Feb. 20, 2016
Columbus, Ohio—The 2016 Big Ten Championships are over and the Buckeyes finished in fourth place with 859 points, the sixth time since 2010 that Ohio State has earned a top-five finish at its conference championship meet. Michigan won its first Big Ten title since 2004 and Indiana, Minnesota, and Purdue were the other top-five teams this year.
Overall, OSU claimed four individual Big Ten titles and one relay title for six total championships, the most successful year since 1991.
200 freestyle relay– Liz Li, Annie Jongekrijg, Rachael Dzierzak, Macie McNichols (1:28.29)
50 freestyle– Liz Li (21.80)
400 IM– Lindsey Clary (4:03.64)
100 butterfly– Liz Li (51.77)
1650 freestyle– Lindsey Clary (15:49.98)
Kicking off day four’s finals was the 1650 freestyle, an event in which Clary’s time of 15:49.98 not only clinched her second individual Big Ten title; and not only clinched her a spot at next month’s NCAA Championships; and not only set Big The Championship and pool records, but it broke her old Ohio State record by a whopping 14 seconds. Her previous record of 16:03.75 was over 11 seconds faster than the record before that, which had stood for nearly 25 years.
Following Clary’s remarkable performance was the 200 backstroke, which featured three Buckeye point scorers. Kaitlyn Ferrara (1:56.98) and Camey Rabold (1:57.64) each finished in second place in their respective finals heats, while Zulal Zeren (1:54.52) finished in third place overall for the bronze medal.
Next up was Li’s third individual B1G title and fourth overall. Her championship-winning time of 47.72 was just .01 behind the winner, but secured her a spot at the NCAA Championships and earned her yet another Ohio State school record. The 100 free featured five Buckeyes in all, with Dzierzak, McNichols, Jongekrijg, and Christi DiPaolo all racing in finals heats. Three more OSU swimmers competed in the 200 breaststroke finals with Taylor Vargo’s eighth place time of 2:12.75 being the fastest of the three. Amy Bopp (2:13.78) and Katie Antal (2:14.87) both finished among the top-16 swimmers in that event.
The final individual swimming event of the week was the 200 butterfly, which also featured three Ohio State swimmers vying for points. Bopp got back in the pool to compete in this one, posting a time of 2:00.29 and teammate Cara Norris’s mark of 2:00.15 was right in front of her. Meg Bailey 1:58.74 finished 12th for OSU.
One final race, the 400 freestyle relay, was had by all and Ohio State finished in third with a time of 3:16.65 to close out its trip to the 2016 Big Ten Championships. The Buckeyes’ trusty relay team of Dzierzak, Jongekrijg, Li, and McNichols competed in that event.
With Big Tens now in the rearview mirror, Ohio State’s NCAA participants will now be looking ahead to March 17-19 when the best swimmers in the country convene for a shot at being crowned a national champion. For the Buckeyes, all of the Big Ten Champions have qualified for NCAAs in addition to Li in the 100 freestyle.
Final Team Standings:
1. Michigan University of 1361
2. Indiana University 1207.5
3. University of Minnesota 927.5
4. Ohio State University 859
5. Purdue University 766.5
First Team All-Big Ten:
Second Team All-Big Ten:
Sportsmanship Award Honoree: