COLUMBUS, Ohio Ninth-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team finished second at the 2009 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving championships held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Ind. It was the best finish for the Buckeyes at the conference meet in 31 years.

“I am really proud of this team and we had a handful of inspirational performances tonight,” Bill Wadley, head swimming coach said. “It is so special to have the number of records broken in the last three days. This weekend has been an enjoyable and exciting weekend for the team.”

Highlighting the evening was the performance by Sam Pelkey. The junior captured first in the 200-yard breaststroke in a record-breaking and NCAA “B” time of 1:55.19, becoming the first Buckeye swimmer to win a Big Ten title in 8 years.

“I was really happy to put up first-place points for my team,” Pelkey, the Muncie, Ind., product, said. “It was exciting because all my family and friends were here to see this race.”

Also having a great swim in the 200 breaststroke was Spencer Hewes. The freshman finished fifth in a “B” time of 1:57.99. His preliminary time of 1:57.63 was a career-best. Sophomore Elliott Keefer and junior Daniel Malnik scored points for the Buckeyes in the event, finishing ninth (1:57.96) and 12th (1:59.46), respectively.

“Elliott Keefer’s win in consolation final gave big momentum entering the finals,” Wadley said. “Spencer Hewes had a very great swim. He was right with Sam (Pelkey) until last 50 yards. Sam’s swim was very inspirational for the team and I am so proud of him and the great time he put up.”

On the platform event, Ohio State’s Sean Moore earned Second-Team All-Big Ten honors with a second-place finish. The sophomore scored 464.80 points.

The Buckeyes had three swimmers score points in the 1,650 freestyle, including a record-breaking performance by Stefan Sigrist. The junior broke his own school record by 11 seconds, finishing third in a “B” time of 15:02.91. Classmates Mark Neiman and George Markovic had career-best swims, taking fifth (15:08.61) and seventh (15:12.22), respectively.

Representing Ohio State in the 200 backstroke finals were sophomores Itai Chammah and Phil Seleskie. Chammah finished seventh in 1:45.15, while Seleskie took eighth in 1:46.51. Seleskie’s time of 1:43.50 in the preliminary round was a new school record.

Scoring points for the Scarlet and Gray in the 100 freestyle was junior Joel Elber. He finished 14th in 44.10 and his preliminary time of 43.75 was a career-best swim. Sophomore Quincy Lee and junior Niksa Roki scored points in the 200 butterfly. Lee took 11th in 1:47.20 and Roki was 16th in 1:48.58.

The Buckeyes closed out the evening with a seventh-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. The squad of Elber, Andrew Olson, Markus Sievers and Jacob Busch finished in a record-breaking time of 2:55.97.

Michigan captured the team title with 829 points, while Ohio State was in second with 521 points. Rounding out the top five were Minnesota (507), Purdue (494) and Indiana (449.5.)

The divers will compete at the NCAA Diving Zones, March 13-15, in West Lafayette, Ind. Qualified swimmers and divers will advance to the 2009 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships meet held in College Station, Texas, March 26-28.

Ohio State Swimming and Diving
Saturday, February 28, 2009
2009 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships
Boilermaker Aquatic Center; West Lafayette, Ind.
Team Scores: 1. Michigan 829; 2. Ohio State 521; 3. Minnesota 507; 4. Purdue 494; 5. Indiana 449.5; 6. Wisconsin 248.5; 7. Penn State 246; 8. Northwestern 213; 9. Iowa 144; 10. Michigan State 108.
Saturday Event Winners: 1650 freestyle 1. Patton Michigan (14:57.09); 3. S. Sigrist Ohio State (15:02.91); 200 backstroke 1. Clary Michigan (1:39.59); 7. Chammah Ohio State (1:45.15); 100 freestyle 1. Savulich Michigan (42.87); 14. Elber Ohio State (44.10); 200 breaststroke 1. Pelkey Ohio State (1:55.19); 200 butterfly 1. Rice Wisconsin (1:43.59); 11. Lee Ohio State (1:47.52);  400 freestyle relay  – 1. Michigan (2:51.28); 7. Elber, Olson, Sievers, Busch Ohio State (2:55.97); Platform 1. Boudia Purdue (533.60); 2. Moore Ohio State (464.80).
All-Big Ten Teams
First Team

Sam Pelkey, Ohio State

Second Team
Jacob Busch, Ohio State
George Markovic, Ohio State
Sean Moore, Ohio State
Andrew Olson, Ohio State
Matthias Sigrist, Ohio State
Burkley Showe, Ohio State

Sportsmanship Award Winners
Indiana Justin Peterfish
Iowa Ryan Evans
Michigan Jamie Martone
Michigan State Michael VanBeek
Minnesota Adam Weis
Northwestern Adam Bedeman
Ohio State Jacob Busch
Penn State Vince Reydams
Purdue Andre Koop
Wisconsin Luke Lengfeld