The Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion played host to the men’s swimming and diving Big Ten Championships and OSU swimmers gave the home crowd something to cheer about on Friday.
“I’ve never experienced a night like this as a coach,” coach Bill Wadley said. To find a better night in Ohio State swimming history, one would have to go back at least 50 years, Wadley said.
Coming into Friday night, the Buckeyes were tied with Michigan, but by the end of the night things changed. The Buckeyes started the night off with a bang, and kept it going, wrapping up Friday’s action in first place.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, OSU was able to bring home the gold and take sole possession of the lead. The relay was made up of Joel Elber, Andrew Olson, Lincoln Fahrbach and Tim Phillips.
“It’s a really good momentum builder,” Olson said.
The Buckeyes lost their lead for a moment, but the Buckeyes stayed positive.
In the next event, sophomore Austin Mudd placed fifth in the 400-yard individual medley while teammate Justin Farra took place sixth in the same event. Both swimmers were able to improve from their morning swim.
The next event was a battle of OSU against Michigan. Both teams had three swimmers in the 100-yard butterfly. OSU performed well, but Michigan was able to outscore the Buckeyes.
Even though the Buckeyes were outscored, the team was happy about the finishes by all three swimmers. Phillips finished second, Quincy Lee finished fifth and Fahrbach finished in seventh.
In the 100-yard breaststroke, the Buckeyes came close to a sweep. OSU was able to finish in first, second and fourth place. Junior Elliott Keefer was able to bring home the gold for OSU while senior Sam Pelkey brought home the silver. Senior Dani Malnik was just one tenth of a second from tying for third. She placed fourth.
In that same event, Michigan had only one person in the top eight.
OSU finished the night off with a bang. Sophomore Andrew Elliott placed first in the 100-yard backstroke.
By the end of the swimming portion of the meet on Friday, the Buckeyes had 592.5 points to take over first place. Michigan checked in second with 512.5 points.
The Buckeyes may have the lead but a Big Ten Championship is not in the bag.
The Buckeyes will be in the pool Saturday to try to fend off Michigan and bring home a Big Ten Championship.