The Ohio State men’s swimming team tied with Michigan for second place at the Big Ten Championships with a final score of 1382 points. The Buckeyes were edged out by Indiana, who won its first team title since 2006 with 1504 points.
The Buckeyes kicked off the weekend with two impressive showings in the 200-yard medley and 800-yard freestyle relays, finishing behind Michigan and Indiana in both events, respectively.
The 200 medley relay made up of senior Matt McHugh, junior Jack Barone, freshman Noah Lense and sophomore Mossimo Chavez took home the bronze, and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, in a school record-breaking time of 1:24.15.
In addition to the 200 medley relay, senior Josh Fleagle, junior Brayden Seal, junior Ching Lim and senior Andrew Appleby swam at record-breaking speed in the 800 freestyle relay (6.18.18), earning a spot at the national championship.
Three Buckeyes earned points in the 200 yard individual medley, freshman Andrew Loy finished in ninth (1:44.71), followed by teammates Lim and Appleby, who finished 13th and 16th.
In the distance events, junior Brayden Seal represented the Buckeyes, finishing sixth in the 500-yard freestyle behind several Big Ten standouts, including Michigan’s Felix Auboeck who won the event. Seal also scored for the Buckeyes in the mile, finishing third.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Chavez finished the highest for Buckeyes placing sixth in a time of 19.45, followed by McHugh who took seventh place with a time of 19.50. Big Ten veteran Fleagle also scored, finishing ninth (19.71). Michigan’s Paul Powers won in a time of 19.26, setting a new Big Ten record, followed by Indiana sprinter Ali Khalafalla who finished 14 one-hundredths of a second behind Powers.
Day Two of competition ended on a high note with the Buckeyes taking home the silver in the 400-yard medley relay. McHugh, Barone, Lense and Fleagle finished in a time of 3:04.13, qualifying for the national championships. Indiana’s squad, which including Olympian Blake Pieroni, won in record-setting fashion.
McHugh took home the first Big Ten title for the Buckeyes, along with his third consecutive win in the 100-yard butterfly and setting a new Big Ten Championship record by finishing in a time of 44.91. OSU rookie Lense also finished in the top ten for Buckeyes, placing fifth with a time of 46.28.
OSU’s Lim kept up the momentum by taking home the bronze in the 400-yard IM (3:46.89). In the 200-yard freestyle, Fleagle continued the speed finishing in second (1:33.25) behind Indiana’s Peroni (1:32.13).
Indiana’s Ian Finnerty took home the title in the 100-yard breastroke in a record-breaking time of 51.38, followed by Michigan rookie Jacob Montague (52.08). OSU’s Barone finished third in an impressive swim, finding the wall at 52.26.
One of OSU’s best events was the 100-yard backstroke, with four Buckeyes finishing in the top eight. McHugh finished in second in a time of 45.52, followed by junior Thomas Trace (46.53) in fourth then Appleby (47.30) and senior Mark Belanger (47.53) touching the wall in seventh and eighth, respectively.
The second Big Ten title for the Buckeyes came on the last event of Friday evening, the 200 freestyle relay. Chavez, McHugh, Fleagle and Trace finished in a time 1:16.61 to seal yet another bid to the NCAAs for the Buckeyes, edging out two impressive squads in Indiana (1:16.72) and Michigan (1:17.58).
Fleagle also added to his point collection, finishing sixth in the 100 freestyle at 42.55.
OSU ended the week on a strong note with several Buckeyes bringing in points. Barone had a dominate performance in the 200-yard breastroke swimming one of the fastest times in OSU history, touching the wall fifth in a time of 1:54.61 and finishing yet another event in the top five.
Trace took home the silver in the 200 backstroke, bringing in some major points for the Buckeyes, touching the wall in a time of 1:41.92, just getting edged out by Indiana’s Bob Glover. Appleby and freshman Brad Shannon also brought in points for the Buckeyes.
OSU wrapped up its individual events with three top-ten finishes in the 200 butterfly with Lense winning the silver — setting an OSU school-record time at 1:41.44 — behind Indiana powerhouse Vinicius Lanza (1:40.97). OSU sophomore Henrique Painhas finished fifth (1:44.31) and Salazar touched the wall seventh (1:45.38).
In the final event of the Big Ten Championships, the 400-yard freestyle relay, McHugh, Chavez, Fleagle and Loy took home silver and set a new OSU school record in a time of 2:49.23.
Next up, the Buckeyes will head to Indianapolis to compete in the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships on March 22-25.