COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State will be well represented at the 2011 NCAA Swimming and Diving championships March 24-26 at the University of Minnesota with 11 swimmers having earned their way to the national championship meet. Ohio State is one of only nine teams to have qualified 11 or more swimmers for the championships. 

Headlining the Ohio State swimming contingent – OSU’s divers, under coach Vince Panzano, are seeking to qualify for NCAAs this weekend at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion – are two three-time NCAA qualifiers: senior Elliott Keefer and junior Andrew Elliott. Keefer was 12th at the 2010 NCAA championships in the 200 breaststroke to earn honorable mention All-America honors. He and Elliott, a two-time Big Ten backstroke champion, each earned honorable mention All-America honors as part of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams at last year’s championships.

Five Buckeyes are making a second trip to the NCAA championships: junior sprint freestyler Lincoln Fahrbach, senior butterfly specialist Quincy Lee, sophomore sprinter/butterfly swimmer Tim Phillips, junior middle-distance sprinter Stephen Sakaris and junior backstroker and individual medley swimmer Markus Sievers.

A majority of the returning swimmers picked up honorable mention All-America honors last year. In addition to Keefer and Elliott, Tim Phillips picked up four such accolades in the 100 butterfly and as part of the 400 and 800 freestyle relays, respectively, and the 400 medley relay. Stephen Sakaris and Lincoln Fahrbach earned their All-America honors as part of the 800 free and 400 free relays, respectively.

Buckeyes qualifying for their first NCAAs are sophomore Zach Birnbrich, senior Justin Farra, sophomore Zach Holmes and sophomore Jason Schnur. Birnbrich, Holmes and Schnur are all sprint freestyle specialists while Farra is an individual medley swimmer. 

Here is a look at each of the events the swimmers have qualified for the championships in:

  • So. Zach Birnbrich, Anthem, Ariz. – 200 freestyle relay;
  • Jr. Andrew Elliott, Granger, Ind. – 100 and 200 backstroke; 200 and 400 medley relay;
  • Jr. Lincoln Fahrbach, Fremont, Ohio – 200 freestyle; 200, 400 and 800 free relays;
  • Sr. Justin Farra, Clarksville, Ohio – 200 individual medley;
  • So. Zach Holmes, Houston, Texas – 400 and 800 free relays;
  • Sr. Elliott Keefer, Loveland, Ohio – 100 and 200 breaststroke; 200 and 400 medley relays;
  • Sr. Quincy Lee, Portland, Ore. – 100 and 200 butterfly; 200 medley relay;
  • So. Tim Phillips, Vienna, W.Va. – 100 butterfly; 200 freestyle; 200, 400 and 800 free relays; 400 medley relay;
  • Jr. Stephen Sakaris, Potomac, Md. – 800 freestyle relay;
  • So. Jason Schnur, Cincinnati, Ohio – 200 and 400 free relays; 200 and 400 medley relays; and
  • Jr. Markus Sievers, Hamburg, Germany – 200 backstroke.

Way to Go, Bucks!