Nov. 9, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Michigan for a pair of dual meets with Big Ten opponents this weekend. The women will compete against Michigan, Friday at 5 p.m., and Michigan State, Saturday at 9 a.m.

The Ohio State women opened their season with a conference dual-meet win against Illinois, 157-143. The Buckeyes took seven of the 14 events swum, as well as sweeping both the 1- and 3-meter diving events.

The women opened the meet, going 1-3-4 in the 200-yard medley relay. Gulsah Gunenc claimed two wins in both butterfly events, while junior Griet Buelens placed second in two freestyle events and first in the 500-yard freestyle (4:56.65). The remaining three individual wins came from freshmen Haley Mithcell, Megan Alexander and Jill Lockhart. Chelsea Davis and Julie Broms were each responsible for wins in diving.

Michigan head coach Jim Richardson entered for his 22nd season at Michigan. He returns six All-Americans and welcomes 13 freshmen to the squad. Under his guidance, his teams have won 14 Big Ten titles, the last occurring in 2004. Last year the women compiled a 3-3 record and finished third at the Big Ten championships. The Wolverines enter the meet at the No. 10 spot on the CCSAA poll with a 1-2 record. The women opened their season with a loss to No. 2-ranked Florida Gators. Returning home, Michigan easily beat conference rival Michigan State (153-65). Last weekend, the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs handed the Wolverines their second loss of the season (161-191).

Ohio State and Michigan last met Nov. 11, 2005 in a double-dual meet with Purdue. The Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes 208.50-91.50. Senior Gulsah Gunenc recorded the team’s only swimming wins in the butterfly events. Gunenc recorded then-personal best times in the 100-yard butterfly (56.17) and 200-yard butterfly (2:00.57). Diver Anesa Beard added the Buckeye’s only other win in the 1-meter springboard with a score of 240.00. SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
Matt Gianiodis is in his fourth year as the women’s head swimming coach at Michigan State. The Spartans enter the meet with a 2-2 record. The women travel to their fifth meet of the season Friday against Notre Dame before returning home to swim against the Buckeyes. Michigan State defeated Akron (186-114) before falling to two Big Ten teams in conference dual meets. However, the team pulled out its first conference dual-meet win since 2003 against Iowa (159.5-140.5) Oct. 28.

Ohio State last swam Michigan State Jan. 30, 2004 in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes came back from a 28-point deficit to edge out the Spartans, 152-147. The Buckeyes claimed six of the 14 events swum. Seniors Gulsah Gunenc and Rebekah Rychalvsky were responsible for wins in the respective events of 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard breaststroke. Former swimmers Deanna Strunk and Stephanie Raezer recorded the remaining wins. The women swept the top three places in the 200-yard individual medley, as well as both diving events.

The 2006-07 season will have many challenges. The women will open their season with three conference meets, two of which will be swum away from home. The team returns home to complete the fall portion of their dual-meet season with a meet against Toledo. The team will conclude the regular dual-meet season in January against two Big Ten rivals and three in-state competitors. A preview event for the post-season championships will take place Dec. 1-3, when the Buckeyes host the Ohio State Invitational. The postseason will begin with the Big Ten championships in Minnesota. Those who make the NCAA cut and are selected to attend the national meet will return to Minneapolis, Minn., Mar. 8-10.

Head women’s swimming coach Jeanne Fleck is in her eighth season at the helm of the Ohio State women’s swimming program. She has become accustomed to her teams displaying excellence in the water and in the classroom throughout her coaching career.

Last season, Fleck coached the first swimmer since 1995 to All-American status. During her tenure at Ohio State she has geared the Buckeyes to 11 school records. The Buckeyes had the highest grade point average in the Big Ten conference in 2004 and was ranked ninth in the country during fall quarter of 2003. In six seasons, Fleck has had 48 Academic All-Big Ten selections and 89 OSU Scholar-Athletes.

Vince Panzano is in his 28th season as coach of the Ohio State men’s and women’s diving teams. Panzano, who was named the 2004 Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career, has produced one world champion, one junior world champion, two Olympic medalists, 22 U.S. Diving champions, ten NCAA champions, 14 NCAA runners-up, 45 Big Ten champions and 68 NCAA All-Americans.

The Buckeyes will join the men at home for a meet against Toledo, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m.

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