COLUMBUS, Ohio –This is big…very big. Never before in the venerable, storied tradition of Ohio State men’s swimming and diving history that includes 11 national titles and more than 350 All-American citations has there been a day like Saturday at an NCAA championships. Ohio State Buckeyes competed in 22 swims and all three divers were in action for a school record total of 25 performances on the day.

The end result of this Buckeye blitz: Ohio State is positioned in ninth-place at the 2010 NCAA championships with 96.5 points. Twelve more All-America accolades were earned by the team members, increasing the total number of honors to 19 after seven were picked up Friday.

Sam is Hip

Leading the way for Ohio State Saturday was a young man who this time last year was getting ready to have hip surgery, which he had immediately after the 2009 NCAA Championships: senior Sam Pelkey. The Muncie, Ind., native placed 15th in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 53.73 to garner honorable mention All-America honors. This coming after he was the first Buckeye ever to break 53 seconds in the event with a school record 52.96 preliminary swim.

“Sam never looks at swimming in a negative way,” Ohio State coach Bill Wadley said. “He’s always tinkering with his stroke and asking questions and trying to improve and, after his hip surgery last year, we never knew what his stroke was going to be like. And the stroke finally started to come together in the last three or four days and suddenly he goes 52-something to set a record and score points and become an All-American.”

Pelkey, who is on his way to dental school in the fall at the University of Louisville, was all smiles after his race.

“I’m happy. I’m really happy,” Pelkey said. “It feels great to have finally made it. I probably should have been All-American the last couple of years based on my seed times, but I’m really happy to have earned the honor this year.”

And on the flip side of the experience level, freshman Tim Phillips reached a consolation final in his very first NCAA individual race to score points and earn honorable All-America honors in the 100 butterfly. He placed 12th in 46.47 to set an Ohio State school record for the second time Saturday after his 46.68 swim in the prelims.

First in Last

Senior divers Ryan Jefferson and Wes Wieser combined for seven team points with finishes of 13th and 14th on the 3-meter springboard. Jefferson totaled 410.40 points to be named an honorable mention All-American for the first time in his last round of collegiate diving. Wieser dove to his second honorable mention All-America designation of the meet with his 384.75 total in the final round. Fellow senior Burkley Showe capped his career by finishing 22nd.  

Both Ohio State relays scored big. The 800 freestyle relay team of George Markovic, Andrew Olson, Stephen Sakaris and Tim Phillips raced to All-America honors with an eighth-place finish in 6:22.73 to score 22 team points.

And the 200 medley relay, after setting a school record of 1:26.30 in the prelims, broke that mark, placed 10th in 1:26.27 and earned honorable mention All-America status. The team included Andrew Elliott, Elliott Keefer, Phillips and Joel Elber.

The OSU Block Party

In addition to the racers and divers already mentioned, the rest of the record-setting contingent of Buckeyes competing in individual events Saturday at McCorkle, by event, included:

  • 100 Fly – Quincy Lee (25th); Lincoln Fahrbach (30th); Adam Bretscher (32nd);
  • 200 Freestyle – Markovic (20th);
  • 100 Breaststroke – Keefer (25th); Daniel Malnik (30th);
  • 100 Backstroke – Elliott (21st); Markus Sievers (39th).

The championships conclude Sunday with prelims set for 12 noon and finals at 7 p.m. California, Texas, and Arizona are the top three teams with 348.5, 330 and 269 points respectively.

2010 NCAA Championships

McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion; Columbus, Ohio

Day 2 Team Scores: 1. California 348.5; 2. Texas 330; 3. Arizona 269; 4. Florida 264; 5. Stanford 221; 6. Auburn 215.5; 7. Michigan 160; 8. Virginia 100; 9. Ohio State 96.5; 10. Georgia 92.

Results: 200 medley relay 1. Barnea, Dugonijic, Moore, Daniels, California (1:23.08); Also: 10. Elliott, Keefer, Bretscher, Elber, Ohio State (1:26.27). 400 IM 1. Tyler Clary, Michigan (3:38.89). 100 butterfly – 1. Thomas Shields, California (44.91); Also: 12. Tim Phillips, Ohio State (46.47). 200 freestyle – 1. Conor Dwyer, Florida (1:32.31) 100 breaststroke – 1. Damir Dugonjic, California (51.65); Also: 15. Sam Pelkey, Ohio State (53.73) 100 backstroke 1. Eugene Godsoe, Stanford (45.11) 3-meter diving 1. David Boudia, Purdue (494.90); Also: 13. Ryan Jefferson, Ohio State (410.40); 14. Wes Wieser, Ohio State (384.75); 22. Burkley Showe, Ohio State (325.90). 800 freestyle relay 1. Jostes, Walters, Caskey, Berens, Texas (6:12.77); Also: 8. Markovic, Olson, Sakaris, Phillips, Ohio State (6:22.73).