Feb. 28, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The seventh-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team put on a show Friday evening at the 2014 Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes earned two coveted Big Ten titles – 200 freestyle relay and 100 butterfly. With the final day of the championships on the horizon, Ohio State ranks third in the team standings with 354 accumulated points. 

The Buckeyes began the night with a bang, conquering the 200 freestyle relay in a season-best time of 1:17.93. Michael DiSalle, Josh Fleagle, Matt McHugh and Tim Phillips represented Ohio State atop the podium, alongside Penn State who joined the Buckeyes in a first-place tie. The championship winning time was a NCAA “A” provisional mark.

This marks the second time in school history Ohio State has won a Big Ten title in the 200 freestyle relay. The last conference championship awarded to the Buckeyes in the event came in 2010.

The relay win wasn’t the only title the Buckeyes would achieve on this night. Phillips, a redshirt senior from Vienna, W. Va., swim to victory in the 100 butterfly in 45.62. With the win, Phillips became the first Buckeye since David Cowell in 1984 to register a 100 butterfly Big Ten championship. In prelims, Phillips lowered his school record in the event to 45.57.

Tamas Gercsak was Ohio State’s lone swimmer in the A Final of the 400 individual medley. A junior this season, Gercsak touched sixth in a varsity record time of 3:44.98. Gercsak, a native of Budapest, Hungary, previously held Ohio State’s top time in the event (3:45.17). Dmirty Dolgov represented Ohio State with an 11th place showing in a time of 3:47.81.

Moving on to the 200 freestyle, three Buckeyes placed in the Top 10. DiSalle, who has been strong throughout Big Tens thus far, took fifth in a time of 1:34.53. Fast from the start, the Buckeye junior previously dropped a school record in the 200 freestyle with an even lower mark of 1:33.51 in a split of the 400 freestyle relay. Sophomore standout Josh Fleagle finished seventh in 1:35.01, while Steffen Hillmer earned a time of 1:35.39 for 10th place.

In the 100 breaststroke, DJ MacDonald was Ohio State’s top performer, taking 11th in a season-best 53.43. Freshman Kevin Bressler made his Big Ten debut with a 16th-place performance (55.99).

McHugh returned to the pool for the 100 backstroke to put together a time of 46.84 for seventh. Once again, Ohio State showcased its depth with Connor McDonald and Steven Zimmerman placing ninth and 10th, respectively.

In 3-meter diving action, Stephen Ettienne posted a finals score of 390.35 for a sixth-place standing.

Tomorrow will mark the final day of Big Ten competition. Preliminaries are scheduled for an 11 a.m. start time with finals following at 6:30 p.m.

Ohio State Men’s Swimming and Diving
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
Ann Arbor, Mich.  – Canham Natatorium

Current Team Standings:
1. Michigan – 599
2. Indiana – 406
3. Ohio State – 354
4. Penn State – 265
5. Purdue – 219.5
6. Minnesota – 208
7. Wisconsin – 207
8. Iowa -130
9. Northwestern – 107
10. Michigan State – 84.5 

Top Buckeye Finishers: 200 Free Relay – 1. DiSalle, Fleagle, McHugh, Phillips (1:17.93); 400 IM – 6. Gercsak (3:44.98); 100 butterfly – 1. Phillips (45.62); 200 freestyle – 5. DiSalle (1:34.53); 100 breaststroke – 11. Macdonald (53.43); 100 backstroke – 7. McHugh (46.84); 3-meter diving – 6. Ettienne (390.35).