COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four senior swimmers on the Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team closed out their careers at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on a winning note as the Buckeyes defeated Michigan State, 178-114, for their seventh win of the season against just one defeat. A fifth senior – diver Katie Bell – was also part of the honors for the day but she’ll have one more McCorkle moment as a Buckeye: the NCAA diving zone championships March 11-13.

Less than 24 hours after competing in Ann Arbor, Mich., against No. 15 Michigan the Buckeyes, one could say in honor of the seniors, rode a team effort to the win. Eight different Buckeyes swam to individual event victories and both relays were also victorious.

Sophomore Megan Detro captured both the 50 and 100 freestyle events and was the only double event swimming winner. Junior diver Bianca Alvarez was also a double winner, including setting a new McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion record on 3-meter with a score of 420. She was joined in victory by freshman Beth Defauw, who had a blowout win in the 1000 freestyle in 10:14.36, senior Samantha Cheverton (100 backstroke), sophomore Darcy Fishback (200 fly), freshman Libby Hunsche (200 back), junior Lisa Narum (200 breaststroke), freshman Alex Norris (500 freestyle) and Emily Creran (200 individual medley).

The all-sophomore 200 medley relay team of Kelsey Moran, Angela Severn, Shannon Draves and Detro opened the meet with a win in 1:43.59. And the 200 free relay team of Michelle Williams, Detro, Phoebe Cater and Anita Beck won in 1:23.20.

But let’s get back to the seniors, a group that includes Shelby Gordon and Morgan Menzie in addition to Cheverton, Beck and Bell. The four swimmers were the last remaining swimmers on the team who experienced a coaching change during their careers and even though it may not have always been easy, they handled the change with grace and class and they will always be heroes in the eyes of Dorenkott and his assistant coach, Stefanie Williams.  

“This group of seniors has been excellent role models for change, for growth and for leadership,” the third-year coach Dorenkott said. “Twenty-five years from now this group will still see their fingerprints on the program. The swimmers mean a lot to me and I will be forever grateful to them. They had to deal with more changes as a class than any other class I’ve worked with.”

The seniors all thrived through their experiences, and all all have had accomplished careers at Ohio State. Let’s meet them:  

  • Anita Beck is a team co-captain who has scored points for the Buckeyes at three Big Ten Conference championship meets. She is a member of two Ohio State school-record relay teams and she owns the third-fastest 200 freestyle time in school history. She was named the team’s co-rookie of the year as a freshman. A biology major, she is from Cincinnati, Ohio and Anderson High School.
  • Katie Bell is a talented platform diver. A two-time USA Diving National Team member, she is an NCAA All-American by virtue of her fifth-place finish at the 2009 NCAA championships on platform. She won a U.S. Diving national championship on platform in August 2009 in Tallahassee, Fla. And despite injuring a shoulder, she took third on the 10-meter platform at the 2010 USA Diving Winter Nationals and World Cup team trials. Katie was also a runner-up on platform at the 2009 Big Ten championships. Majoring in social work, Katie is from Columbus, Ohio and Graham High School.
  • Samantha Cheverton is a team co-captain and has been the team’s most valuable swimmer the past three years. She holds school records in the 200 freestyle, 500 free and 200 backstroke, and is part of two record-setting relay teams. Sam has qualified for the 2008 and 2010 NCAA championships in a total of five events. This summer she made the Canadian National Team that competed in the Pan Pacific Championships, and she anchored Canada’s bronze-medal winning 800 free relay team. A two-time Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar, Sam is also a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and is majoring in psychology. She is from Lachine, Quebec, and Queen of Angels Academy.
  • Shelby Gordon is a butterfly specialist and one of the fun veterans on the team as a senior. She has continued to improve her times with personal best efforts at each of the Big Ten championships. A business marketing major who is pursuing a minor in Spanish, Shelby is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. She is from Maumee, Ohio and Maumee High School.
  • Morgan Menzie is a four-year member of the team who competes primarily in the backstroke events. She is also one of the outstanding students on the team. An animal sciences major who is particularly fond of horses, Morgan has twice been named a Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar for having a grade point average above 3.70 for the entire year. She is also a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Morgan has already been accepted into Ohio State University’s veterinary school and she also has an application in to vet school at her home-state school Texas A&M University. She is from Katy, Texas, and Cinco Ranch High School.

Up next: the Buckeyes will take part in the Shamrock Invite next weekend at the University of Notre Dame.

Women’s Swimming

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011

Columbus, Ohio

McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion

Team Scores:  Ohio State 178, Michigan State 114

Ohio State Event Winners: 200 medley relay – Moran, Severn, Draves, Detro, 1:43.59; 1000 freestyle – Defauw, 10:14.36; 200 freestyle – Detro, 1:50.12; 100 backstroke – Cheverton, 57.27; 200 butterfly – Fishback, 2:02.58; 3-meter diving – Alvarez, 420.68; 100 freestyle – Detro (51.07); 1-meter diving – Alvarez, 344.70; 200 backstroke – Hunsche, 2:04.46; 200 breaststroke – Narum, 2:23.77; 500 freestyle – Norris, 4:55.28; 200 individual medley – Creran, 2:07.92; 200 free relay – Williams, Detro, Cater, Beck, 1:23.20.