September 10, 2018

September Alumni Newsletter

Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State Buckeyes

Alumni Weekend Schedule

Friday, October 5:

3:00pm – Scarlet vs. Gray Intrasquad Meet (Coed) / McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, 1847 Neil Ave.

6:00pm – Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally

*Parade steps off from Ohio Stadium at 6:00pm, Pep Rally immediately following the parade at the Ohio Union

7:00-9:00pm – Alumni Meet & Greet / Bier Stube featuring Dan’s Deli, 1479 N. High St.

*Limited drink tickets provided

Saturday, October 6:

10:00am – Alumni Swim & Dive Meet / McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion

Event List: 200 Medley Relay / {10-minute Break} / 50 Butterfly / 100 Freestyle / 50 Backstroke / 50 Breaststroke / 50 Freestyle / {10-minute Break} / 200 Freestyle Relay / The Plunge & Glide

*To participate, please RSVP to Kyle Dunaway (Director of Operations) at with specific events you wish to compete in by Wednesday, October 3 at noon; walk-up entries are welcome the day of the meet

*Warm-ups: Lane space will be available for warm-ups at 9:00am prior to the start of the Alumni Meet

*The diving well will be open from 10:00-11:00am for alumni divers, but no formal ‘meet’ will be held

12:00-3:00pm – Homecoming Tailgate (sponsored by Varsity O) / French Field House, 460 Woody Hayes Dr.

*Register online or by phone at 1-800-762-5646 by Friday, September 28

3:30pm – Ohio State vs. Indiana / Ohio Stadium

Guidelines for reserving/purchasing tickets to football game:

To reserve tickets for you and/or your family members, please RSVP with the names of each individual to Kyle Dunaway (Director of Operations) at no later than Saturday, September 15; tickets will be available at a reduced rate of $98.00ea. Once tickets are reserved, payment must be processed via the Ticket Office by September 19—please call Jessica LaVrar at (614) 292-4792.

Sunday, October 7:

10:00am – 6th Annual Sync Cancer Swim-a-Thon (sponsored by Ohio State Synchronized Swimming) / McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, 1847 Neil Ave.

*Inspired by Buckeye synchronized swimming alum Emily Marsh Fleming’s courageous battle with breast cancer, the Synchronized Swimming Team has raised over $33,000 over the past five years, which has gone directly to toward the funding of cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. In order to participate in the swim, participants must make a minimum donation of $25.00, and participants are challenged to raise additional pledges for their swim by registering as a virtual rider and joining the Team Buckeye-Sync Cancer Peloton. For more information, click here:

Buckeyes Beyond the Pool

Are you interested in sharing your professional experiences, expertise and perspective with our current student-athletes? We are setting up a series of ‘real life’ talks throughout the fall and spring semesters that are geared toward helping our current athletes prepare for life after college. From building their network, enhancing interview skills, understanding how to develop a marketable resume, this opportunity will mirror the efforts of ‘Real Life Wednesdays’ within the football program, and is set to provide our athletes valuable information through speakers and workshops. This program will offer a tangible opportunity to develop a professional skillset/network, and build a career after their swimming/diving careers come to an end. This would be based on the availability of our speakers and guests, and will be featured on our social media accounts as part of our student-athlete development programming.

If you are interested in giving back in this capacity, please contact Kyle Dunaway (Director of Operations) at

Summer Recap
The Ohio State swimming & diving team has had a busy summer competition schedule, featuring home, national and international events in the swimming community. Through all of the hard work, many Buckeyes saw podium finishes, new personal records and a chance to represent Ohio State on an even bigger stage than NCAA swimming.

The summer started off with the Spring Into Summer meet, hosted at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion from June 1-3. Swimmers aged 10 and up competed at the home of the Buckeyes, including many of the current Ohio State student-athletes. Buckeyes secured wins in 19 events on both the men and women’s sides, starting the summer off strong.

McCorkle was the site of the last TYR Pro Swim Series event from July 5-8, the fastest swim series in the world showcasing some of the best swimmers in the sport. Several Buckeyes qualified for the Phillips 66 National Championships at the meet and earned the chance to make the USA team for the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.

