COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team travels to Minneapolis, Minn., and the campus of the University of Minnesota this week for the 2011 NCAA swimming and diving championships. The championships begin Thursday and extend through Saturday evening at the University Aquatic Center.
The Buckeyes will be seeking a second consecutive Top 10 finish at the national championships. Last year, after winning the Big Ten Conference championships at their home pool, the Buckeyes finished ninth at the NCAA championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion for their highest NCAA finish in 36 years.
A deep and talented team of 12 individuals will represent the Scarlet and Gray this week. After finishing a very respectable third – the fourth time in five years for a Top 3 finish – at the 2011 Big Ten championships, these Buckeyes will seek to do something that no Ohio State teams have done in 40 years: finish in the Top 10 nationally for back-to-back seasons. The last to do it: the 1971 and 1972 teams each finished ninth at the NCAA championships.
Ninth In No. of Swimmers Ohio State’s contingent of 11 swimmers to the NCAA championships is the ninth-largest team of swimmers heading to the meet. The Buckeyes have qualified swimmers in 20 of the 21 races.
Double Digit Swimmers (10 teams): Cal (18), Texas (17), Arizona (15), Auburn and Florida (14), Stanford (13), USC and Michigan (12), Ohio State (11), Virginia (10).
First Time Ever All five Ohio State relays have qualified for the NCAA championships, the first time in program history for that achievement. Four of the five relays have set school records this season. Here’s a snapshot of those five:
200 Free Relay – 1:18.23, Seeded 12th (J. Schnur, L. Fahrbach, Z. Birnbrich, T. Phillips)
400 Medley Relay – 3:09.19, Seeded 8th (A. Elliott, E. Keefer, Q. Lee & T. Phillips)
200 Medley Relay – 1:25.57, Seeded 7th (A. Elliott, E. Keefer, Q. Lee & J. Schnur)
800 Free Relay – 6:21.10, Seeded 8th (T. Phillips, S. Sakaris, L. Fahrbach, Z. Holmes)
400 Free Relay – 2:52.00, Seeded th (T. Phillips, J. Schnur, Z. Holmes, L. Fahrbach)
2011 NCAA Championships
Schedule of Events
Thursday Preliminaries – 1 p.m.
Finals – 8 p.m.
Friday Preliminaries – 1 p.m.
Finals – 8 p.m.
Saturday Preliminaries – 1 p.m.
Finals – 8 p.m.
NCAA History Ohio State is coming off a record-setting 2010 NCAA championships when it sent 18 individuals to the championships. Those individuals helped the Buckeyes to a 36-year best ninth-place finish. The Buckeyes have a rich NCAA history, with 11 NCAA team titles – tied for most in NCAA history – with the last in 1956.
Wadley & Panzano’s Buckeyes Swimming coach Bill Wadley and diving coach Vince Panzano are in their 22nd and 33rd years, respectively, coaching the Scarlet and Gray. Their program is on a current run of four consecutive Top 20 finishes at the NCAA championships: 12th in 2007, 16th in 2008, 14th in 2009 and ninth in 2010.
NCAA Champions Buckeyes have won a total of 60 NCAA swimming championships (total includes seven relay championships) and 58 NCAA diving championships. Sean Moore is the last Buckeye to win an NCAA title, winning the 10-meter platform event in 2008. The last swimmer to win an NCAA crown for Ohio State: Robert Hopper in 1965.
All-Americans & More Ohio State has produced 220 swimming All-American honors (includes honorable mention All-Americans) and 171 diving All-Americans. Last year Ohio State had a school-record 16 individuals combine for a school-record 29 All-America or honorable mention All-America honors. Ten of those honorees were seniors.
The All-American Elliotts Ohio State will be well represented at NCAA Swimming and Diving championships with 11 swimmers and one diver having earned their way to the national championship meet.
Headlining the Ohio State swimming contingent are two three-time NCAA qualifiers: senior Elliott Keefer and junior Andrew Elliott. Keefer was 12th at the 2010 NCAA championships in the 200 breaststroke to earn honorable mention All-America honors. He and Elliott, a two-time Big Ten backstroke champion, each earned honorable mention All-America honors as part of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams at last year’s championships.
Five Make Second NCAAs Five Buckeyes are making a second trip to the NCAA championships: junior sprint freestyler Lincoln Fahrbach, senior butterfly specialist Quincy Lee, sophomore sprinter/butterfly swimmer Tim Phillips, junior middle-distance sprinter Stephen Sakaris and junior backstroker and individual medley swimmer Markus Sievers.
A majority of these returning swimmers picked up honorable mention All-America honors last year. Phillips picked up four such accolades in the 100 butterfly and as part of the 400 and 800 freestyle relays, respectively, and the 400 medley relay. Stephen Sakaris and Lincoln Fahrbach earned their All-America honors as part of the 800 free and 400 free relays, respectively.
Buckeyes qualifying for their first NCAAs are sophomore Zach Birnbrich, senior Justin Farra, sophomore Zach Holmes and sophomore Jason Schnur. Birnbrich, Holmes and Schnur are all sprint freestyle specialists while Farra is an individual medley swimmer. Freshman diver Christian Holstein will compete on both springboard events.
Event By Event Here is a look at each of the events the team members have either qualified for or have been invited to compete in at the championships (some swimmers may not swim all these events):
Ohio State Third at Big Tens Ohio State followed its 2010 Big Ten championship with a fine third-place finish at the 2011 championships, held at the University of Minnesota. Junior Andrew Elliott finished in first place in the 200 backstroke, giving him Big Ten titles in back-to-back years (100 back in 2010). The 400 freestyle relay consisting of Lincoln Fahrbach, Zach Holmes, Tim Phillips and Jason Schnur also took first at Big Tens. Two Ohio State relays (200 medley and 800 freestyle) finished second. Individually, Ohio State had 13 individuals compete in an individual event championship final. The finalists honor roll:
Ohio State 10th in Final Poll Ohio State capped its dual meet season with a final national ranking of 10th in the TYR/CSCAA Dual Meet Poll. The Buckeyes were the second-highest ranked Big Ten team of the 11 teams in the Top 25. Ohio State was 10-1 in dual meets this season.
Team Captains Senior Ben Savonen and juniors Andrew Elliott and Lincoln Fahrbach were selected by team vote as captains of the 2010-11 Buckeyes.