COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team completed a 17-year-best run at the Big Ten Conference championships Saturday by finishing in third-place with 456 points. Indiana, competing at its home pool, the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center, won its third consecutive championship with 821 points with Minnesota second with 578 points.
“It’s nice to move into the top three in the league, but the truth is that it is just another step toward the top,” Ohio State coach Bill Dorenkott said. “We accomplished our mission this weekend, which had nothing to do with points, places or times. Instead, we chose to focus on our people. The goal was to learn, grow and build confidence. To that, mission accomplished.”
Megan Detro, the splendid sophomore sprinter from Carmel, Ind., won a Big Ten title in the 100 freestyle to join Samantha Cheverton as a 2011 Big Ten champion. Detro had the fastest preliminary time with a school-record swim of 48.48, and she came back in the evening to win her title in 48.58.
Two other Ohio State school records were set on a day that Dorenkott watched 10 different Buckeyes score in swimming events in addition to two divers scoring plus a remarkable effort from the 400 freestyle relay team.
That relay team – comprised of Cheverton, Detro, Anita Beck and Alex Norris – smashed the school record by four seconds with a runner-up effort in 3:16.10.
What was really impressive about the team’s performance was the depth the team displayed. In three different swimming events Saturday, three Buckeyes scored points.
Sophomore Emily Creran led three scorers in the 200 backstroke with a school-record swim of 1:55.47 that placed her in fifth, a personal best at Big Tens. Cheverton was seventh in 1:56.54 and Kelsey Moran was 12th.
A trio of Buckeyes scored in the 1,650 freestyle: Kelly Ann Baird was eighth in 16.26.52 with Beth Defauw 13th and Natalie Nichols 14th.
And three more Buckeyes scored in the 200 fly with Shannon Draves fourth in 1:57.80 with Beck and Norris 11th and 13th, respectively.
In diving for coach Vince Panzano, Kristen Asman was fourth on the 10-meter platform with 324.90 points and Katie Bell was eighth.
“I am awfully proud of this group and especially the seniors,” Dorenkott said. “They embraced us as a coaching staff, placed value in our process toward excellence and made a culture shift possible.”
2011 Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships
Final Results: 1. Indiana 821; 2. Minnesota 578; 3. Ohio State 456; 4. Penn State 391; 5. Purdue 385.5; 6. Michigan 367; 7. Wisconsin 360.5; 8. Northwestern 178; 9. Iowa 157; 10. Michigan State 86; 11. Illinois 82.
Events: 1650 free – 1. Steenvoorden, Minn. (15:58.62); 8. Baird, Ohio State (16:26.52); 13. Defauw, Ohio State (16:38.73); 14. Nichols, Ohio State (16:43.26); 200 backstroke – 1. Meyer, Wisc. (1:52.07); 5. Creran, Ohio State (1:55.47); 7. Cheverton, Ohio State (1:56.54); 12. Moran, Ohio State (1:57.62); 100 freestyle – 1. Detro, Ohio State (48.58); 200 breaststroke – 1. Tyler, Minn. (2:07.11); 200 butterfly – 1. Barwegan, Indiana (1:56.28); 4. Draves, Ohio State (1:57.80); 11. Beck, Ohio State (1:59.20); 13. Norris, Ohio State (1:59.59); 10-meter platform – 1. Ryan, 348.55); 4. Asman, Ohio State (324.90); 8. Bell, Ohio State (270.70); 400 free relay – 1. Wisconsin, 3:15.06; 2. Cheverton, Detro, Beck, Norris, Ohio State (3:16.10).