2018 Ohio State Invitational: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The opening night of finals are set to get underway at the Ohio State Invitational from Columbus, with the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free, along with the 200 free and 400 medley relays, scheduled.

This morning’s prelims yielded some very fast swims, including an NCAA-leading 200 IM from Stanford’s Ella Eastin. Her teammates Brooke Forde (500 free) and Taylor Ruck (50 free) come in as the top seed’s in those events, while Zach Yeadon will be one to watch on the men’s side in the 500. Yeadon currently ranks 2nd in the country with his 4:13.68 from last weekend’s ACC/Big Ten College Challenge.

Women’s 200 Free Relay Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 1:27.72, Stanford, 2016
  1. Stanford, 1:27.93
  2. Notre Dame, 1:29.72
  3. Ohio State, 1:30.09

The Stanford women won the 200 free relay to open up finals in 1:27.93, finishing just two-tenths off their meet record from two years ago. Amalie Fackenthal led them off in 22.56, and then they had three sub-22 legs from Taylor Ruck (21.44), Lauren Pitzer (21.95) and Lucie Nordmann (21.98). They also cleared the NCAA ‘A’ time of 1:28.61.

Notre Dame was 2nd in 1:29.72 with notable legs from Abbie Dolan (22.63) on the lead-off and Carly Quast (22.13) on the anchor, and Ohio State was 3rd in 1:30.09 with a 22.19 third leg from Maria Coy.

Men’s 200 Free Relay Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 1:15.83, NC State, 2017
  1. Ohio State, 1:18.80
  2. Kentucky, 1:18.85
  3. Yale, 1:19.69

The Ohio State men nipped Kentucky at the wall to win the men’s 200 free relay, with a 19.33 anchor from Mossimo Chavez getting them the victory. Ruslan Gaziev (19.83), Sem Andreis (19.82) and Kalvin Koethke (19.82) were the first three legs of the Buckeye squad.

Kentucky had all 19s as well, with Peter Wetzlar (19.93), David Dingess (19.74) and Jason Head (19.64) handing off a slight lead to Glen Brown (19.54) before he was run down by Chavez.

Yale (1:19.69) edged out West Virginia (1:19.84) for 4th, with both teams getting solid lead-off swims from Henry Gaissert (19.89) and Merwane Elmerini (19.80).

Women’s 500 Free Final

  • Meet Record: 4:26.46, Katie Ledecky (STAN), 2016
  1. Brooke Forde, STAN, 4:38.40
  2. Geena Freriks, UKY / Megan Byrnes, STAN, 4:40.50

Brooke Forde negative-split the women’s 500 to win by over two seconds in 4:38.40, giving her the #2 time in the NCAA coming into tonight. This is her 4th-fastest performance ever, and just under a second slower than she was at the Art Adamson Invite last season (4:37.58).

Kentucky’s Geena Freriks and Stanford’s Megan Byrnes, both owning best times in the 4:37s, tied for 2nd in 4:40.50, exactly on the time required to qualify for NCAAs last season. 2018 NCAA runner-up Katie Drabot was 4th in 4:41.06.

Lauren Pitzer knocked off two and a half seconds from prelims to win the B-final in 4:42.96.

Men’s 500 Free Final

  • Meet Record: 4:13.19, Anton Ipsen (NCS), 2017
  1. Zach Yeadon, ND, 4:15.40
  2. Sadler McKeen, ND, 4:17.10
  3. Aaron Sett, PITT, 4:21.71

Zach Yeadon won the men’s 500 handily in 4:15.40, inching ahead of teammate Sadler McKeen down the stretch. Yeadon was just under two seconds off what we went last weekend in West Lafayette (4:13.68), a time that ranks him 2nd in the nation.

McKeen had swum his 2nd-fastest time ever this morning in 4:20.90, and tonight lowers his previous best of 4:19.28 down to 4:17.10 to take 2nd. Aaron Sett of Pittsburgh had his 2nd-fastest swim ever (and four seconds faster than last year’s invite time) for 3rd in 4:21.71.

Women’s 200 IM Final

  1. Ella Eastin, STAN, 1:53.41
  2. Asia Seidt, UKY, 1:54.37
  3. Brooke Forde, STAN, 1:56.42

Stanford’s Ella Eastin improved on her prelim meet record by .03 to win the women’s 200 IM in 1:53.41, resetting the top time in the country once again. That falls less than two-tenths shy of her fastest swim ever in October (1:53.24, 2017 College Challenge).

Kentucky’s Asia Seidt was the runner-up in 1:54.37, putting her 3rd in the NCAA behind Eastin and Sydney Pickrem (1:53.88). This is her 4th-fastest performance ever, only trailing one swim each from 2018 SECs, NCAAs and the 2017 Ohio State Invite (where she was 1:53.84).

Forde completed an impressive double to take 3rd in 1:56.42, with Ohio State’s Kathrin Demler dropping a big best time for 4th in 1:57.27.

Men’s 200 IM Final

  • Meet Record: 1:42.69, Marcin Cieslak (FLOR), 2013
  1. Marci Barta, ND, 1:44.73
  2. Samy Helmbacher, PITT, 1:44.79
  3. Aaron Schultz, ND, 1:45.16

Notre Dame freshman Marci Barta prevailed in a very close battle in the men’s 200 IM, holding off Pittsburgh junior Samy Helmbacher by .06 for the victory in a time of 1:44.73. Barta had set a PB last weekend in 1:46.79, and then after improving it this morning in 1:46.50, brings it down nearly two more seconds here.

