COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s swimming team added eight more athletes to the list of qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials and the U.S. Open at the Ohio State Toyota Grand Prix, held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion April 4-6.
“It was really fun to invite the world of swimming to our campus and show the young swimmers what a great facility we have here at Ohio State,” Bill Wadley, head men swimming coach, said. “Overall, I am very proud of how the team performed. They have been training hard and preparing for this and they put together a great showing.”
Not only were Olympic times being made, but also new school records. A total of four Ohio State long course records were set. Highlighting the record-breaking swims was the performance of senior Matt Voelker. The Columbus native swam new records in the 50- and 100-meter freestyles. In the preliminary round of the 50 freestyle, Voelker finished in a time of 22.81 and his 100-meter split of 49.64 in the 400 freestyle relay was also a record finish.
“I couldn’t be happier for Matt,” Wadley said. “With this being his last swim at McCorkle, he really shined and finished strong.”
The 800 freestyle relay of sophomore George Markovic, freshman Jayson King, sophomore Andrew Olson and junior Jacob Busch swam in a record-breaking time of 7:31.48. The quartet of Olson, sophomore Joel Elber, Busch and Voelker touched the wall three seconds faster than the previous record in the 400 freestyle relay (3:23.71). Each relays’ times were U.S. Open qualifiers.
Also highlighting the weekend for Ohio State was Markovic’s finish in the 400 freestyle. Markovic took third place in a time of 3:56.93, which secured him a spot on the Serbian Olympic Team.
Day one of competition saw six Buckeyes qualify for the Olympic trials in their respective events. In the 100 breaststroke, junior Felipe Travesso and freshman Elliott Keefer each qualified for the first time with finishes of 1:04.04 and 1:04.62, respectively. Olson (1:52.75) and Busch (1:51.98) each earned Olympic Trial times in the 200 freestyle.
Rounding out the new qualifiers on Friday was sophomore Andrew Bretscher and freshman Justin Farra. Bretscher swam a time of 55.05 in the 100 butterfly, while Farra finished the 200 individual medley in 2:05.28.
Keefer’s third-place finish of 2:19.12 in the 200 breaststroke on Saturday earned him another Olympic qualifying time. Securing his first Olympic Trial cut Saturday was Elber with a time of 23.19 in the 50 freestyle. Closing out the day was the 400 medley relay squad of Farra, Travesso, Bretscher and Voelker. The crew finished first in a U.S. Open time of 3:47.06.
With the conclusion the weekend’s events, the Buckeyes currently have 18 current and former swimmers qualified for the Olympic Trials.
The 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials will be held June 29-July 6 in Omaha, Nebraska. The U.S. Open is set for July 29-August 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Toyota Grand Prix
April 4-6, 2008
McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion
Ohio State Olympic Qualifiers
Andrew Bretscher 100 butterfly
Jacob Busch 200 freestyle
Itai Chammah 200 backstroke
Joe Doyle 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly
Joel Elber 50 freestyle
Justin Farra 200 individual medley
Michael Hulme 400 individual medley
Elliott Keefer 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke
Daniel Malnik 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke
George Markovic 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle
Mark Neiman 400 freestyle, 1500 freestyle
Andrew Olson 200 freestyle
Sam Pelkey 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke
Niksa Roki 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley
Phil Seleskie 200 individual medley
Marty Tomes 100 butterfly
Felipe Travesso 100 breaststroke
Matt Voelker 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle