Ohio State Wins Kenyon Winter Invite, Sets Three More Pool Records

GAMBIER, Ohio, January 18. THE Ohio State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams extended their leads in the team standings to take home the team titles at the Kenyon Winter Invitational this afternoon. The Buckeyes wrapped up the two-day meet with 15 wins and three pool records this afternoon.

Kenyon Men’s Press Release

The Kenyon College Lords swimming and diving team could not gain any ground on the NCAA Division I Ohio State University Buckeyes and settled for a third-place finish in the two-day Kenyon Winter Invitational, which concluded Saturday afternoon at the Steen Aquatic Center.

The Lords rang up 18 top-ten individual performances Saturday and ended the meet with a total of 324 team points. Ohio State dominated the five-team field with 741 points and walked away with the Invitational title. Oakland University was second with 374 points. The University of Cincinnati was fourth with 188 points and Ashland University was fifth with 125 points.

Freshman Trevor Manz put together a huge finish for the host Lords. He played a role in three top-ten finishes, including swimming a leg on the Lords’ third-place 400-yard medley relay team that clocked in at 3:25.15. Individually, Manz motored to a fifth-place showing in the 200-yard individual medley (1:53.80) and a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:06.04).

Kenyon’s top swim of the day came from junior Austin Caldwell. He claimed a second-place time of 20.78 in the 50-yard freestyle. In that same event, teammates Ryan Funk and Austin Pu were right on Caldwell’s tail. Funk placed fifth (21.24) and Pu took sixth (21.36). Caldwell also swam with the 400-yard medley relay team, as well as the Lords’ 400-yard freestyle relay team that placed fourth with a time of 3:04.70.

Percy Gates, Joey Duronio, Ian Reardon, and Christian Josephson also had a pair of top-ten finishes for Kenyon. Gates was seventh in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.68) and swam with the 400-yard freestyle relay. Pu and Duronio rounded out that relay team and Duronio finished one spot behind Gates in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.79). Reardon was seventh in the 200-yard individual medley (1:54.51) and eighth in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:08.18). Josephson added a tenth-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly (1:57.18) and teamed up with Harrison Curley to complete the 400-yard medley relay team with Manz and Caldwell.

Kenyon also showed strength in the diving well. Sophomore Brandon Roman and freshman Derek Hoare accounted for another four top-ten placements. Hoare was second in the three-meter competition (231.25) and sixth in the one-meter competition (217.40), while Roman took fourth in the one-meter (223.75) and fifth in the three-meter (203.15).

Other top-ten finishers for the Lords on Saturday were Mark Newell in the 200-yard individual medley (10th, 1:57.37), Alex Beckwith (7th, 2:07.07) and Daniel Jurgens (10th, 2:10.24) in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Arthur Conover (8th, 9:50.41) and Joe Guilfoyle (10th, 9:52.42) in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

Kenyon Women’s Press Release

Day two of the Kenyon College Winter Invitational was not as successful as the previous evening had been for the Ladies swimming and diving team. Kenyon suffered a setback and slipped into a fourth-place finish to conclude their home invitational inside the James Steen Aquatic Center. The Ladies featured four top-five individual finishes but were unable to surpass their NCAA Division I counterparts.

For the second straight day, sophomore Katie Kaestner served as Kenyon’s top finisher on an individual front. Kaestner took home a third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke behind a 2:22.59 event time, finishing in a mix of Ohio State University Buckeye and University of Cincinnati Bearcat swimmers. Her time met the standard for the Division III B-cut in that event.

Mariah Williamson gave Kenyon a second bright spot, taking away two top-five finishes on the day. Her first came after the sophomore finished fourth in the 200-yard butterfly (2:08.93). Williamson was just 0.57 seconds away from taking a spot on the podium despite swimming the fastest 25 yards in the final trip toward the wall (33.21). Her second came in the 1,000-yard freestyle where she served as the first non-Ohio State swimmer to touch the wall, doing so in 10:26.21.

Kenyon also placed one relay team in the top-five with its 400-yard freestyle squad taking fifth (3:34.11).

Mariah Zarka represented the Ladies well on the boards, taking second place in both the one- and three-meter events. She finished behind Oakland University’s Tricia Grant in both events. Zarka tallied a total of 236.85 points in the three-meter, fending off a pair of Cincinnati divers by as many as 23 points. In the one-meter, she put together a 227.45 score, narrowing the margin but still falling short of Grant.

