Feb. 19, 2016
Columbus, Ohio—Ohio State claimed two more Big Ten titles on Friday- Lindsey Clary in the 400 IM and Liz Li in the 100 Butterfly- ensuring that this will be the first time since 1991 that a group of Buckeye swimmers has earned at least four Big Ten Championships in one year.
Clary’s win came first, and the junior did it in style. This morning in prelims she set a new school record with a time of 4:07.05, but her 400 IM finals time of 4:03.64 obliterated that mark by a significant margin. Her time was nearly five full seconds faster than the second place finisher and also set a new pool record.
Ohio State’s next B1G champion came in the very next event, the 100 butterfly. Li also set a school record during prelims (51.72) and her finals time was equally impressive (51.77), capturing a third conference championship for the sophomore (in addition to the 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay events she won on Thursday). Li is now the first Buckeye to win at least three Big Ten titles in one year since Susan Gottlieb in 1991.
The outstanding performances did not stop there. On the three-meter dive, Hannah Thek earned a silver medal with her score of 366.00; the Australia-native had a mark of 324.55 to reach the A finals. It’s the first medal for the sophomore, who is enjoying her first trip to Big Tens. Joining Clary in the top-10 of the 400 IM was teammate Meg Bailey, whose time of 4:12.14 was the fastest among the B finals swimmers and earned her ninth place, though it was the sixth-fastest time overall.
Two other Buckeyes earned points in the 100 butterfly: Ariana Bullard (54.44) and Macie McNichols (54.76) both performed well in the C finals, with Bullard earning an NCAA B time for her effort. Two more Ohio State swimmers were able to garner points in the next event, the 200 freestyle. Senior Katy Luchansky’s time of 1:46.88 was good for 12th place and a new personal best and Christi DiPaolo posted a time of 1:50.15.
Buckeyes littered the top-10 of the 100 breaststroke; three swimmers- Taylor Vargo (1:00.13), Rachael Dzierzak (1:01.23) and Amy Bopp (1:21.25) finished 5th, 9th, and 10th respectively, with Vargo competing in the A finals for the event. Yet another Ohio State swimmer, Katie Antal, finished 16th in the 100 breast with her time of 1:02.46.
The final swimming event of the evening was the 100 backstroke, in which Zulal Zeren placed 7th (54.28) to earn honors as Ohio State’s top finisher. Teammate Camey Rabold (54.04), swimming in the B finals for that event, finished in 13th.
It’s been a very successful Big Ten Championship week so far for Ohio State and tomorrow it has a chance to finish in the top-five of the final standings for the sixth time since 2010. For the full event schedule as well as broadcast information, and much more, check out our Big Tens preview from earlier in the week.
1st- Michigan, University of 891
2nd- Indiana University 845.5
3rd- University of Minnesota 612.5
4th- Ohio State University 577
5th- Purdue University 498.5