Dec. 17, 2013


COLUMBUS, Ohio – While training is in full swing for the second half of the 2013-14 season, the 16th-ranked Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team positioned itself among the nation’s elite with a number of standout individual performances in the first half of the season.

The Buckeyes were particularly strong in the relay events, where the 400 freestyle relay team of Michelle Williams, Alex Norris, Aliena Schmidtke and Phoebe Cater clocked a time of 3:17.42 at the Ohio State invitational, good for 13th best nationally and second fastest in the Big Ten.

Not to be outdone, the 800 freestyle relay team of Schmidtke, Norris, Carter and Katy Luchansky touched the wall in 7:13.28 at the Ohio State Invitational, which is the 13th fastest nationally and fourth in the Big Ten. To round out the standout relay performances, the 200 freestyle relay team of Williams, Carter, Schmidtke and Annie Jongekrijg swam a 1:31.40, 23rd fastest nationally and sixth in the Big Ten.

Individually, senior Kelly Ann Baird, a native of Lexington, North Carolina, has two top-50 finishes to her credit. Against Purdue and Northwestern, she swam a 9:53.40, the 18th fastest time nationally this season (sixth in the Big Ten), and at the Ohio State Invitational she clocked a 16:27.04 in the 1650 freestyle, good for 42nd nationally (ninth in the Big Ten).

As the team, the Buckeyes are ranked No. 16 in the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division I team rankings, up three spots from the previous poll. Ohio State is one of six Big Ten squads in the Top 25.

Last week, the NCAA announced that Ohio State’s Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion will host the 2018 NCAA Swimming Finals (March 15-17). It will mark the second time in 10 years that the finals have come to Columbus, as the Buckeyes also hosted the event in 2008.

After being on hiatus for the month of December, Ohio State returns to action Jan. 11 on the road vs. Toledo.

Top Buckeye National Times: 50 freestyle – 60. Michelle Williams (22.81), 7th B1G; 100 freestyle – 50. Michelle Williams (49.44), 7th B1G; 200 freestyle – 53. Aliena Schmidtke (1:46.99), 9th B1G; 500 freestyle – 31. Alex Norris (4:43.16), 6th B1G; 1000 freestyle – 18. Kelly Ann Baird (9:53.40), 4th B1G; 1650 freestyle – 130. Annie Gillig (55.11), 15th B1G; 200 backstroke 77. Annie Gillig (1:58.00), 12th B1G; 70. Taylor Vargo (1:02.27), 7th B1G; 200 breaststroke – 57. Taylor Vargo (2:13.88), 7th B1G; 100 butterfly – 46. Aliena Schmidtke (53.58), 5th B1G; 200 butterfly – 77. Amy Bopp (1:59.51), 14th B1G; 200 individual medley – 79. Ashley Vance (2:00.97), 12th B1G; 400 individual medley – 45. Lindsey Clary (4:15.01), 8th B1G; 200 freestyle relay – 23. Williams, Schmidtke, Carter, Jongekrijg (1:31.40), 6th B1G; 400 freestyle relay – 13. Williams, Norris, Schmidtke, Carter (3:17.42), 2nd B1G; 800 freestyle relay – 13. Schmidtke, Norris, Carter, Luchansky (7:13.28), 4th B1G; 200 medley relay – 50. Dona, Norris, Dzierzak, Vance (1:42.18), 9th B1G; 400 medley relay – 54. Davis, Carter, Dzierzak, Baird (3:44.53), 8th B1G