Helmbacher also set a new best time, getting under his 1:45.29 from the 2018 ACC Championships in 1:44.79, and not far behind was Notre Dame’s Aaron Schultz (1:45.16) and Kentucky’s Glen Brown (1:45.19) in 3rd and 4th who both improved on where they were at this meet last year.

Women’s 50 Free Final

  • Meet Record: 21.70, Zhesi Li (OSU), 2016
  1. Taylor Ruck, STAN, 22.12
  2. Bella Hindley, YALE, 22.28
  3. Amalie Fackenthal, STAN, 22.45

Cardinal freshman Taylor Ruck had set a new PB in this morning’s preliminaries in 22.15, and knocked .03 off tonight to win in a time of 22.12.

Yale senior Bella Hindley also went a best this morning in 22.23, and though she narrowly missed that tonight (22.28), still took a clear 2nd. Amalie Fackenthal made it two Stanford freshmen inside the top-3 with a 22.45, just a tenth off her lifetime best.

Men’s 50 Free Final

  • Meet Record: 18.77, Caeleb Dressel (FLOR), 2015
  1. Blaise Vera, PITT, 19.66
  2. Henry Gaissert, YALE, 19.69
  3. Ruslan Gaziev, OSU, 19.79

Pittsburgh sophomore Blaise Vera had broken 20 seconds for the first time this morning in 19.72, and dropped a few more hundredths tonight to pick up the win in 19.66 over Yale’s Henry Gaissert (19.69) and Ohio State’s Ruslan Gaziev (19.79).

Gaissert was .09 off his lifetime best, while Gaziev improved his PB for the third time today. He broke 20 for the first time in the heats (19.88), and then got down to 19.83 leading off the relay.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 3:29.63, Stanford, 2016
  1. Stanford, 3:32.28
  2. Kentucky, 3:33.17
  3. Stanford ‘C’, 3:35.01

The Stanford women topped Kentucky by just under a second to win the 400 medley relay in 3:32.28, narrowly missing the NCAA Automatic qualifying time of 3:32.20.

Kentucky actually led at the final exchange by half a second, thanks to a 51.22 fly leg from Asia Seidt, but Taylor Ruck (47.26) ran down Geena Freriks (48.63) to give the Cardinal the win.

Joining Ruck on the team was Lucie Nordmann (52.76), Zoe Bartel (59.78) and Amalie Fackenthal (52.48), making up an all-freshman squad.

Along with Seidt and Freriks on fly and free, the Wildcats had Ali Galyer (53.17) on back and Bailey Bonnett (1:00.15) on breast as they finished in a very solid 3:33.17.

Stanford ‘C’ took 3rd in 3:35.01, with Ella Eastin improving her previous best time of 53.15 on the back lead-off in a scorching 51.64. On their ‘B’ team that placed 4th, Ashley Volpenhein anchored in 47.37.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 3:06.50, Florida, 2015
  1. Ohio State, 3:11.04
  2. Notre Dame, 3:11.38
  3. Kentucky, 3:12.25

The Buckeyes edged out Notre Dame to win the men’s 400 medley relay by three-tenths of a second, while Kentucky out-touched WVU by one-tenth for 3rd.

Ohio State had the top butterfly and freestyle splits in the field from Michael Salazar (46.35) and Ruslan Gaziev (42.97) to give them the win, with Ben Sugar (48.18) and Jason Mathews (53.54) also swimming well on back and breast.

The Fighting Irish had the top lead-off from Jack Montesi in 47.29, and then had Matthew Limbacher (53.75), Zachary Smith (46.95) and Tabahn Afrik (43.39) bring them in for a final showing of 3:11.38.

In the battle for 3rd, the main difference between Kentucky and West Virginia was the lead-off, where Josh Swart was 48.26 for the Wildcats to WVU’s 49.03, giving them the slight edge 3:12.25 to 3:12.37. Tristen Disibio did have the fastest breast leg in the field, however, for West Virginia in 53.06.

Blaise Vera was the fastest freestyler for 5th place Pittsburgh in 42.49.

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5 years ago

This Ashley Volphenhein is sneaky fast!

5 years ago

Anyone else think, “oh boy wonder what Katie Ledecky’s gonna do tonight”?

5 years ago

are the live results not working?

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 years ago

still not working :/

5 years ago

That line-up and the corresponding splits make no sense for the Stanford relay… are you sure it wasn’t Ruck who split 21.44?

Greg A Marshall
Reply to  toastedcoconut
5 years ago

Looks like A & B relays inverted. A team more likely made up of B swimmers?

Reply to  toastedcoconut
5 years ago

according to the stanfordwswim ig story, it was Fackenthal, Ruck, Pitzer, Nordmann in the A relay, with Goeders, Volpenhein, Zhao, Stenstrom in the B.

Reply to  toastedcoconut
5 years ago

The winning.line up was Goeders, Ruck, Pitzer, Nordmann. Volpenheim, Zhao, Stremstorm are in B line up

Reply to  tnp101
5 years ago

Sorry, Fankenthal replaced Goerders in the A

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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