COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team had another top-notch season in 2008-09 with a second-place finish and a Top 15 finish at the Big Ten and NCAA championship meets, respectively.

“As a team, we are happy that we had the opportunity to finish in the Top 2 at the conference meet,” Bill Wadley, head men’s swimming coach, said. “It was so special because it has been a long time since that has happened for the Buckeyes.”

The Buckeyes concluded the regular season with a No.9 ranking in the College Swim Coaches Association of America poll. The team finished with a 10-2 mark in dual meets and was 2-2 in Big Ten competition. Ohio State took second at the conference meet, which was the best finish for the Buckeyes in 31 years and at the national meet, the Buckeyes came away with a 14th-place finish.

“This season was the 19th season of the past 20 that we have qualified for the NCAA championships,” Wadley said. “It was also the 14th season in the Top 25 and the eighth in the Top 20. I am very proud of this group of young men and of all the accomplishments they’ve achieved this season.”

A Record-Breaking Year
A total of 15 school records were set during the 2008-09 season by Buckeye swimmers.
Sixteen different swimmers have put their names in the record-books at Ohio State, including senior Felipe Travesso and junior Joel Elber. Each were a part of four record-breaking performances this season. Sophomore diver Sean Moore broke two McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion records as well.

The 2009 Ohio State Record Breakers:

  • 500-yard freestyle junior George Markovic (4:17.60)
  • 1000-yard freestyle freshman Brent Hitchcock (9:05.97)
  • 1,650-yard freestyle junior Stefan Sigrist (15:01.33)
  • 100-yard breaststroke senior Felipe Travesso (53.32)
  • 200-yard breaststroke junior Sam Pelkey (1:55.19)
  • 100-yard butterfly junior Andrew Bretscher (46.71)
  • 200-yard butterfly junior Niksa Roki (1:46.07)
  • 200-yard individual medley Roki (1:45.80)
  • 100-yard backstroke freshman Andrew Elliott (47.38)
  • 200-yard backstroke sophomore Phil Seleskie (1:43.50)
  • 200-yard freestyle relay junior Joel Elber, junior Andrew Olson, Bretscher, Travesso (1:18:85)
  • 400-yard freestyle relay Elber, Olson, freshman Markus Sievers, senior Jacob Busch (2:55.97)
  • 800-yard freestyle relay Busch, Olson, senior Matthias Sigrist, Markovic (6:25.72)
  • 200-yard medley relay Elliott, Travesso, Bretscher, Elber (1:26.42)
  • 400-yard medley relay sophomore Itai Chammah, Travesso, sophomore Chuck Allison, Elber (3:10.31)
  • 3-meter springboard Moore (450.30)
  • 10-meter platform Moore (464.80)

Big Ten Championships
The Buckeyes had their best finish in 31 years at the 2009 Big Ten championships held in West Lafayette, Ind. Highlighting the weekend were the performances by Sam Pelkey. The junior from Muncie, Ind., captured first in the 200-yard breaststroke in a record-breaking time of 1:55.19, becoming the first Buckeye swimmer to win a Big Ten title in eight years. Pelkey also finished second in the 100 breaststroke.

Overall, Ohio State had 22 swimmers and divers score points during the conference championships. Among those, there were 15 individuals that finished in the Top 8 in 18 events. Juniors Joel Elber and George Markovic and sophomore Sean Moore led the way, scoring in three events each.