One Buckeye is already set to compete at the 2018 Pan Pacs in the 4×100 Free Relay, as incoming freshman Ruslan Gaziev qualified for Canada after an impressive 100 LCM free time of 49.56 to finish third in the A final at the Canadian Swimming Trials, held in Edmonton, Alberta, from July 18-22. Gaziev was joined by rising sophomore Connor Isings at the event, who clocked a 1:02.70 100 Breast time, setting a new career-best.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Rising junior Kathrin Demler added international experience to the Buckeye squad at the German Swimming Championships in Berlin, Germany. She claimed second in the 400 IM with a time of 4:47.48 and third in the 200 Fly, clocking in at 2:12.23. Alumnae Aliena Schmidtke also competed at the event, winning the 50 Fly with a time of 26.38.

A number of Ohio State athletes competed at the USA Speedo Sectionals in Cleveland, Ohio, on the campus of Cleveland State from July 19-22, several of which made an appearance on the podium. The Buckeyes took home 43 medals after the four-day competition and set a number of personal records.

Rising sophomore Kristen Romano swam for Puerto Rico at the Central American & Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, from July 22-25, setting three Puerto Rican swimming records and claiming three medals in the process. Romano broke the 400 Free record with a time of 4:17.15, the 200 Free record at time of 2:04.37 and the 200 back record with a readout of 2:17.27. She also took home two gold medals in the 200 Back and the 400 IM, as well as a bronze in the 200 IM.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Wrapping up the month of July, seventeen Ohio State athletes competed at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, Calif., from July 25-29. OSU laid claim to 11 Top 25 finishes among the nation’s most elite swimmers, with three from rising junior Andrew Loy, two from rising junior Molly Kowal and rising sophomore Hanna Gresser, and one from incoming freshman Jason Mathews, rising sophomore Ben Sugar and rising junior Marianne Kahmann.

Incoming freshman Jacob Fielding narrowly missed the finals at the 2018 FINA World Junior Diving Championships in Kiev, Ukraine, on the 1-meter board, scoring a 418.80 to place 13th.

Rising sophomore Genevieve Angerame made an appearance at the European Championships in the women’s 10-meter platform, 3-meter springboard and 3-meter springboard synchro event competing for Lithuania. Angerame placed 13th on the 10-meter platform, 19th on the 3-meter springboard and ninth in the synchronized 3-meter springboard event. Also at the European Championships, alumna Schmidtke finished fourth in the 50 Fly final and eighth in the 100 Fly final in Glasgow, Scotland.

Finishing out the summer, rising senior Matt Abeysinghe competed at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, from Aug. 19-24, finishing sixth in the 100 Free final. Senior Henrique Painhas raced at the Brazilian Short Course Meters Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil from Aug. 24-28, winning the 200 Fly with a time of 1:57.17 and finishing third in the B Final of the 100 Fly. Find more information at

Incoming 2018-19 Class

The Ohio State swimming and diving program has signed 20 new recruits for the 2018-19 season, director of swimming & diving Bill Dorenkott announced. Thirteen men and seven women are slated to join the team, 18 of which are swimmers and two of which are divers.

The additions to the men’s team include: Sem Andreis (Bologna, Italy), Stefano Batista (Carmel, Ind.), Jake Fielding (Los Angeles, Calif.), Ruslan Gaziev (Toronto, Canada), Trey Gibble (Miami, Fla.), RJ Kondalski (Toledo, Ohio), Ben Kuriger (Lewis Center, Ohio), Jason Mathews (Westerville, Ohio), Hudson McDaniel (Ashland, Ohio), Josef Pohlmann (Beavercreek, Ohio), Colin Roy (Woodbridge, Conn.), John Sampson (Bellbrooke, Ohio) and Lain Weaver (Madison, Wis.).

The 2018 women’s signing class includes: Alissa Cook (Atlanta, Ga.), Emma Hellmann (Cincinnati, Ohio), Grace Kowal (Merchantville, N.J.), Georgia Mosher (Ypsilanti, Mich.), Amanda Palutsis (Louisville, Ohio), Sally Tafuto (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Georgia White (Minooka, Ill.).

“This is the first recruiting class for our program in a combined setting. I am incredibly proud of our staff and team’s efforts in putting together what we believe is one of the top recruiting classes in the country,” Dorenkott said. “We have two goals in recruiting student-athletes to Ohio State. First is to find individuals who are a good fit for our university, program and culture. Second is to provide the support and resources to help them develop into outstanding students, athletes and human beings.

