COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State University men’s swimming and diving team sits in third place with 204 points after the first day of competition at the 2008 Big Ten Championships held at Canham Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Highlighting the day for the Buckeyes was the performance of George Markovic in the 500-yard freestyle. After breaking the school record with a preliminary time of 4:20.52, the sophomore earned a fifth-place finish with an NCAA “B” cut time of 4:21.19. Classmate Stefan Sigrist took eighth in a career-best time of 4:21.95, while Mark Neiman took 10th in 4:24.05 and Jacob Busch finished 11th (4:24.51).

“All of our distance swimmers had excellent swims for us tonight,” Bill Wadley, Ohio State head swimming coach, said. “George Markovic’s swim in the preliminaries was great. It was really exciting to watch the guys do such a great job.”

The Scarlet and Gray opened up the night with an eighth-place finish from its 200 medley relay team of Matt Voelker, Joel Elber, Andrew Bretscher and Felipe Travesso in an NCAA “B” cut time of 1:19.88.

Voelker, one of Ohio State’s two seniors on the squad, took fifth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 19.91. Finishing with a 15th-place finish was Elber in 20.20.

“Matt Voelker had an excellent swim for us tonight, which was great to see,” said Wadley.

The diving core of junior Wes Wieser, sophomore Ryan Jefferson and freshman Sean Moore all scored points for the Buckeyes on the one-meter board and their combined 59-point effort vaulted the Buckeyes from fifth to third in the standings after the event. Wieser captured second place with a score of 362.20 points. Jefferson earned a fifth-place finish with 336.20, while Moore followed close behind with 326.50 points for sixth place.

In the final swimming event of the evening, the Ohio State 400 medley relay team earned a fourth-place finish. The quartet of Daniel Novak, Travesso, Bretscher and Voelker recorded a NCAA “B” cut time of 3:13.20.

Also participating in the evening’s events for Ohio State was Niksa Roki. The sophomore took a 16th-place in the 200 individual medley in a NCAA “B” cut time of 1:48.96.

“Overall, it was a very good night for us and I feel really good about where we are sitting at right now,” said Wadley. “I’m looking forward to see what we can do tomorrow.”

The Big Ten Championships continue Friday. Preliminary races start at 11 a.m. with the finals beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Men’s Swimming and Diving
Big Ten Championships

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Team Scores: 1. Michigan 344; 2. Indiana 250; 3. Ohio State 204; 4. Minnesota 181; 5. Northwestern 149; 6. Purdue 145; 7. Wisconsin 122; 8. Penn State 80; 9. Iowa 57; 10. Michigan State 56.
Event Winners: 200 freestyle relay 8. Ohio State (Voelker, Elber, Bretscher, Travesso) 1:19.88; 500 freestyle 5. Markovic (Ohio State) 4:21.19; 200 IM 16. Roki (Ohio State) 1:48.96; 50 freestyle 5. Voelker (Ohio State) 19.91; 400 medley relay 4. Ohio State (Novak, Travesso, Bretscher, Voelker) 3:13.20; 1-meter 2. Wieser (Ohio State) 362.20.