Ohio State finished 19th at the NCAA D1 Swimming National Championships, scoring 58.5 points with Texas taking home the National Championship for the third consecutive year with a final 542 points, followed by California with 349 points and Florida finishing with 294.5 points, rounding off the top three.
The Buckeyes kicked off the weekend with an 18th place finish from senior Joshua Fleagle, junior Brayden Seal, sophomore Andrew Loy and senior Andrew Appleby in the 800-yard freestyle relay in a time of 6:20.37, just getting edged out of the top-16 scoring range, with North Carolina State finishing first and setting a new NCAA record in a time of 6:06.03.
In the 400-yard medley relay senior Matt McHugh, junior Jack Barone, freshman Noah Lense, and Fleagle finished 14th, bringing Ohio State’s first set of points in for the week, finishing in a time of 3:06.59 while also receiving honorable All-American distinction. Texas took first in a NCAA record time of 2:59.22, followed by California, and Missouri finishing third.
“We had a solid relay and getting All-American honorable mention is a great honor and speaks to our hard work this year,” Barone said. “As a team we struggled a bit at NCAA’s after having very high hopes for the week, but overall we had a fantastic year especially at the Big Ten Championships.
In addition to earning All-American honorable mention status, Barone swam the 200-yard breaststroke in one of his fastest times of the season of 1:57.06, just missing the top 16.
In the 500-yard freestyle both junior Brayden Seal and senior Joey Long had impressive swims, finishing in the times of 4:20.97 and 4:25.22, respectively.
McHugh finished 15th in the 100-yard backstroke in an honorable mention All-American time of 45.96 with California standout Ryan Murphy winning the event in a time of 43.99, with only one other Big Ten opponent finishing ahead of McHugh, Penn State’s Shane Ryan who touched the wall in a time of 45.17 to finish in sixth place.
The Buckeyes ended the season with a ninth-place finish in the 400 yard free relay in a time of 2:51.44, with McHugh, Fleagle, Appleby, sophomore Mossimo Chavez all earning honorable mention All-American titles.
Despite the Buckeyes sealing its 11th consecutive top-20 finish, the team was a little disappointed in where they finished, McHugh said.
“Although we didn’t do as well as we had hoped, we did still get a few swims at night in the ‘B’ final and got honorable mention All American which was a first for a few of the guys.”
Out of the 10 Buckeyes who traveled to Indianapolis, six will be back next season and McHugh hopes those guys will use their performance to grow into next season.
“As a team we definitely did not do as well as we could have,” he said. “I think it was good for the younger guys that hadn’t been to NCAAs before because now they know what they need to do differently next year in order to perform better after Big Tens.”