COLUMBUS, Ohio – ­The No. 13-ranked Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., this week for the 2008 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The competion, held at the Canham Natatorium, takes place Feb. 28-March 1.

The Buckeyes are coming off a 10-1 dual meet season, a mark that includes a 3-1 record against Big Ten teams. This season the team defeated Michigan State in a dual meet in Columbus and then outscored Penn State and Northwestern in a quad meet in Ann Arbor Feb. 1-2. Michigan defeated Ohio State in that meet to hand the Scarlet and Gray its only loss of the season.

Live Results and More
Visit for a schedule of events, parking instructions, a link to the Live Meet Results and more information about the 2008 Men’s Big Ten Swimming and Diving championships.

Ohio State is coming off an 11-year best third-place finish at the 2007 Big Ten championships, held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The finish was the team’s best since the 1996 season when the team also finished third.

The Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 13 in the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll. The ranking is based on dual-meet performance. Seven Big Ten schools are represented  in the polls, guaranteeing that this year’s championships will be as competitive as ever. The ranked include Michigan (4), Indiana (8), Minnesota (9), Purdue (12), Ohio State (13), Penn State (16) and Northwestern (19).

Buckeye swimmers have recorded 17 times that rank among the Big Ten’s top 10 in respective events this season, including five top five times. Sprint freestyler Matt Voelker has the Big Ten’s fastest time in the 50 free at 20.04. The complete list of top five times for Buckeyes include:

  • 50 free – Matt Voelker (1st; 20.04)
  • 200 back – Itai Chammah (2nd; 1:44.70);
  • 500 free – George Markovic (4th; 4:22.08);
  • 100 br’stroke – Felipe Travesso (4th; 54.67);
  • 100 back – Daniel Novak (5th; 48.83);
    (see PDF notes attached for Top 10 times list)

Minnesota won last year’s title in Columbus by a mere four points over runner-up Michigan: 612.5 points to 608.5. The title was Minnesota’s second in three years and its fifth since 2001. Ohio State was third with 495 points. Indiana and Northwestern rounded out the top five. The Hoosiers were just one point behind Ohio State’s total while Northwestern totalled 470. Ohio State returns 11 individuals who scored at last year’s championship meet.

  • Jake Busch (500 free, 800 free relay)
  • Joel Elber (200 free relay)
  • Daniel Malnik (200 breaststroke)
  • George Markovic (500 free, 800 free relay)
  • Mark Neiman (500 free, 1650 free) 
  • Dan Novak (100 back)
  • Sam Pelkey (100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke)
  • Matthias Sigrist (100 fly, 200 fly, 800 free relay)
  • Felipe Travesso (100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay) 
  • Matt Voelker (50 free, 100 free; all five relays)
  • Wes Wieser (1m, 3m, platform diving)

Ohio State ranks third among the Big Ten member institutions with 12 Big Ten championships. The last title came in 1956 and it represented the eighth-consecutive year the Buckeyes were champion. The team, under the direction of the great Mike Peppe, also was NCAA champion six times during this eight-year run. Event-wise at the Big Ten championships, Ohio State has produced:

  • 173 total swimming individual champions (swimming, diving and relay events);
  • 77 individual swimming champions;
  • 78 individual diving champions; and
  • 18 relay champions.

Ohio State swimming coach Bill Wadley has coached 10 individual Big Ten champions and one relay champion while diving coach Vince Panzano has coached 29 of his men divers to Big Ten championships.

Last year Ohio State divers pulled off a historic sweep of all three boards that had never been accomplished: three different Ohio State divers won a Big Ten crown as Kellen Harkness won on the 3-meter springboard, Burkley Showe won on the 1-meter board and Wes Wieser won on platform. Wieser is the only returning champ for Ohio State as Harkness has graduated and Showe is red-shirting the season. Panzano was named Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year last year, his sixth on the men’s side.

Seven Buckeyes have combined for eight NCAA championship “B” qualifying standards. To date:

  • Matt Voelker has a “B” cut in the 50 free;
  • George Markovic, Stefan Sigrist and Mark Neiman have all made the “B” standard in the  500 free;
  • Neiman also has a “B” cut in the 1,650 free;
  • Daniel Novak and Itai Chammah have “B” cuts in the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke, respectively; and
  • Felipe Travesso has made an NCAA “B” cut in the 100 breaststroke.

