COLUMBUS, Ohio The 13th-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team finished in fourth place at the 2008 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships, which concluded Saturday at Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The University of Michigan earned the title with 1,081.5 points.

“Tonight was awesome and just special for the team,” Bill Wadley, head swimming coach, said. “Everyone worked hard and fast and really succeeded.”

Highlighting the events Saturday were the performances of junior Wes Wieser and freshman Sean Moore on the platform. The pair earned the top two spots after Wieser captured first with 415.50 points and Moore took second with a score of 400.95.

Also shining for the Buckeyes was Stefan Sigrist in the 1,650-yard freestyle. After bettering his seed time by over 30 seconds, the sophomore earned a fifth-place finish in an NCAA “B” cut time of 15:13.01. Sigrist’s time also broke the school record set by teammate and classmate Mark Neiman last year. Neiman earned a 12th-place finish in the event with a time of 15:20.18.

The Scarlet and Gray had three swimmers score points in the 200 breaststroke, including a record-breaking performance by Sam Pelkey. The sophomore captured second after swimming an NCAA “A” cut time of 1:56.66, breaking the 15-year old Ohio State record and automatically qualifying him for the NCAA championships.

“It was great to see Stefan Sigrist and Sam Pelkey do so well,” Wadley said. “It was amazing to witness Sam Pelkey break the second-longest school record. I’m very proud of both of them.”

Freshman Elliott Keefer also swam a career-best 1:58.19 in the 200 breaststroke for a fourth-place finish, while Daniel Malnik finished eighth in 1:59.73.

Matt Voelker swam a career-best time of 43.46 in the preliminary round of the 100 freestyle. In the finals, the senior went on to take fifth with an NCAA”B” cut time of 43.86.

The 400 freestyle relay squad of Voelker, Joel Elber, Jacob Busch and Andrew Bretscher swam an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:57.74 to finish seventh. After the event, the Buckeyes came up just two points short of Minnesota to take fourth overall.

Other swimmers scoring points for the Buckeyes were senior Dan Novak, junior Matthias Sigrist and freshmen Phil Seleskie, Itai Chammah and Justin Farra. Seleskie finished ninth (1:45.89) in the 200 backstroke, while Chammah took 11th (1:46.65), Novak earned 12th (1:46.72) and Farra finished 17th (1:47.64). Sigrist was 14th in the 200 butterfly in 1:48.13.

“Overall, it was a great meet for us,” Wadley said. “Breaking six school records is an amazing feat. It was an exciting and rewarding meet full of memorable experiences.”

Earning first team All-Big Ten for Ohio State was diver Wes Wieser for his performance on the platform. Sam Pelkey was placed on second team, while Dan Novak was awarded the sportsmanship award.

The divers will compete at the NCAA Diving Zones, March 14-16, at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. Qualified swimmers and divers will advance to the 2008 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships held in Federal Way, Wash.

Men’s Swimming and Diving
Big Ten Championships

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Team Scores: 1. Michigan 1081.5; 2. Indiana 855; 3. Minnesota 682.5; 4. Ohio State 680.5; 5. Purdue 488.5; 6. Northwestern 438; 7. Wisconsin 363; 8. Penn State 318; 9. Iowa 187; 10. Michigan State 159.
Event Winners: 1650 freestyle 5. S. Sigrist (Ohio State) 15:13.01; 200 backstroke 9. Seleskie (Ohio State) 1:45.29; 100 freestyle 5. Voelker (Ohio State) 43.86; 200 breaststroke 2. Pelkey (Ohio State) 1:56.66; 200 butterfly 14. M. Sigrist (Ohio State) 1:48.11; 400 freestyle relay 7. Ohio State (Voelker, Elber, Busch, Bretscher) 2:57.74; Platform 1. Wieser (Ohio State) 415.40.