Feb. 1, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ninth-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team won six races and two diving events, but lost a hard-fought meet to No. 1 Michigan, 151-147, on Saturday at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Ohio State is now 9-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten while Michigan improves to 8-0 and 5-0 in the Big Ten.
“A lot of credit goes to our seniors,” said head coach Bill Wadley. “The competitive spirit that they showed today to swim great races is really the essence of this team. This was a fun dual meet – Michigan had a great squad and they are ranked No. 1 in the country for a reason. But I thought our guys rose to the challenge.”
In the next event, the 1000 freestyle, senior Alex Miller placed second with a time of 9:11.51, just two seconds off his season-best time. Michigan’s Connor Jaeger won the race in 9:04.27, which set a new pool record.
The Wolverines picked up additional momentum in the 200 freestyle, finishing 1-2. Ohio State’s top performer was Michael DiSalle, who was third in 1:38.56.
The Buckeyes came roaring back in the 100 backstroke as freshman Matt McHugh placed first with a NCAA “B” cut time of 48.21. It is also his season best time in the event. Additionally, the Buckeyes had the second place finisher, Michael Gallagher (48.64), and third-place finisher, Connor McDonald, (48.83) to pick up additional points.
With renewed momentum, Ohio State finished 2-3 in the 100 breaststroke, led by DJ MacDonald (second, 54.91) and Stevenson (third, 55.31). Both times are NCAA “B” cuts.
Michigan took the top four spots in the next race, the 200 butterfly, as Ohio State’s top finisher was Tamas Gercsak (fifth, 1:49.95).
Fleagle and Phillips tilted the score back in favor of Ohio State in the 50 freestyle as they finished 2-3. Fleagle was second in 20.42 and Phillips was third in 20.53. Fleagle continued his impressive afternoon in the next event, the 100 freestyle, as he touched the wall in 44.30.
McDonald made it back-to-back wins for Ohio State in the next event, the 200 backstroke, with a time of 1:45.25, which is an NCAA “B” cut. Andrew Braun followed that up with a first-place showing in the 200 breaststroke (1:58.77). His time was a personal season best, NCAA “B” cut and gave the Buckeyes yet another jolt of momentum.
Michigan was able to take the top two places in the 100 butterfly. Ohio State’s top finisher was Phillips, who clocked a NCAA “B” cut time of 47.72.
In the 200 individual medley, Gercsak and Gallagher tied for third place with times of 1:51.42. Michigan pulled ahead for good in the 200 freestyle as it had the first, third, fourth and fifth finishers. Miller was the Buckeyes’ top performer with a time of 4:24.92, an NCAA “B” cut.
In the final race of the day, the 400 freestyle relay, Ohio State picked up its second relay win of the night behind the team of Fleagle, DiSalle, Steffen Hillmer and Phillips (2:55.78). Michigan eked out the overall time victory, however, by placing 2-3 in the race.
In diving, junior Stephen Ettienne picked up critical points for the Buckeyes by winning both the 3-meter and 1-meter dives. He scored a 330.83 on the 3-meter and 377.25 on the 1-meter.
Ohio State returns to action next Friday, Feb. 7, when it hosts Wright State at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion at 6 p.m.
Ohio State Men’s Swimming and Diving
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
Team Scores: Michigan 151, Ohio State 147
Top Buckeye Finishes: 200 medley relay – 1. Trebilcock, Stevenson, Phillips, Fleagle (1:27.50); 1000 freestyle – 2. Miller (9:11.51); 200 freestyle – 3. DiSalle (1:38.56); 100 backstroke – 1. McHugh (48.21); 100 breaststroke – 2. MacDonald (54.91); 200 butterfly – 5. Gercsak (1:49.95); 50 freestyle – 2. Fleagle (20.42); 100 freestyle – 1. Fleagle (44.30); 200 backstroke – 1. McDonald (1:45.25); 200 breaststroke – 1. Braun (1:58.77); 100 butterfly – 3. Phillips (47.72); 200 individual medley – 3 (tie). Gercsak, Gallagher (1:51.42); 400 freestyle relay – 1. Fleagle, DiSalle, Hillmer, Phillips (2:55.78); 500 freestyle – 2. Miller (4:24.92); 3-meter diving – 1. Ettienne (330.83); 1-meter diving – 1. Ettienne (377.25)