All three Buckeye divers – junior Wes Wieser, sophomore Ryan Jefferson and freshman Sean Moore have qualified for the NCAA Zone “C” diving championships that Ohio State will host March 12-14 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. This meet will determine the field for the NCAA chamionships, set for March 27-29 at Federal Way, Wash.

The Buckeyes finished the regular season with an overall record of 10-1 and a 3-1 record in the Big Ten, registering their best finish since the 2004-05 season. The team also finished 2nd among 13 teams at its own Ohio State swimming and diving invitational. Wins came over Ohio schools Kenyon, a Division III power, Miami, Cleveland State and Wright State, Pac 10 school Washington, SEC school Kentucky, the MAC’s Eastern Michigan and Big Ten schools Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State. The only loss was to Michigan Feb. 1-2 in Ann Arbor in a quadrangular meet with Northwestern and Penn State.

Junior Matthias Sigrist led the way this year with seven combined individual wins in the 200 freestyle (five wins) and 200 butterfly (two). Senior Matt Voelker has six wins in the sprint freestyles (four in the 50 free and two in the 100). Freshman Itai Chammah has five wins in the 200 backtroke. Sophomore Stefan Sigrist has four wins with three coming in the 500 freestyle and one in the 1,000.

A number of freshman won their initial collegiate races this season. Among them: Jayson King (500 free vs. Eastern Michigan and Michigan State); Tom O’Neill (1000 freestyle vs. Wright State); Phil Seleskie (200 IM vs. Miami); Justin Farra (400 IM vs. Cleveland State); Quincy Lee (200 fly vs. Wright State); Chuck Allison (100 fly vs. Eastern Michigan and Michigan State); Itai Chammah (200 backstroke vs. Kenyon) and Elliott Keefer (200 breaststroke vs. Miami). Chammah’s five wins led the frosh class. Farra had three wins.

Coach Vince Panzano’s divers went unbeaten during the dual meet season with sweeps on both the 1- and 3-meter springboard events in all six dual meets where diving was contested. Wes Weiser won four times on the 1-meter board and once on the 3-meter and Sean Moore won twice on the 1-meter board and three times on the 3-meter board. Ryan Jefferson took first on the 3-meter springbaord twice. Weiser was named Big Ten Diver of the Week twice and Moore was honored by the Big Ten once this season.

Ohio State’s two seniors are Dan Novak and Matt Voelker. Novak came to Ohio State from Sao Paulo, Brazil and he will soon graduate with a degree in marketing and finance. Dan, who has scored points for the Buckeyes at the Big Ten Championships, currently has the fifth-fastest time in the Big Ten Conference in the 100 backstroke and he has a top 10 time in the Big Ten in the 200 backstroke. Voelker, from Upper Arlington, Ohio, has scored points for the Buckeyes at Big Ten as well as NCAA championship events, and he was an honorable mention All-American last season. A member of the school’s record-breaking 200 and 800 freestyle relay teams, Matt’s time of 20.04 in the 50 freestyle is the best in the Big Ten and it ranks 19th nationally. He also has a top 10 time in the Big Ten in the 100 freestyle. An engineering major, Matt has made Ohio State’s all-time top five lists for the 50-, 100- and 200 freestyles.

Head coach Bill Wadley has coached 13 Olympians and his teams have been ranked in the NCAA Top 25 for 15 of the past 18 seasons. Buckeye swimmers and divers have qualified for the NCAA Championships in 16 of Wadley’s 18 years as coach. Wadley coached the Buckeyes to a third place finish at the 2007 Big Ten Championships and sent nine swimmers and three divers to the NCAA Championships where the team finished 12th, its highest finish since 1983. In all, 11 athletes received honorable mention All-American honors at the meet.

Vince Panzano is coach of the Ohio State men’s and women’s diving teams. Panzano was named the 2007 Big Ten Men’s Diving Coach of the Year and has a total of nine Big Ten Coach of the Year honors (three for the women and six for the men). He has produced one world champion, one junior world champion, two Olympic medalists, 22 U.S. Diving champions, ten NCAA champions, 15 NCAA runners-up, 48 Big Ten champions and 70 NCAA All-Americans.