COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Big Ten Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships started Wednesday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion with Ohio State swimmers setting three school records in the first two events of the meet: the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay.

Michigan, the two-time defending Big Ten champion of this meet, won both relays to take the first-day lead with 80 points. Ohio State was second in both and is positioned in second place with 68 points. Minnesota (62), Penn State (60) and Michigan State (54) round out the top five.

“Two seconds…three school records…everybody swimming for each other, we couldn’t ask for a better start to the meet,” Ohio State coach Bill Wadley said. “This was an awesome start.”

Ohio State’s 200 medley relay team of Andrew Elliott, Sam Pelkey, Andrew Bretscher and Joel Elber started the meet in a school-record time of 1:26.38.

“Elliott’s leadoff backstroke leg was really a great start to the meet,” Wadley said.  

Then the 800 freestyle relay team of George Markovic, Andrew Olson, Stephen Sakaris and Tim Phillips swam what Wadley called “a great relay” in taking second in 6:23.19 and shaving more than two seconds off the school mark in the process.

Markovic, a senior, led off the relay with a 200 freestyle split of 1:35.17, which crushed the two-year-old school record of 1:35.91.

And in the process, the 800 free relay’s time was under the NCAA championships “A” qualifying standard, so the first four swimmers for Ohio State have qualified for the NCAA championships which Ohio State will host next month.

The championships continue Thursday with preliminaries at 12 noon and finals at 7 p.m. One can find start times, ticket information schedule of events, parking info, links to live results and live streaming video, directions and more right here.

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Men’s Big Ten Conference  

Swimming and Diving Championships

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010

Columbus, Ohio

McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion

Day 1 Team Scores:  1. Michigan 80; 2. Ohio State   68; 3. Minnesota   62; 4. Penn State 60; 5. Michigan State 54; 6. Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa 48; 9. Wisconsin 36; 10. Purdue 32.

Race Results: 200 medley relay – 1. MICH (1:25.72); 2. Elliott, Pelkey, Bretscher, Elber – OSU, (1:26.38); 800 freestyle relay – 1. Michigan (6:15.80); 2. Markovic, Olson, Sakaris, Phillips – OSU, (6:23.19).