COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team finished third at the 2021 Big Ten Conference championships, held at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the campus of Ohio State University.
The Buckeyes gave a terrific effort in one of the most hotly contested swimming championships in recent history as three schools went into Saturday with a chance to win it all. Michigan won the title with 1,401 points and Indiana was second with 1,357. Ohio State was third with 1,322 points. These three schools have now finished among the top three at the Big Ten championships for 11 consecutive years.
This meet was as close and competitive for the duration as any Big Ten championships this century as each school swam with energy and superbly through a five-day span that had the Buckeyes leading after the first two days, Michigan leading after Day 3 and Indiana leading after Day 4. The 79-point margin between first- and third-place is the smallest margin in the last 22 years.
Saturday night’s action was terrific. Indiana entered the championship session with a 26.5-point lead over Michigan and a 36.5-point lead over Ohio State. Seven of eight finalists in the first race of the night – the 100 freestyle – were from these three schools. Ohio State junior Sem Andreis won the race in a personal best time of 42.23 and Hunter Armstrong was third, also in a personal best time of 42.37. Michigan’s six swimmers in the event, including three finalists, enabled the Wolverines to reclaim the lead by 30 points over Indiana and by 57 over Ohio State. The Wolverines would not trail in the meet again.
The final heat of the 1,650 freestyle was then held with Ohio State’s Charles Clark smashing his personal best by more than 22 seconds to finish third in 14:45.24. Three more Buckeyes scored in the event with all three swimming to personal bests: Carson Burt went 15:11.24 to finish 10th; North Hansen went 15:14.49 to finish 15th; and Jonathan Edwards swam to a time of 15:16.18 to finish 17th.
Ohio State had but one finalist in the next race, the 200 backstroke, but three other scorers in the B and C finals. Thomas Watkins swam to a personal best (1:41.15) time in the prelims and then placed fourth overall with a 1:41.70 time in the final. Colin McDermott (ninth), Owen Conley (15th) and RJ Kondalski (21st) also scored for the Buckeyes in the event.
The final individual race of the meet was the 200 breaststroke and, like the first race of the evening, featured seven swimmers from the three schools battling for the championship. Ohio State’s Paul DeLakis headlined a three-Buckeye final by taking runner-up honors in an NCAA A qualifying time of 1:51.78. Jason Mathews was fourth in a personal best time (1:53.71) and Connor Isings was seventh after a personal best prelim (1:54.36). Evan McFadden and Hudson McDaniel scored from the C final.
The final event of this championship was the 4×400 freestyle relay. Indiana won it in an NCAA A qualifying time of 2:49.20 with the Ohio State team of Armstrong, Andreis, Fleagle and DeLakis taking second in 2:49.32.
Up next for the Buckeyes: the NCAA championships, set for March 23-27 in Greensboro, N.C.
Big Ten Conference Championships
Columbus, Ohio – McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion
Saturday Final Results
Event winners and all Ohio State point scorers listed.
100 freestyle – 1. Andreis, 42.23 B; 3. Armstrong, 42.37 B.
1,650 freestyle – 1. Bringer (IU), 14:38.26 B; 3. Clark, 14:45.24 B; 10. Burt, 15.11.24 B; 15. Hansen, 15:14.49 B. 17. Edwards, 15:16.18 B.
200 backstroke – 1. Burns (IU), 1:39.70 B. 4. Watkins, 1:41.70; 9. McDermott, 1:41.81 B; 15. Conley 1:44.95; 21. Kondalski, 1:44.71 B.
200 breaststroke – 1. McHugh (Minn.), 1:50.93 A; 2. Delakis, 1:51.78 A; 4. Mathews, 1:53.71 B; 7. Isings, 1:54.60; 23. McFadden, 1:58.97; 24. McDaniel, 1:58.98.
400 freestyle relay – 1. Indiana, 2:49.20 A; 2. Ohio State (Armstrong, Andreis, Fleagle, DeLakis), 2:49.32 A.
Final Team Results