COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State’s swimming and diving team rose to the occasion Saturday and pulled off one of its biggest dual meet wins since…well since “Back to the Future” premiered in theaters. The Buckeyes, ranked No. 28 nationally, defeated No. 16 Michigan, 162-132, for their first win in the dual meet series in 25 years. The win improved Ohio State’s record to 5-0 and it puts the team in a position for an unbeaten dual meet season if it defeats Penn State this weekend at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. 

A win this weekend over a team coach Bill Dorenkott directed for 10 years and led to three Big Ten Conference championships would be big, too. Unbeaten dual meet seasons just don’t happen annually. But that accomplishment would not be possible without the combined, goose-bump inducing efforts of the entire team Saturday against Michigan. So let’s take a look back at the special moments of the day through some notes and quotes and a few images of the end result.

200 Medley Relay Win was Critical  “We had no business winning the 200 medley relay,” Dorenkott said after the meet, referring to the times he knows Michigan goes in the event. But the Buckeyes did. Kelsey Moran led off in the backstroke and stayed close to Michigan Big Ten champion (200 IM) Margaret Kelly, giving the team a jolt of enthusiasm. Catherine Eitel made up the difference and more in her breaststroke leg, putting Ohio State in front by about six-tenths. Shannon Draves held the lead through the butterfly and then anchor Megan Detro pulled away with a 22.46 freestyle split that powered the team to the win.

Nichols’ 1,000 Runner-Up is Noticed  Sophomore Natalie Nichols has swam faster this year – when rested – in the 1,000 free, but her runner-up finish to NCAA 1,650 champion Emily Brunemann was notable for two reasons: 1) she kept the Wolverines from a one-thru-four finish and earned four valuable points; and 2) it came less than 24 hours after she swam the 1,000 at Michigan State. Nichols also placed fourth in the 500 freestyle for a six-point meet.

“Watching the relay and seeing the girls step up…to see Megan Detro pulling away…then watching Natalie’s swim…you just wanted to do your part,” Samantha Cheverton said about the positive signs early in the meet.

This Was a Work Week  Ohio State did not rest for the meet against Michigan. The team went through its typical work week of practices and dry land training, lifted twice and even had a 15-hour day on Friday, travelling to and from East Lansing for a 3 p.m. dual meet against Michigan State. The team practiced early Friday morning, hopped on a bus at 8:30 a.m. for Michigan State and didn’t return back to Columbus until 9:30 p.m.

How About Haley!  Haley Mitchell is an accomplished senior co-captain. She is part of the school-record breaking 200 medley relay team. She has scored points at the Big Ten championships. She has recorded multiple victories in dual meets. Don’t know if any of those achievements would top her two second-place efforts against Michigan, though – in the 200 freestyle in a season’s best time of 1:50.37 and in the 500 freestyle – that helped her total 10.7 points toward the win. She also anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay.

Detro & Brousseau. Detro & Brousseau.  The freshmen sprinters Megan Detro and Jackie Brousseau combined for 25 points in the sprint freestyle events. Detro won both the 50 and 100 free races with Brousseau second in the 50 and third in the 100.

Cheverton Was Double Trouble, Too  It comes as no surprise when Samantha Cheverton wins multiple races in a meet. True to form against Michigan, she took first in the 200 freestyle, the event she holds the fastest time in the Big Ten this season, and she also won the 200 backstroke.

Hail to The Ohio State Victors  Ohio State enjoyed a 10-win (in 16 events) meet. In addition to Detro and Cheverton, these Buckeyes won an event on Saturday: Eitel (100 breaststroke); Draves (200 butterfly); Bianca Alvarez (3-meter springboard); and Katie Bell (10-meter platform). And in addition to the 200 medley relay win to open the meet, Ohio State’s 400 freestyle relay team – Cheverton, Anita Beck, Detro and Mitchell – closed out the meet with a victory.

49 Points From Second and Third-Place Finishes  Assistant coach Stefanie Williams remarked how important depth is in swimming by recalling the time her Georgia Bulldogs team won a national championship by 0.5 points despite winning only one race at the NCAA meet. Depth is big. So are second- and third-place finishes, which Ohio State had 14 combined vs. UM, good for 49 points. A few notable swims that fall in this category:

  • Senior Colleen Schweitzer was third in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events;
  • Senior Megan Alexander was second in the 200 breaststroke;
  • Junior Anita Beck was third in the 200 fly and third in the 500 freestyle; and
  • Senior Jill Lockhart was second in the 400 individual medley and third in the 200 backstroke.

One Would Think…  Megan Detro just may get the nod as the swimmer of the week in the Big Ten Conference for the second time this season. Four victories in four races against Michigan for the Carmel, Ind., native is a good week.

21 Score Points; 14 Score in Multiple Events  As was described in the meet review story Saturday, depth was a key component of this win. Looking at each of the races/competitions reveals that 21 Buckeyes contributed to the team’s 162-point total and 14 Buckeyes scored in multiple events.

Top 10 Point Scorers vs. Michigan (Relay points were divided by four)

1. Samantha Cheverton……….24.7 points/4 scoring events

2. Megan Detro……………..23.4 points/4 events

3. Shannon Draves…………..14.7 points/3 events

4. Catherine Eitel………….11.7 points/2 events

5. Haley Mitchell…………..10.7 points/3 events

6. Anita Beck……………….8.7 points/3 events

7. Jackie Brousseau………….7 points/2 events

   Jill Lockhart…………….7 points/2 events

9. Colleen Schweitzer………..6 points/2 events

   Natalie Nichols…………..6 points/2 events

Here’s Who Else Scored  In no particular order, here are the rest of the Buckeyes who scored points vs. Michigan: Kelsey Moran, Morgan Menzie, Lisa Narum, Lauren Massey, Megan Alexander, Kimberly Bowman, Emily Creran, Katelyn Brix and divers Bianca Alvarez, Katie Bell and Chelsea Davis. 

Click on the Photos link above to view some images from the day.