Placing inside the top-10 in their respective events was Natalie Parker with a seventh-place standing in the 200-yard individual medley (2:10.82), Jenner McCleod with her eight-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (24.50), and Ellie Crawford’s ninth-place mark in the 200 breast (2:26.35). Kenyon also took eighth in the 400-yard medley relay.

After all was said and done, Ohio State rolled on to victory by more than 500 points, tallying a total of 795.5 after their two-day stay. Cincinnati (279) laid claim to second while Oakland (246) edged out Kenyon by one-and-one-half points. Ashland rounded out the field in fifth with 140 points.

Kenyon will get back into the pool in back-to-back dual meets against Ohio Wesleyan University and Wittenberg University on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, respectively. Both will be held inside the Steen Aquatic Center and serve as the final events before the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships.

Ohio State Men’s Press Release

Junior Tamas Gercsak won both the 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley as No. 11 Ohio State finished in first place at Kenyon Winter Invite on Saturday. The Buckeyes totaled 741 points, ahead of Oakland (347), Kenyon (324), Cincinnati (188) and Ashland (125).

Overall, Ohio State won seven of the eight races on the day and was led by a balanced attack that included individual wins by five different swimmers.

The day’s action got started with the 400 medley relay where the team of Tim Phillips, Steven Zimmerman, Keanu Stevenson and Josh Fleagle touched the wall first with a time of 3:16.64. In the next event, the 1000 freestyle, senior Alex Miller continued his stellar campaign with a first-place finish (9:15.61). Sophomore Jovan Mitrovic finished second (9:30.59).

In the 200 individual medley, Gercsak earned his first individual win of the day (1:51.77). He was followed in second place by Dmitry Dolgov (1:52.14).

Michael DiSalle finished second in the 200 freestyle (1:39.60) and Ohio State got right back to its winning ways in the next event, the 50 freestyle, as Fleagle touched the wall first in 20.56.

Zimmerman claimed a victory in the 200 backstroke (1:47.56) and DJ MacDonald followed that up with a win in the 200 breaststroke (2:02.95). Ohio State was particularly dominant in the 200 breaststroke, as the Buckeyes had the top four finishers.

Gercsak notched his second individual win of the day in the next event, the 200 butterfly (1:50.85), and the day’s action closed out with the 400 freestyle relay, which was won by the team of DiSalle, Phillips, Steffen Hillmer and Fleagle (2:59.02).

Ohio State returns to action next Saturday, Jan. 25, when it travels to Ypsilanti, Mich., for a tri-meet with Eastern Michigan and Ball State.

Ohio State Women’s Press Release

The Ohio State women’s swimming and diving team continued breaking pool records on Saturday as it claimed first place at the Kenyon Winter Invite. The Buckeyes finished in first place in all eight events and set three more pool records.

Ohio State totaled 795.5 points, ahead of Cincinnati (279), Oakland (246), Kenyon (244.5) and Ashland (140). Individual standouts for the Buckeyes included senior Alex Norris, who set a pool record in the 200 freestyle and had a hand in setting another in the 400 freestyle relay. In total, Norris played a part in setting four pool records this weekend. Additionally, senior Kelly Ann Baird set a pool record in the 1000 freestyle.

The final day of competition got started with the 400 medley relay where the team of Zulal Zeren, Norris, Taylor Vargo and Williams touched the wall first in 3:47.03. Right behind them in second place was Annie Gillig, Aliena Schmidtke, Ashley Vance and Annie Jongekrijg (3:48.87).

In the next event, the 1000 freestyle, Baird set the first of Ohio State’s three pool records of the day when she finished first in 9:58.00. Lindsey Clary was second (10:14.97).

Vance posted a first-place showing in the 200 individual medley (2:05.76), an event that was dominated by Buckeyes. Ohio State had the top six placeholders, including Katy Luchansky (second, 2:07.01), Kristyn Fulcher (third, 2:07.35), Gillig (fourth, 2:08.10), Bopp (fifth, 2:09.76) and Sarah Cruzan (sixth, 2:09.76).

Williams notched her second win of the day when she touched the wall first in the 50 freestyle (23.27). Gillig and Zeren went 1-2 in the next event, the 200 backstroke (2:01.45 and 2:02.67, respectively), while Vargo won the 200 breaststroke (2:18.17).

Freshman Amy Bopp was the next Buckeye to get into the winning act, placing first in the 200 butterfly (2:04.17). To close out the meet, the 400 freestyle relay team of Norris, Cater, Jongekrijg and Williams set a pool records and finished in first place (3:23.67).

Ohio State returns to action next Saturday, Jan. 25, when it travels to Ypsilanti, Mich., for a tri-meet with Eastern Michigan and Ball State.


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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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