After the men’s swimming and diving team wrapped up its four-team quadrangular meet with Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern on Saturday, coach Bill Wadley said there was not a guy on his team who did not give his very best.
Unfortunately for Wadley and the No. 9 Buckeyes, points are not awarded for moral victories.
The men’s team fell for the first time in its dual-meet season Saturday, losing to No. 7 Michigan 197.5-135.5. However, the weekend was not a total loss, as the Buckeyes managed to outscore Penn State 263-70 and Northwestern 263-37.
In comparison to last year’s Big Ten Championships, Wadley believes his squad is picking up ground on Wolverines.
“They won Big Ten’s by 300 points last year,” Wadley said. “I feel good about the effort our guys gave, and I think in time we’ll close the gap.”
If the Buckeyes could have pulled out some of the closer races, the score might have turned out differently. Nevertheless, OSU’s only individual win on Saturday was sophomore Andrew Elliott’s win in the 100 breaststroke.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” Wadley said. “We’ve got to win the close races. When you lose the close races, those points add up.”
After the Buckeyes captured an exhilarating victory in the 400 freestyle relay to end Friday’s portion of the meet, Elliott teamed with junior Elliott Keefer, freshman Tim Phillips and senior Joel Elber to win the 200 medley relay to start Saturday’s events.
“I’m really happy [with how I swam],” Elliott said. “I tried to help the team as best I could today. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into Big Ten’s.”
Any comeback hopes after the quick start faded after Michigan promptly rebounded by sweeping the 500 freestyle and taking first and second in the 100 butterfly. The Wolverines would add four more individual event victories to pull away from OSU.
“We are just a step behind Michigan,” Wadley said. “They’ve got a couple of world-class athletes [on the team].”
The Buckeyes will attempt to rebound from the tough loss at the hands of their rivals next Friday as they host Eastern Michigan and wrap up the dual-meet season.