Feb. 20, 2003


Columbus, OH – Melanie Johnson (Sr., Boca Raton, Fla./Olympic Heights) finished fifth and Natalia Diea (Sr., Austin, Texas/University of Texas) finished seventh in the 1-meter dive as the Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team (7-6 overall, 0-5 Big Ten) continued competition at the 2003 Big Ten Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.

Diea finished second in the preliminary competition with a score of 284.00, behind only Sara Hildebrand of Indiana, who finished at 304.55 and eventually won the 1-meter championship. Diea scored just 281.45 in the finals, however, to settle into seventh. Johnson finished the morning in sixth-place, with a score of 262.10, qualifying her for the finals as well and improved in the evening (282.10) to take fifth.

In the first individual preliminary competition of the conference meet, Stephanie Raezer (Jr., Newark, Del./Glasgow) posted an NCAA consideration time of 4:53.49, the 14th best time set in preliminary heats, placing her in the evening’s consolation finals. She finished sixth in the B final (4:54.76), placing her 14th overall in the event.

Other highlights for the Buckeyes on day two were Katie Severson (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West), who posted the fourth-best time in Ohio State history in the 50 free. Severson touched the wall at 23.66, also a lifetime best for the junior, who took 20th overall in the event. Severson previously held the fifth-best time in program history, but tied Laura Ambrosius’ mark, set in 1991, to move into the fourth spot. Ashley Routson (So., Montgomery, N.Y./Valley Central) also set a career best in the 50 free, finishing at 24.66, the 23rd-best time in program history.

Severson’s finish in the 50 free was not the only Top 10 all-time finish for the Buckeyes Thursday. Deanna Strunk (Fr., West Lawn, Pa./Wilson) finished the 200 individual medley in 2:05.37, placing her fifth in program history in the event. Strunk finished the 200 IM 21st overall.

The team will resume competition at the meet at 11 a.m., tomorrow, with a second morning session of preliminary heats. The finals for tomorrow’s events will be held during the evening session at 7 p.m. Competitions Friday include the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 3-meter diving. The championships run through Saturday in West Lafayette and include morning and evening sessions each day at the same time.

2003 Big Ten Championships – Event Summary Event Winner Time Top Buckeye Finisher Place Best Time 200 Medley Relay Penn State 1:39.41 Treleaven, Raezer 11th 1:46.04* Strunk, Severson 800 Freestyle Relay Wisconsin 7:07.30 Raezer, Lancken 11th 7:36.48* Grantstein, Goodson 200 Freestyle Relay Wisconsin 1:30.36 Severson, Kolles, 11th 1:36.32* Routson, Barnes 500 Freestyle Karly Piper (UW) 4:41.58 Stephanie Raezer 14th 4:53.49*^ 200 IM Sara Johnson (Mich.) 2:00.55 Deanna Strunk 21st 2:05.37* 50 Freestyle Jennifer Lyman (UW) 22.80 Katie Severson 20th 24.53#*

Event Winner Score Top Buckeye Finisher Place Score 1-meter Sara Hildebrand (Ind.) 318.50 Melanie Johnson 5th 282.10

*-Ohio State team season’s best #-Career Best ^-NCAA Consideration Time

2003 Big Ten Championships – Standings (Through Seven Events) 1. Indiana 220 2. Wisconsin 215 3. Michigan 188 4. Penn State 167 5. Purdue 145 6. Minnesota 106 7. Iowa 94 8. Northwestern 92 9. Michigan State 72 10. Ohio State 65 11. Illinois 59