Nov. 28, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 12 men’s swimming and diving team will play host the second annual Ohio State University Swimming and Diving Invitational this weekend at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The Buckeyes now are 4-0 for the season and 1-0 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State won two dual meets in five days when they defeated both the No. 18 Purdue, 171-129, Nov. 17, and Cleveland State, 161-79, Nov. 21. The Buckeyes won 10 of the 16 events, setting more than 10 season-best times against the Boilermakers. Freshman Mark Neiman won the 1,000-yard freestyle for the second consecutive time in a time of 9:15.33. R.J. Lemyre was a double-event winner, with victories in both backstroke events. He was the only swimmer to finish the 100-yard distance under 50 seconds, touching in at 49.80.

The men came back the next week to again win 10 events against the Vikings. Joe Doyle picked up his second win of the season in the 100-yard butterfly (49.30) and 50-yard freestyle (20.78). Ohio State recorded its fourth win in the 200-yard medley relay (1:32.16) for a perfect record in the event. Kellen Harkness also extended his undefeated record on the 3-meter when he won the event with a score of 365.48.

Ohio State will welcome 12 swimming and diving teams during the three-day competition, including six men’s swimming teams. Five more universities only will compete in the diving portion of the meet. Three of the attending teams are ranked in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll. Minnesota enters the meet at the No. 7 spot, while Notre Dame occupies the No. 17 spot. The Boilermaker divers come into the meet at the No. 18 position. Other swimming teams competing in the meet include South Carolina, Denver, Utah, and Iowa. Divers at Miami (Fla.) also will participate in the Invitational. Friday’s preliminary session will begin at 11 a.m., with the Top 18 swimmers returning to compete at 6 p.m. Diving preliminaries will be held between swimming sessions at 2 p.m. On Saturday, swimmers will begin competition at 10 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m., while diving action starts at 1 p.m. The Invitational concludes Sunday, with racing at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The qualifying round for divers kicks off at noon.

Final competition will consist of three eight-person heats. Team relays also will be swum in the evening. The Top 16 finishers in both individual and relay events will score points. For live scoring, a full schedule of events and directions to the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion please visit Admission to every session is free. Heat sheets are available at each session for $2.

Last year, the Buckeyes finished second with 845 points at the OSU Invitational behind Minnesota. The men recorded seven NCAA `B’ cuts, including two relays. Ohio State was responsible for wins in three events. Joe Doyle earned a title in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 48.40.

Ohio State currently sits at the No. 12 spot on the College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll. The ranking is based on dual-meet performance. The men began their season at No. 14 and have since moved up in the rankings as the season got underway. Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the Top 20. New rankings will be released next week.

Kellen Harkness earned Big Ten Diver of the Week accolades this week for his performances against Purdue and Cleveland State. This is Harkness’ second time winning the award this season. The senior remains undefeated on the 3-meter after winning the event against the Boilermakers and Vikings with the respective scores of 371.62 and 365.48. He also was the runner-up on the 3-meter at both dual meets. Harkness posted a score of 326.17 against Purdue and 330.60 against Cleveland.

Harkness’ earned his first career honor the week of Nov. 13 for his performances against Kenyon and Miami (Ohio). The Washington native posted his best score off the 3-meter vs. Kenyon when he won the event by 42 points (407.70) after winning the one-meter by 30 points (345.37). Harkness completed the sweep against Miami with scores of 364.50 off the 1-meter and 377.25 off the 3-meter.

The men started the season off faster than ever, breaking nine meet records at the intra-squad competition. The men set records in two relays and seven more individual events. Veterans R.J. Lemyre, Joe Doyle, Matthias Sigrist, Felipe Travesso and Daniel Novak set five individual records while freshmen Mark Neiman and George Markovic were responsible for the remaining two.

Ohio State defeated the Lords 209-84, Nov. 10, at home, sweeping the Top 3 places in seven events. The men dominated the meet, opting to swim the last two events as exhibition. Joe Doyle, Daniel Malnik, Matthias Sigrist and Kellen Harkness all were double-event winners. George Markovic, Matt Voelker, Nate King and Mark Neiman were responsible for the team’s remaining individual wins.

The Buckeyes came back Saturday to top Miami (Ohio), 165-73. Ohio State won every single event in the meet and again chose to swim the last two events as exhibition. Diver Kellen Harkness again posted two wins, giving him an undefeated record at this point in the season.

Freshman Mark Neiman set an Ohio State record in the first competition of the year at the Scarlet and Gray meet with a time of 9:14.72 in the 1,000-yard freestyle. His event-winning time was 19 seconds under the previous meet record (9:33.49) and two seconds under the previous team record (9:16.02).

COACH Bill Wadley
Bill Wadley enters his 18th year as the men’s head swimming coach. He has compiled a record of 155-27 (.85) at the helm of the Buckeyes and a 176-37 (.826) overall record in 20 years as a college head coach. Wadley has coached 13 Olympians and his teams have been ranked in the NCAA Top 25 for 13 of the past 17 seasons. Producing more than 30 world ranked swimmers in his coaching career, 13 of his student-athletes have reached the Olympic level.

A seasoned coach, Wadley has represented the United States on numerous occasions. He has coached the 1986 Olympic Festival and the 1988 and 1992 Gold Medal teams comprised of top non-collegiate swimmers in preparation for the Olympics. In 1991, Wadley coached the U.S. team at the World University Games and in 1993 was coach of the U.S. National Team training camp. Wadley was chosen to head men’s coach of the 1998 Goodwill Games team that broke seven Goodwill Games records

Most recently, Wadley was picked as an assistant coach for the 2007 World University Games and was elected president of the American Swimming Coaches Association in both 2005 and 2006.

Vince Panzano is in his 29th season as coach of the Ohio State men’s and women’s diving teams. Panzano, who was named the 2004 Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career, has produced one world champion, one junior world champion, two Olympic medalists, 22 U.S. Diving champions, 10 NCAA champions, 14 NCAA runners-up, 46 Big Ten champions and 68 NCAA All-Americans.

The Invite marks the Buckeye’s last competition for the fall season. The men will return to action Jan. 6 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion for a meet against Big Ten rival Indiana.