Jan. 31, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team (11-0 overall, 3-0 Big Ten) will play host to Big Ten foe No. 17 Penn State at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center . The matchup is the final home meet of the season and also is Senior Day.

Saturday will mark the final home meet for senior co-captains Daniel Kelley and Brian Malich.

Kelley, an education major, is a three-time Big Ten championship finalist and four-year letterwinner. As a captain this season, Kelley has been the Buckeyes’ top swimmer in the breaststroke, with team-best times in the 100 breaststroke (:58.30) and 200 breaststroke (2:07.48).

Malich, majoring in business, is a two-time big Ten Champion in the 100 freestyle, winning the title as a freshman in 1998 and again last year.

Malich also was a member of the record-setting 1998 Big Ten Championship 400 medley relay team. As a co-captain his senior year, Malich has won Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honors three times, including twice in January.

He owns a piece in 14 school or pool records in individual and relay events.

On Daniel Kelley
“DJ has been a truly consistent performer in the breaststroke over the last four years. He was the Ohio High School State Champion in the breaststroke and he has gotten better every year he has been here. He is an education major and has an interest in swimming coaching, so he is extremely involved and interested in all the intricate details of stroke technique, mechanics and training. He and I have a real special relationship. It has been rewarding to have an athlete who has a coaching mentality, which obviously means he’s team-oriented and a team leader. He is our go-to guy in the backstroke. He’s matured and become more confident because of his knowledge and understanding of what he is doing. He’s a student of the game.” On Brian Malich
“Brian came in as a freshman and won a Big Ten title (100 freestyle) and has just gotten better and better. He was a 45-plus freestyler out of high school and he’s now a :43.4. There aren’t many athletes that have the talent and physical tools that Brian has. He’s truly gifted, but he also understands how he goes fast and how to keep his stroke together. His knowledge of the sport has really grown over the last four years. He pays more and more attention to details. He’s at the highest level of any swimmer in the 100 free of any that has come to OSU in my time. It has been a pleasure to watch him develop and mature as an athlete and as a young man. He has really stepped up and performed.”

Last weekend, Ohio State defeated Northwestern, 184-168, and Iowa, 193-17, at Big Ten dual meets in Evanston, Ill., to remain unbeaten. Malich was a double-winner for the Buckeyes, taking both the 100 freestyle (:44.06) and 200 freestyle (1:39.05). On the boards, Heath Knowling (Alexandria, Ind./Anderson Highland) won the one-meter (339.15) and three-meter (328.05) diving events. Other individual winners for Ohio State were Ivan Petrovic (Zagreb, Crotia) in the 200 breaststroke (1:48.74) and Nick Rees (Nassau, Bahamas) in the 100 butterfly. The 400 freestyle relay team of Nick Cheney (Lima, Ohio/Shawnee), Petrovic, Malich and David Paul (Holden, Mass./St. Peters-Marian) took first with a time of 3:01.73.Travis Carver (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley) turned in a couple of second-place finishes in the 500 freestyle (4:34.84) and the 400 individual medley (4:00.63), respectively. Vladi Dusil (Darmstadt, Germany) took second in the 1650 freestyle (15:56/14).

This week, for the second time in January and third time this season, Brian Malich earned Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honors. Malich led the Buckeyes to wins over host Northwestern and Iowa at Big Ten dual meets last weekend in Evanston, Ill, taking first in the 100 freestyle (:43.06) and 200 freestyle (1:39.05). Malich also helped the 400 freestyle relay place first with a time of 3:01.73. Malich also was honored Jan. 16, after he led off the 400 freestyle relay with a time of :20.20, setting a Mike Peppe Aquatic Center pool record in the 50 freestyle during a Jan. 12 dual meet win against Indiana. In addition to his record-setting performance, Malich was a double-winner in the 100 freestyle (:44.92) and the 200 freestyle (1:38.02). The previous night – Jan. 13 – Malich won the 50 freestyle in a win over Ball State. Malich also earned the honor for the week of Nov. 28 for his efforts Nov. 21 at Cleveland State, when he posted individual wins in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, respectively. Malich also was a member of the winning 200 freestyle relay team in a win over Cleveland State.

Last season, the Nittany Lions finished third at the Big Ten Championships and 19th at the NCAA championships. Their finish at the NCAAs marked the best finish in school history. With the return of 24 of 33 team members from a year ago, expectations were high for the deep Nittany Lion squad. PSU has lived up to its expectations. The Nittany Lions come to Columbus ranked No. 17 with a 4-1 dual-meet record. PSU is lead by individual school-record holders Brian Hostetler (50 free), Bob Moltettiere (100 Free), Martin Schierhorn (500 free), Joe Peresan (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 breast, and Josh Weaver (100 Back, 200 Back).

“Penn State is certainly one of the top two or three teams in the conference. Depth-wise, they are as good as anyone in the country, with the exception of maybe a handful of schools. Their No. 2, 3, and 4 guys are real close to their No. 1 guys, and their No. 1 guys are great. They have a shot at winning the Big Ten title this season. This will be a real challenge. It will be fun to swim them and, hopefully, we can use them to help us go faster. That’s what is competition is all about. They’ll be ready and we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

Following the matchup with the Nittany Lions, OSU will compete at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 22-24