Our team’s culture is driven by relationships and elite performance. This class is a great complement to the program we are building. And, we are not done. We fully expect to bring in recruits mid-year to better help us pursue our goals at the Big Ten, NCAA and international levels.”

Read more about the recruits, their accomplishments and why they chose Ohio State:

2018-19 Schedule
The Ohio State Swimming & Diving schedule for the 2018-19 season is an exciting and challenging slate for the Buckeyes. OSU is set to host nine meets at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, and we hope to see you come out and support your Buckeyes, whether at home or on the road! We kick off the season at home in a dual meet against Alabama on Sept. 27 at 5 p.m., followed by our alumni weekend from Oct. 5-6 with the Scarlet vs. Gray Intrasquad on Friday, Oct. 5 and the Alumni Meet on Saturday, Oct. 6. Find the full schedule below.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Inaugural Big Ten/ACC Swimming & Diving Challenge
The first-ever Big Ten/ACC Swimming & Diving Challenge has been announced for November 10-11 at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center on the campus of Purdue University. The short course yards meet will showcase the best talent from both the Big Ten and ACC Conferences in a similar format to the 2016 College Challenge, with a running score kept throughout the dual meet competition combining points earned by both men and women.

Ohio State Director of Swimming & Diving, Bill Dorenkott, will serve as the assistant coach for the Big Ten men’s team, based on the team’s finish at the conference championship. Dorenkott will assist Indiana’s head coach Ray Looze.

Representatives to the All-Star teams will be based on performance and men’s and women’s swimming program membership. At least two male and female swimmers from each institution will be designated to compete, but no more than five males and five females from each school will participate. Each athlete may be entered in up to six events during the meet, including individual events and relays.

O-H-I-O From O-A-H-U
Ohio State swimming alumnae and hall of famer Teresa Fightmaster forged her Buckeye connections even deeper with a trip to Oahu, Hawaii, to coach the Pau Hana Swim Team at the 70th Annual Keo Nakama Memorial Invitational, named after another Buckeye swimming great. Read about her trip below.

Aloha, my fellow Buckeyes!

I’m a proud Buckeye. I’m a graduate of The Ohio State University and earned a full-ride swimming scholarship to the Ohio State women’s swimming program. I was a part of four Big Ten Championship teams, won numerous individual Big Ten swimming titles, was a five-time All-American, 1984 Olympic Trial qualifier and in 2002, was honored by being inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.  In a nutshell…a Buckeye “nut”shell…I bleed Scarlet and Gray.

I’ve been part of competitive swimming all of my life, and after graduation began and continue to coach to this day.  One of the most influential people in my life was a former coach of mine, Jill Griesse. Her sense of hard work, dedication and compassion for her swimmers influenced my decision to follow my passion of coaching. Jill was the founder of Pau Hana Swim Team and I swam for her the years immediately preceding my years as a Buckeye.  Under Jill’s tutelage, my high school accolades included being a two-time Ohio High School Swimming State Champion in the 100 Breast and achieving national swimming qualifications.

Jill eventually retired and with her retirement was the end of the Pau Hana Swim Team in the mid-1980s.  My coaching career in the YMCA and USA swimming worlds culminated in an opportunity in 2014 to start my own team; sadly, at around the same time Jill passed away, succumbing to pancreatic cancer after a very hard fought battle.  Being such a role model and mentor in my life, I asked her family for their permission to bring Pau Hana Swim Team back to life to honor Jill and continue the tradition she began so many years ago.

Jill had trained in Hawaii with Soichi Sakamoto, founder of the Hawaii Swim Club and the best swimming coach in the country at that time. She began her coaching career at Hickam Air Force base in Hawaii and after four years, she moved to the mainland (Granville, Ohio) where she founded Pau Hana. She wanted her team to be known as something different. The name Pau Hana means “your work is completed,” which is a phrase that her coaches would often use at the end of practice. With her past Hawaii connection, Jill decided to take her Pau Hana team to compete in the Keo Nakama Memorial Invitational swim meet in Oahu in the mid-1970s.  Unfortunately for me, I joined Jill’s team just after this team trip and always regretted it.  So, when I revived Pau Hana in 2014, I knew that someday I wanted to make that trip, but this time as a coach with my own team.

