COLUMBUS, Ohio Back in action this weekend after a week off, the Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team will swim back-to-back dual meets Friday and Saturday vs. Michigan State and Michigan, respectively. The Buckeyes and the Spartans will meet Friday at 3 p.m. at East Lansing and then the Buckeyes will host the No. 16 Wolverines at 2 p.m. Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Admission is free.

The  Buckeyes are used to this back-to-back schedule. The team has competed on three consecutive days three times already this season as part of invitational meets and two weeks ago it defeated Toledo on the road on a Friday and came home to defeat Wright State the next day.

The consecutive swimming days and competitions are all by design, according to head coach Bill Dorenkott.

Mirroring the Challenges  “I want to see consistency in the performance,” Dorenkott said. “We are trying to create opportunities that will mirror the challenges we will face at Big Tens and the NCAA championships.”

The team has stepped up to the challenges to date. Ohio State was second at both the Purdue and Ohio State invitational meets and it won the Chesapeake Energy Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma City, Okla., just before the holiday break.

“I think they are really embracing the preparation in terms of multi-day events,” Dorenkott said. “There is a physical, emotional and mental process that goes into preparation for peak performance. That is what we are looking for.”

Dorenkott and his coaches will have an opportunity to see that process in action again this week. And they’ll do it all over again…next week. The team will swim against Penn State in a two-day dual meet Feb. 29-30 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

So Far…  Ohio State, receiving enough votes in the College Swim Coaches Association of America poll to be ranked 30th, is 4-0 with dual meet wins over Kenyon, Cleveland State, Toledo and Wright State. Michigan State is 3-3. Michigan is 4-5, but has competed in dual meets against a who’s-who of Top 10 teams, including Texas, Stanford and Florida.

Most Recently  Ohio State defeated Toledo in a hotly contested meet Jan. 9, 166-133, and it defeated Wright State, 191.5-102.5, Jan. 10. Michigan State competed that same weekend in a dual meet, losing to Purdue, 216-142. Michigan is coming off a 157.5-142.5 win over No. 23 Northwestern last Saturday.

Interesting Nos. with Big Tens Looming  With the Big Ten Championships just over a month away, a look at the Top 10 times for the Big Ten Conference teams reveal some interesting numbers. According to the USA Swimming web site database, Ohio State has the third-most Top 10 times in individual events, trailing only Minnesota and Michigan, and ahead of Indiana, last year’s Big Ten champion, and Penn State, which finished fourth.

The Top 10 in Big Ten Top 10s…

1. Minnesota…….43

2. Michigan……..25

3. Ohio State……19

4. Indiana………18

5. Wisconsin…….11

6. Purdue………..9

7. N’western……..8

8. Penn State…….3

9. Iowa………….2

10. Michigan St…..1

On the Subject of Times  Buckeye junior Samantha Cheverton leads the way with the fastest time in the Big Ten in the 200 freestyle and four more Top 10 efforts (500 free, 1000 free, 200 back and 200 fly). Almost a handful of Cheverton’s teammates have Top 10 times in at least two events: Katelyn Brix (200 and 400 IM; 200 breaststroke); Megan Detro (50 and 100 free); Jill Lockhart (200 back and 200 IM); and Shannon Draves (100 and 200 fly).

Hoping to “B” There  Buckeye swimmers have provisionally qualified for the NCAA swimming and diving championships with eight NCAA “B” cut times. The cuts belong to:

Megan Detro – 50 freestyle in 50.22;

Samantha Cheverton – 200 free in 1:47.62 and 500 free in 4:46.38;

Haley Mitchell – 500 free in 4:51.88;

Colleen Schweitzer – 200 breaststroke in 2:16.16;

Shannon Draves – 200 fly in 1:59.07; and

Katelyn Brix – 200 IM in 2:01.77 and 400 IM in 4:19.47.

Up Next

Ohio State hosts Penn State Jan. 29-30 in a two-day dual meet at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Start times are 6 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday. The Buckeye seniors will be honored prior to the start of the meet Saturday.