Nov. 6, 2006


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team defeated Illinois, 157-143, Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Several swimmers were instrumental in taking home the IlliBucks turtle.

“We started the tradition like the football team,” Jeanne Fleck, head swimming coach, said. “The freshman came up with the idea and it really got the team excited.”

The two schools’ football teams regularly compete for the Illibuck Trophy, which was won by the Buckeyes Saturday in Champaign.

The Buckeye swim team jumped to an early lead, capturing first, third, fourth and fifth places in the 200-yard medley relay. Gulsah Gunenc (Sr., Edirne, Turkey/Edirne Anatolian), Erin Church (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) Linda Lund (Jr., Roennede, Denmark/Hasiev) and Elaine Chan (So., Hong Kong, China/Heep Yunn) were responsible for the win.

Gunenc added two more wins to her resume in the butterfly events. Gunenc became one step closer to the NCAA championships, coming in ahead of the competition with a NCAA B-qualifying standard in the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.65). Her second win of the meet came in the 100-yard butterfly, in which Gunenc posted a time of 56.90.

Griet Buelens (Jr., Kapelle-Op-Den-Bos, Belgium/Ursulinen Mechelen) was even with Illinois swimmer Barbie Viney in the 500-yard freestyle until the last 150 yards when Buelens pulled ahead, winning in 4:56.65. Buelens also was the runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.23), an event she swam immediately after finishing second in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:35.01).

Three freshmen claimed their first individual titles in a college dual meet. Haley Mitchell (Fr.,Walled Lake, Michigan/Walled Lake Western) touched in first with 10:22.75 in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Following suit, Megan Alexander (Fr., Worthington, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) edged out Illinois swimmer Marissa Clapp (1:05.68) for the win in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:05.63. Jill Lockhart (Fr., Munice, Ind./Yorktown) stopped the clock at 2:04.56 in the 200-yard backstroke – a personal best time by four seconds.

The Buckeyes swept the diving events, taking the Top 4 places on both the 1- and 3-meter springboards. Sophomore transfer Chelsea Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington-Kilbourne) took first on the 1-meter with a score of 286.35. Senior Julie Broms (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) captured the 3-meter title with 316.57.

“I got to see a lot in this meet,” Fleck said. “Griet did an amazing job of stepping up to the plate. All four of the medley relays were great. Jill Lockhart and Megan Alexander were just solid.

The Buckeyes will return to action next weekend when they travel to swim Michigan Friday at 5 p.m. and Michigan State Sunday at 9 a.m.