I am blessed and very humbled to have had the opportunity to take a group of my swimmers and their families to Hawaii this summer.  After almost 40 years, the Pau Hana Swim Team returned to Oahu to train and compete at the 70th Annual Keo Nakama Memorial Invitational.  Little did I know when planning this trip that it would bring together such a rich history of Buckeye and Pau Hana swimming tradition for two fellow Ohio State University Hall of Famers!

I started the process of planning the trip by emailing the meet director, Marcelle Arakaki, asking her many questions about the meet and what we needed to do to make this happen. The more we communicated the more we found out we had swimmers in common, we shared the same Japanese heritage and that the swimmer the meet honors and is named after was an incredible Ohio State swimmer and baseball hall of famer, Keo Nakama! During the Mike Peppe swimming dynasty of the 1940s and 1950s, Ohio State had many Hawaiian swimmers competing for the Buckeyes (Keo Nakama, Halo Hirose, Ford Konno, Dick Cleveland and Yoshi Oyakawa).  These swimmers all took the team to Big Ten and NCAA Championship titles.  The more I learned about the connection Pau Hana Swim Team had with the meet and then Keo Nakama’s connection to Ohio State, it became even more personal and special to me and for my swimmers.

We landed in Oahu on Sunday, June 24th and never stopped moving until we left on July 3rd.  As a team, we hiked Diamond Head, snorkeled Hanauma Bay, jumped off the rocks at Waimea Beach, did a shoreline training swim and workout at Kailua Beach, took in a luau at Paradise Cove, competed in the Keo Nakama Memorial Invite, visited the Dole plantation, swam at Ko Olina Beach, strolled the beaches on Waikiki and tasted the many restaurants the island had to offer.

It was a trip of a lifetime and we shared many amazing and wonderful memories. We are planning to go back in 2 years with more of our swimmers and families. We were treated like family at the meet and the bonds we have formed with the Hawaii Swim Club Head coach and his wife will last forever. They want to celebrate and honor the rich Hawaiian swimming history and its ties to the great The Ohio State University. I am blessed to have experienced this trip and will cherish all of the memories!

Swimmingly, Mahalo and GO BUCKS!


Varsity O
Joe Budde, member of the Ohio State swim team from 1972-74 and team captain from 73-74 is the current treasurer of Varsity O, the Ohio State athletics alumni society. Read more about what Varsity O does and how you can get involved.

Former varsity swimmer, Joe Budde, graduated from OSU in 1975 with a BSBA from the now Fisher College of Business and furthered his education at Capital University Law School, graduating in 1983 and joining the Ohio Bar on November 1, 1983. After a 30-year career in banking and insurance, Joe entered private practice of law in Westerville, just outside Columbus.

In 2013, Joe was elected to the Board of Directors of the Ohio State University Varsity “O” Men’s Alumni Association and was promptly elected treasurer of the organization. In January of 2015, Men’s Varsity O and Women’s Varsity O joined forces and were chartered under the OSU Alumni Association as The Ohio State University Varsity O Alumni Society, where he serves as treasurer of the newly constituted group.  Their slogan is “Athletes Helping Athletes”, which they accomplish with programs geared to help current, future and former Buckeye athletes.

The Varsity O membership rolls include some 10,000 former OSU letterwinners.  Of those, nearly 3,000 are dues-paying active members.  Active members are eligible to purchase a pair of OSU football tickets for one game or the season depending on the membership level.

We preserve our rich history and tradition through our Athletics Hall of Fame, team reunions and sales of Varsity “O” apparel, rings, mugs, and flags.

Varsity O supports current athletes through fully-funded scholarships, a post-graduate scholarship, recognition of team captains, recognition of first-time letterwinners with a special ceremony and awards to the teams with the highest and most improved grade point averages.

We connect Buckeyes with one another through social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, our website and our newsletter, as well as our annual Homecoming Tailgate, pre-game football tailgates, receptions at football and basketball games, and receptions at select away football games and other sports events.

Become an active member of The Ohio State University Varsity O Society and join thousands of your letterwinner brothers and sisters in supporting “Athletes Helping Athletes”!

For more information about membership in Varsity O go to:

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