Nov. 12, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team opens Big Ten competition at home against the Michigan Wolverines Friday at the Mike Peppe Aquatic Center. The Buckeyes currently are 3-0, defeating Bowling Green, West Virginia and Louisville in dual meet competition.

With a dual meet and double-dual meet leading to three victories, the Buckeyes look to maintain and build on a great early season start.

At last week’s first home meet, the squad earned its second and third win against Louisville, 171-62, and West Virginia, 169.5-65.5, sweeping all of the events. Nicole Maglich brought in two wins, making a time of 1:52.94 in the 200-yard freestyle and 4:59.55 in the 500-yard freestyle. Deanna Strunk also won two events, taking first-place in the 200-yard individual medley (2:09.09) and 200-yard backstroke (2:08.95).

The squad placed first, second and third in the 200-yard breaststroke, with Rebekah Rychvalsky placing first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:21.14, followed closely by Stephanie Raezer in second place and Liz Osterer in third. This was the first time in head coach Jeanne Fleck’s tenure at Ohio State that the squad took first, second and third in an event.

Kylie Lancken won the 50-yard freestyle (24.78) and Katie Severson won the 100-yard freestyle (53.29), along with Stephanie Raezer setting an impressive season best in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:11.54. Gulsah Gunenc also won the 200-yard butterfly, her second consecutive win in the event. The Buckeyes placed first in the 400-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay.

The Buckeyes also defeated Bowling Green 134-99 in the season opener, with Nicole Maglich placing first in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle and Ashley Barnes and Katie Severson taking the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. Kylie Lancken won both the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke, with Gulsah Gunenc taking the 200-yard butterfly.

Freshman Julie Broms won the 1- and 3-meter dives at the West Virginia and Louisville meet, along with getting her first Buckeye win at the Bowling Green meet in the 1-meter dive. Anesa Beard also took her first Buckeye win at the Bowling Green meet, scoring 234.45 points in the 3-meter dive.

The Michigan swimming and diving squad comes to Columbus with a 4-1 record, with one loss to Florida at the season opener. Freshman Susan Gilliam leads the team in individual wins, winning the 200-, 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle at the Wolverines last meet against Florida State and Michigan State. Gilliam has swam the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:23.56 and the 1,650-yard freestyle in a time of 16:48.46 this season, both consideration times for the NCAA.

Anne Weilbacher, a Columbus native, swam the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 55.18 at the Toledo meet and Kelli Stein swam the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:04.44, both consideration times for the NCAA as well. Head swimming coach Jim Richardson returns for his 19th season with the Wolverines and head diving coach Christopher Bergre enters his second.

The Buckeyes met the Wolverines last in the 2001-02 season at a tri-meet with Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich. Ohio State was defeated 148-94, but took four first-place finishes at the meet. Kylie Lancken and Lindsay Goodson were members of the 400-yard freestyle relay team, which won the event with a time of 3:34.10. The Buckeyes also won the 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, and 3-meter dive.

Head coach Jeanne Fleck enters her fifth year with the Buckeyes, one garnered with 25 All-Big Ten selections and 41 OSU Scholar-Athletes. Fleck lost no Big Ten scorers last season and has recruited nationally and internationally ranked freshman to the team this season.

With his top diver taking home the NCAA platform diving championship for the first time in school history last year, head diving coach Vince Panzano looks to move into his 26th year at Ohio State building on that success.

In his 29 years of coaching, Panzano has produced one world champion, one junior world champion, two Olympic medallists, 22 U.S. diving champions, 10 NCAA champions, 14 NCAA runners-up, 42 Big Ten champions and 65 All-Americans.

Panzano has been awarded the “Mike Peppe Award” twice and has been selected Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year seven times. Along with three NCAA Diving Coach of the Year titles, Panzano was also inducted into the Ohio State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Buckeyes travel to Evanston, Ill. to compete at the Northwestern Invitational Nov. 21-22 at the Crawford Pool.