COLUMBUS, Ohio The nationally-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team completed day one of the two-day meet Friday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. In the competitive Big Ten quad-meet, the No. 10 Buckeyes have leads over No. 19 Penn State, 127-40, and Northwestern, 132-35, but are behind No. 2 Michigan, 107-60.

“Overall, we had some really good swims today,” Bill Wadley, head men’s swimming coach, said. “Michigan is one step ahead of us, but we are definitely on our way in the same direction. We will have our work cut out for us tomorrow to try and catch up to the No. 2 team in the country.”

Ohio State shined in the 200-yard breaststroke, sweeping the top-three spots. Sophomore Elliott Keefer led the way with a winning time of 1:58.61. Junior Sam Pelkey was second (1:59.64) and freshman Spencer Hewes took third in (2:00.93).

“I’m really proud with our performance in the 200 breaststroke,” Wadley said. “It was a solid race for us.”

Also sweeping the top-three spots were the Buckeye divers on the one-meter springboard. Sophomore Sean Moore edged out junior teammate Burkley Showe by .05 points, winning the competition with 368.15 points. Showe took second (368.10), while junior Ryan Jefferson finished third (340.00).

The Buckeyes took third place in the 400-yard medley relay to open the two-day meet. The team of Andrew Elliott, Daniel Malnik, Chuck Allison and Duncan De Wet touched the wall in 3:18.14. Swimming the breaststroke leg on the fourth-place team was senior Felipe Travesso, who broke the school-record in the 100 breaststroke with his split time of 53.47.

In the 1000 freestyle, freshman transfer Brent Hitchcock, participating as a non-scoring swimmer, put his name in the books by swimming a school-record time of 9:05.97, breaking teammate Stefan Sigrist’s record by eight seconds. Scoring points for the Buckeyes with a second-place finish was senior Ryan Stoneburg, who swam a personal-best time of 9:13.78.

Leading Ohio State in the 200 freestyle was sophomore Jayson King, who finished fifth in a career-best time of 1:38.64. Also setting a career-best was senior Yannick van Heers, finishing fourth in the 50 freestyle in 20.64.

Sophomore Justin Farra led all Buckeye swimmers in the 200 backstroke with a fourth-place finish in 1:48.57. Junior Niksa Roki tallied a third-place finish in the 200 butterfly in 1:47.35.

The evening closed with a terrific race in the 400 freestyle relay, seeing Ohio State coming in just .30 behind the winning Michigan squad. The Wolverines finished in a time of 2:59.14, while the Buckeye quad of junior Joel Elber, van Heers, De Wet and junior Andrew Olson took second in 2:59.44.

Day two of competition continues at noon Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. There is no admission charge for the meet. 

Ohio State Swimming and Diving
Friday, Jan. 30, 2009
McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion; Columbus, Ohio 

Team Scores:
Ohio State – 132.00     Northwestern – 35.00       
Ohio State – 127.00     Penn State – 40.00
Michigan – 107.00       Ohio State – 60.00
Penn State – 103.00     Northwestern – 63.00
Michigan – 137.00       Northwestern – 29.00
Michigan – 134.00       Penn State – 32.00

Friday Event Winners: 400 medley relay 1. Michigan (3:16.11); 3. Elliott, Malnik, Allison, De Wet Ohio State (3:18.14); 1000 freestyle 1. Patton Michigan (9:10.43); 2. Stoneburg Ohio State (9:13.78); 50 freestyle 1. Martone Michigan (20.28); 4. Van Heers Ohio State (20.64); 200 backstroke 1. Schultz Michigan (1:44.92); 4. Farra Ohio State (1:48.57); 200 breaststroke 1. Keefer Ohio State (1:58.61); 200 butterfly 1. Brady Michigan (1:44.74); 3. Roki Ohio State (1:47.35); 400 freestyle relay 1. Michigan (2:59.14); 2. Elber, Van Heers, De Wet, Olson Ohio State (2:59.44); One-meter 1. Moore Ohio State (368.15).