February 16, 2018

Buckeyes Claim Three Titles on Third Day of Big Tens


Feb. 16, 2018

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State swimmers combined to win three of the six contested swimming events on Friday evening at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion to highlight a raucous atmosphere for day three of the 2018 Big Ten Championships. After three days of swimming and diving, Ohio State sits in fourth place with 725 points.

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Liz Li continued her absolutely dominant swimming in the home waters of McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion with her second gold of the meet, tonight winning the 100 butterfly. Li came out of the blocks with the quickest 50 split of the race marking herself as the leader at the halfway mark of the race with a 23.59. She then proceeded to turn on the afterburners and pull even farther away from her opponents to claim gold with a school record winning time of 50.48, setting a Big Ten meet record in the process. The time of 50.48 is the third-fastest readout in the NCAA this year. Amanda McNulty added points to the Buckeyes total with a 13th-place showing with a readout of 53.57.

50.48 ✔️
Title No. 2 of Meet ✔️
7th Career Big Ten Title ✔️#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/wHnIaf9FLE

— Ohio State Swim/Dive (@OhioSt_SwimDive) February 17, 2018

Li returned to the pool hours later, this time joined by her freakishly fast teammates in the 200 freestyle relay. In what was a perfect ending to the third finals session of the championship meet, the Buckeyes claimed gold with a NCAA A cut time of 1:27.08 to set the Big Ten meet record and absolutely demolish the previous school record of 1:27.99. Freya Rayner gave the Buckeyes the lead with the quickest lead leg of the night, a 22.09, and Li followed that up with a 20.84 split to become only one of a handful of women to ever break the 21-second barrier for a 50 freestyle split. Macie McNichols relinquished nothing and dropped a split of 22.04 to give Maria Coy the lead heading into the anchor leg. Coy proceeded to finish the race with a split of 22.11 for the gold. With the win, Li has now amassed a career total of eight Big Ten titles.

Meg Bailey has progressed each and every year she has been on campus in Columbus and that hard work came to a pinnacle Friday night with her securing her first career Big Ten title with a win in the 400 individual medley. Bailey made the most of competing in her home pool clocking a personal-best time of 4:04.85, more than 1.5 seconds better than the runner-up finisher. Freshman Kristen Romano had the swim of her life in the event as well with a dazzling readout of 4:09.02 to earn a bronze medal.

All 244.85 seconds of Meg Bailey's HUGE win in the 400 IM! She beat the rest of the field by more than 1.5 seconds! Kristen Romano (3rd place) and @molly_kowal (6th place) also in the video! pic.twitter.com/eEZKvqpLns

— Ohio State Swim/Dive (@OhioSt_SwimDive) February 17, 2018

The biggest point grab of the night for the Buckeyes most assuredly came in the 400 individual medley where they placed six swimmers in the top 14 of the conference. In addition to Bailey’s and Romano’s swims, Molly Kowal registered a sixth-place finish with a readout of 4:10.28. Kathrin Demler won the B final of the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:09.38, and Katie Trace (4:14.36) and Natalia Jaspeado (4:16.11), both freshmen, rounding out the scoring effort with 12th and 14th-place finishes, respectively.

In two other A finals of the evening, Ohio State had impressive swims from backstroker Rebekah Bradley and freshman Hanna Gresser. In the 100 backstroke finals, Bradley recorded an impressive school record of 52.51 for her fifth-place finish. Gresser stepped up big in her first career Big Ten A final and threw down a personal best of 59.69 for a sixth-place showing; her career-best time was .08 seconds off the school record.

Ohio State also received points from Coy (1:47.15/PR/14th place) and Lucija Jurkovic-Perisa (1:47.55/19th place) in the 200 freestyle. Katie Antal and Sarah Sperber both added in points in the C final of the 100 breaststroke, and Marianne Kahmann (52.91/PR/11th place) and Hannah Whiteley (53.55/18th place) scored in the 100 backstroke.

Michigan is in the team lead with 926 points. The final day of the meet begins on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. ET with prelims.