COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team held a three-point lead halfway through the meet and trailed No. 22 Michigan by just one point 12 events in, but the Wolverines fought back to win an exciting 169.5-129.5 competition over the Buckeyes Friday at Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“We swam well and we competed well,” Ohio State coach Bill Dorenkott said. “We took our fair share of races but, more importantly, we swam tough as a team. We won races that came down to a touch and by far it was our best effort of the year.”

The Buckeyes were led by two wins apiece from sophomore Samantha Cheverton and junior Colleen Schweitzer with freshman Natalie Nichols and sophomore diver Katie Bell also picking up wins for the Scarlet and Gray. Cheverton swam to team season-best times in both of her wins with Schweitzer (200 breaststroke), Nichols (1,000 freestyle) and freshman Lisa Narum (50 free) also swimming the team’s fastest races of the season.

Nichols won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:10.26 to lead a one-two Ohio State finish in the second race of the night. Haley Mitchell was second in 10:10.92.

Cheverton followed with a win in the 200 freestyle in 1:48.44 and two races later Schweitzer picked up her first win, in the 100 breaststroke, in 1:04.68. Cheverton then came right back to win the 200 butterfly in 2:01.28.

A one-two finish on platform by Ohio State divers Bell and Kristen Asman pulled the Buckeyes into the lead, 76.5-73.5, after the eighth of 16 events on the evening. The two sophomores outscored the Michigan divers, 13-6, on the tower as Bell won her first event of the season.

Michigan regained the lead after the next race. Leigh Cole held off Ohio State’s Narum to win the 100 freestyle in 51.69 to give the Wolverines an 86.5 to 82.5 lead. Narum touched the wall second in 51.93. It was the first of two runner-up finishes for Narum as she was second in the 200 individual medley in 2:05.43 later in the meet.

Cheverton and junior tri-captain Jill Lockhart finished second and third, respectively, in the 200 backstroke to keep the meet close through 10 events and when Schweitzer and sophomore Katelyn Brix went one-two in the next event the 200 breaststroke the Buckeyes had regained the lead by six points.

Michigan came back, though, behind wins in the final four races to claim the victory and improve its record to 2-6 overall against a schedule that has included six dual meets against teams in the Top 10 of the dual meet rankings. Ohio State falls to 4-3 overall and 0-2 vs. the Big Ten.

Asman picked up a second second-place finish, on the one-meter springboard, and sophomore Anita Beck took second in the 500 freestyle for two more high finishes that helped the Buckeyes’ effort.

Ohio State Swimming and Diving
Friday, January 23, 2009
Canham Natatorium; Ann Arbor, Mich.

Team Scores: 1. Michigan 169.5, Ohio State 129.5
Event Winners: 200 medley relay  1. Smith, Nichols, Dauw, Kelly, UM (1:43.27);  1000 freestyle 1. Nichols, Ohio State (10:10.26); 2. Mitchell, Ohio State (10:10.92); 200 freestyle 1. Cheverton, Ohio State (1:48.44); 100 backstroke 1. Smith, UM (55.28); 100 breaststroke 1. Schweitzer, Ohio State (1:04.68); 200 butterfly 1. Cheverton, Ohio State (2:01.28); 50 freestyle 1. Cole, UM (23.89); Platform diving 1. Bell, Ohio State (324.30); 2. Asman, Ohio State (296.18); 100 freestyle 1. Cole, UM (51.69); 2. Narum, Ohio State (51.93); 200 backstroke 1. Hannah, UM (1:58.66); 2. Cheverton, Ohio State (1:59.19); 200 breaststroke 1. Schweitzer, Ohio State (2:19.76); 500 freestyle Kelly, UM (4:55.09); 2. Beck, Ohio State (4:57.29); 100 butterfly Dauw, UM (55.81); 200 individual medley 1. Kelly, UM (2:03.85); 2. Narum, Ohio State (2:05.43); One-meter diving 1. O’Callaghan, UM (288.3); 2. Asman, Ohio State (284.10; 400 freestyle relay 1. Smith, Cole, Martin, Kelly, UM (3Z:26.56).