Feb. 27, 2016
Columbus, Ohio— The fourth and final day of the 2016 Big Ten Championships wrapped up tonight and Ohio State finished in third place as a team, continuing its streak of top-five conference finishes since 2006.
Individually, Colin Zeng won his second Big Ten title of the week, taking home the platform diving crown with a score of 498.95. The sensational sophomore was also named Diver of the Championships after a dominant week. In addition to winning platform, Zeng also won the one-meter championship and took silver in three-meter, missing out on gold by less than a point.
Overall, Ohio State claimed four Big Ten Championships this week:
One-meter diving: Colin Zeng, 450.55
Platform diving: Colin Zeng, 498.95
100 butterfly: Matt McHugh, 45.46
100 backstroke: Matt McHugh, 45.07
In terms of individual champions, this was the most successful year for Ohio State since 2012.
In addition to that, with Zeng’s platform victory tonight, Ohio State has now claimed 200 Big Ten Champions (individual, relay, and diving) in its history, joining Michigan and Indiana as the only other schools in the conference to reach that plateau.
Excluding the relay, the Buckeyes had 21 point-earning performances on the final day of the meet. Both Zeng and Stephen Romanik earned top-five finishes in the platform dive, and seven of those remaining 19 swimmers competed in A finals.
The first swimming event of the evening session was the 1650 freestyle, in which three OSU swimmers earned points. Brayden Seal and Joey Long finished third and fourth, respectively, with Seal’s best mile time being 15:05.67 and Joey Long’s clocking in at 15:09.39, which was over 15 seconds faster than his seed time, one of the biggest jumps in the whole field. Jovan Mitrovic improved upon his seed time as well; his mark of 15:28.95 was nearly eight seconds faster than his seed time.
Scarlet and Gray littered the A finals of the 200 backstroke; three Buckeyes- Thomas Trace (1:42.09), Andrew Appleby (1:42.61), and Gus Whiteman (1:43.36)- finished third, sixth, and eighth in the finals to give Ohio State a big points boost. Three more Buckeyes earned spots in finals heats for the 100 freestyle. Steffen Hillmer’s time of 43.89 got him into the B finals, where he finished fifth in his heat and 13th overall, while Kevin Musterait (44.16) and Nathan Christian (44.24) both improved upon their prelim times in the evening session.
The 200 breaststroke followed and DJ MacDonald swam a time of 1:54.75, which earned his a fifth place finish and is the second-best time in school history. Teammates Dustin Tynes (1:57.50), Jack Barone (1:57.76), and Dmitry Dolgov (1:58.52) all finished within just about a second of each other in the B finals, all placing in the top-15 of the event.
The final individual swimming event of the Championships was the 200 butterfly, in which Ohio State placed five swimmers in finals heats. Ching Lim (1:43.55) was the fastest of the bunch, earning a fourth place finish. Peter Lyon and Greg Nymberg both swam in the B finals due to their prelim times of 1:47.54 and 1:47.50, respectively. Senior and Sportsmanship Award recipient Chris DePietro earned a spot in the evening session thanks to his time of 1:48.13 and Michael Salazar joined him after swimming a 1:48.75 during prelims.
Closing out the 2016 edition of the Big Ten Championships was the 400 freestyle relay, in which Ohio State closed out its week with a bang. McHugh, Andrew Appleby, Mossimo Chavez, and Hillmer combined for a time of 2:52.03, qualifying for the NCAA Championships next month. All told three Ohio State relays qualified for NCAA’s this week.
Speaking of NCAA Championships, those will begin in Atlanta on March 22 and run through March 27.
Final Team Standings
1. Michigan 1475.5
2. Indiana 1306
3. Ohio State 1294.5
4. Minnesota 919
5. Wisconsin 832.5