COLUMBUS, Ohio – Powered by a school-record smashing 800 freestyle relay, the Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team is in fourth-place after the first evening of competition at the 2011 Big Ten championships being held at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on the campus of Indiana University.

The 800 free relay team of Anita Beck, Samantha Cheverton, Megan Detro and Alex Norris, carved nearly seven seconds off the school record with a time of 7:02.64 to finish second to Indiana, which won with a Big Ten championship and pool mark of 7:01.13. Beck and Cheverton are the only two senior swimmers competing at this meet for coach Bill Dorenkott while Detro is a sophomore and Norris is a freshman. Their runner-up finish was the best relay finish for an Ohio State team in 20 years, or since the 1991 400 free and 800 free relays were Big Ten champs.

“The 800 free relay was a statement swim for this team,” Dorenkott said. “This is most likely a Top 5 time in the country right now and I feel confident the relay will get picked up for the NCAA championships. All four swimmers had personnel relay split bests.”

Ohio State’s 200 medley relay team of Kelsey Moran, Angela Severn, Shannon Draves and Phoebe Cater opened the competition with a seventh-place effort of 1:39.43, breaking the school record of 1:40.26 set at this meet last year. Moran, Severn and Draves are sophomores and Cater is a freshman.

“The medley relay had three of the fastest splits in school history, and Kelsey Moran’s leadoff leg was one of the fastest splits in the country to date,” Dorenkott said. “I felt we had the personnel to go 1:39.2 so I was pleased with the time the relay was able to go.”

Indiana and Wisconsin are tied for the lead with 68 points, two points in front of third-place Minnesota. Ohio State has 58 points with Purdue and Penn State tied for fifth with 56 points apiece and Michigan right there as well with 54.

The Big Ten championships continue Thursday with preliminaries and finals in four swimming events and on the 1-meter springboard.

2011 Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships

  • Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
  • Bloomington, Ind.
  • Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center

Day 1 Team Scores:  1. Wisconsin and Indiana 68; 3. Minnesota 66; 4. Ohio State 58; 5. Purdue and Penn State 56; 7. Michigan 54; 8. Northwestern 46; 9. Illinois 32; 10 Iowa 32; 11. Michigan State 24.

Events: 200 medley relay – 1. Wisconsin, 1:36.68; 7. OSU (Moran, Severn, Draves, Cater), 1:43.99; 800 free relay – 1. Indiana, 8:01.13; 2. OSU (Detro, Cater, Detro, Cheverton), 7:02.64.