  • Chuck Allison 100 butterfly (11th)
  • Andrew Bretscher 100 butterfly (7th), 100 backstroke (16th)
  • Itai Chammah 100 backstroke (9th), 200 backstroke (7th)
  • Joel Elber 50 freestyle (8th), 100 freestyle (14th), 100 backstroke (14th)
  • Andrew Elliott 100 backstroke (8th)
  • Justin Farra 200 IM (9th), 400 IM (6th)
  • Spencer Hewes 200 breaststroke (5th) 
  • Ryan Jefferson One-meter (8th), three-meter (12th)
  • Elliott Keefer 100 breaststroke (10th), 200 breaststroke (9th)
  • Quincy Lee 200 butterfly (11th)
  • Daniel Malnik 100 breaststroke (12th), 200 breaststroke (12th)
  • George Markovic 200 freestyle (11th), 500 freestyle (3rd), 1650 freestyle (7th)
  • Sean Moore One-meter (9th), three-meter (3rd), platform (2nd)
  • Mark Neiman 1650 freestyle (5th)
  • Andrew Olson 200 freestyle (15th)
  • Sam Pelkey 100 breaststroke (2nd), 200 breaststroke (1st)
  • Niksa Roki 200 butterfly (16th)
  • Phil Seleskie 200 backstroke (8th), 200 IM (15th)
  • Burkley Showe One-meter (4th), three-meter (2nd)
  • Markus Sievers 100 backstroke (11th), 200 IM (12th)
  • Stefan Sigrist 1650 freestyle (3rd)
  • Felipe Travesso 100 breaststroke (4th)

Also scoring points were the five Ohio State relays. Elber was a part of four relays, while Travesso and Olson were each on three relay teams.

  • 200 freestyle relay Elber, Olson, Travesso, Bretscher (6th)
  • 400 freestyle relay Elber, Olson, Sievers, senior Jacob Busch (7th)
  • 800 freestyle relay Busch, Markovic, M. Sigrist, Olson (2nd) 
  • 200 medley relay Elliott, Travesso, Bretscher, Elber (3rd)
  • 400 medley relay Chammah, Travesso, Allison, Elber (3rd)

NCAA Championships
Ohio State sent one of its largest contingents in years to the NCAA championships held in College Station, Texas. Twelve Buckeyes nine swimmers and all three divers helped Ohio State finish 14th at the national meet. Among the 12 student-athletes that participated, only one was a senior. The team also sent six juniors, four sophomores and one freshman.

The Buckeyes finished the national meet with eight All-America and Honorable Mention All-America honorees.

All-America Honors
Showe Three-Meter (3rd)
Moore Three-meter (8th), platform (4th)

Honorable Mention All-America
400 medley relay Elliott, Travesso, Bretscher, Elber, Chammah, Allison (15th)
Showe One-meter (9th)

Banquet Award Winners
Twenty athletes were recognized for their efforts at the banquet this season. Senior Felipe Travesso, junior Joel Elber and freshman Andrew Elliott earned two awards each. The coaches also handed out plaques nine athletes for wins against Michigan during the two-day dual meet held January 30-31 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

Team Award Winners:
Mike Cochran Award:  2- Spencer Hewes, Andrew Elliott
(Most Promising Freshman)

Carl Wirthwein Award:  Phil Seleskie  
(Most Improved Swimmer)

Mike Peppe Award:  Sam Pelkey
(Coaches Award)

Bill & Mae McCorkle Award:  George Markovic
(Outstanding Swimmer)

The Skilken Award:  2 – Austin Mudd, Ben Savonen
(Spirit of Giving)

Leo Portelance Award:  2- Joel Elber, Felipe Travesso
(Varsity Captains Award)       

Miller Anderson Award:  Sean Moore
(Outstanding Diver)

The Coach John Bruce Award:  2- Elliott Keefer, Andrew Olson
(Commitment to Excellence)

The John Westman Award:  Justin Farra
(Medal of Honor for Highest Student Athlete)  

Charles and Irene Salie Award:            6 – 400 Medley Relay
(Highest Placing Swimming All American)   Itai Chammah, Felipe Travesso, Chuck Allison, Joel Elber,
                                                                    Andrew Elliott, Andrew Bretscher

The Dale England Award:  Jacob Busch
(Most Inspirational Senior Performance)

“Wins against Michigan”

Event  Name  Time 
1000 freestyle  Brent Hitchcock  9:05.97 
One-Meter  Sean Moore  368.15 
200 breaststroke  Elliott Keefer  1:58.61 
100 butterfly  Chuck Allison  47.21 
Three-Meter  Sean Moore  433.35 
100 breaststroke  Felipe Travesso  54.16 
Platform  Sean Moore  464.35 
200 medley relay  A. Elliott, F. Travesso  1:27.38 
  C. Allison, J. Elber