Louis Paul (PU) 1:46.07 Tommy Seay 15th 1:49.16*@#^ 50 Freestyle Terry Silkaitis (Minn.) 19:95 Andy Swonger 5th 20.15*@#^ 400 Medley Relay Minnesota 3:09.76 Campioni, Kauscher 7th 3:16.95*^ Rees, Seay

Event Winner Score Top Buckeye Finisher(s) Place Score 1-meter Marc Carlton (Ind.) 361.15 Mitch Richeson 3rd 323.30

*-Ohio State team season’s best @-Personal season’s best #-Career Best ^-NCAA Consideration Time

2003 Big Ten Championships – Standings (Through Six Events) 1. Minnesota 206 2. Michigan 200 3. Indiana 148 4. Northwestern 133 5. Penn State 108 6. Wisconsin 99 7. Ohio State 90 8. Purdue 66 9. Michigan State 43 10. Iowa 35