Alex Quach and Buckeye Relays Go Undefeated as Ohio State Men Sweep Alabama, Texas

by Robert Gibbs 9

January 14th, 2023 College, News, Previews & Recaps

Alabama vs Texas vs Ohio State

  • January 13-14, 2023
  • University of Alabama Natatorium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Dual meet scoring
  • Full Results 
  • Final Scores
    • Ohio State 230, Alabama 123
    • Ohio State 189, Texas 164
    • Texas 220.50, Alabama 132.5

The #2 University of Texas Longhorns and the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes each traveled to #14 Alabama this weekend to take on the Crimson Tide in their home pool in a tri-meet format. Based on the results, all three teams looked to be in the middle of fairly heavy training, as the times largely weren’t remarkable, but there was still plenty of exciting racing.

Alex Quach led Ohio State over both Alabama and Texas with a total of seven wins — all four relays plus three individual wins. There were a few notable swimmers absent, including Caspar Corbeau for Texas and Victor Johansson for Alabama.

Friday Recap

Ohio State fired the opening salvo of the weekend with a 1:26.20 victory in the 200 medley relay. The Buckeyes had the fastest splits in the field on three of the four legs. Alex Quach led off in 21.64, James Ward split 20.80 on the fly leg, and Ruslan Gaziev anchored in 19.28. Alabama took 2nd in 1:26.49, with Derek Maas leading the way with a 23.73 breaststroke split. Texas finished 3rd in 1:27.15.

Quach was arguably the star of the night. Soon after that backstroke leg, he won the 100 IM, an event we usually don’t see in dual meets. Quach swam the opening 50 (fly/back) in 21.58, with the next-fastest first lap coming from Derek Maas at 22.27. Quach won in 48.23, followed by Maas at 48.45, then Texas’ Carson Foster at 48.80.

The 1000 free produced some of best performances of the night. The Buckeyes kept the winning streak going with a 8:49.84 win from Charlie Clark. Texas’ David Johnston stayed close the whole way, ultimately taking 2nd in 8:50.54. Texas freshman Sasha Lyubaskiy (aka Alexander Lyubavskiy) also got in under nine minutes, taking 3rd in 8:55.03.

Alabama ended Ohio State’s win streak in the next event, the 200 free, where Charlie Hawke won in 1:34.64, with no one else finishing under 1:35. Like many of the other swimmers at the meet, Texas’ vaunted mid-distance crew appeared to be a bit beat up, with Luke Hobson, Coby Carrozza, and Peter Larson finishing 4th-7th with 1:36s and a 1:37.

Ohio State got right back into the win column, as Quach continued to shine with a 46.88 victory in the 100 back, followed by teammate Thomas Watkins at 47.21.

The Longhorns finally picked up a win, courtesy of Jake Foster, who outdueled Alabama’s Derek Maas, 53.49 to 53.68, in the 100 breast. Texas’ primary sprint breaststroker, Caspar Corbeau, was absent from the meet. Next, Cole Crane made it two in a row for Texas with a 1:46.49 victory in the 200 fly.

Ruslan Gaziev gave the Buckeyes yet another win in the final individual event of the session, the 50 free, as he won in 19.90, the only man under 20 seconds.

The session ended with the 400 free relay, which proved to be a barnburner. Alabama led for the first three legs. Kaique Alves led off in 43.55, Charlie Hawke split 42.89 on the 2nd leg, and Cam Auerbach went 43.80 on the 3rd leg. But Ohio State and Texas keep it close, with each squad getting two 43-point and one 44-point splits to that point.

It came down to the anchor leg, and Gaziev followed up his 50 free victory with a swift 42.34 split that got the Buckeyes past the Crimson Tide and the Longhorns for the win. Daniel Krueger, who took 2nd in behind Gaziev in the 50 free, anchored in 42.52 to stop the clock in 42.52 for the Longhorns. Alabama got a 43.83 from Derek Maas to take 3rd in 2:54.07.

Saturday Recap

Ohio State kept the momemtum going Saturday morning by winning the opening event, the 400 medley relay. Thomas Watkins led off in 46.94, Pete Krusinski split 54.77 on breast, Alex Quach continued to impress with a 45.54 fly split, then Ruslan Gaziev anchored in 42.44 for a 3:09.69 win.

Continuing a trend we’ve seen all season, the Longhorns’ breast and free legs looked much better than the fly and back. Carson Foster led off in 47.62, his brother Jake Foster split a strong 52.71 on breast, Cole Crane split 47.45 on fly, and Daniel Krueger actually outsplit Gaziev with a 42.38 anchor leg, good for 3:10.16 overall.

Alabama took 3rd in 3:12.01. Like Texas, Alabama was stronger on the breast and free legs, getting a 53.13 and 42.88 split on those strokes, respectively.

Gaziev followed up his strong anchor with a 43.37 win in the 100 free, followed by Charlie Hawke of Alabama at 43.61. Krueger, despite his impressive anchor leg earlier in the session, ended up 6th in 44.51. Krueger, a Texas fifth year, has made the A-final of the 100 free all three years he’s competed at NCAAs thus far.

Next, fans were treated to one of the best battles of the meet. Thomas Watkins of OSU jumped out to an early lead with a 24.04 opening 50, with Carson Foster about a half second behind. Foster consistently outsplit Watkins by small margins each of the next three laps. But, he just ran out of pool, as Watkins got his hand on the wall first, 1:42.67 to 1:42.76. That’s a strong in-season time for Watkins, whose lifetime best is a 1:41.15 from the 2021 SEC Championships.

For the second day in a row, Jake Foster earned Texas’ first win of the session. He earned the breaststroke sweep by winning the 200 in 1:56.08, over two seconds ahead of the rest of the field. David Johnston made it two in a row for the Longhorns by winning the 500 free in 4:18.49, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of 1000 free winner Charlie Clark, who took 2nd with a 4:21.38.

The Buckeyes then took three of the top four spots in the 100 fly, with Alex Quach earning yet another win with a time of 46.34, well in line with his fly split on the medley relay earlier in the session.

The Foster brothers went 1-2 in the final individual event of the meet, the 200 IM. Carson jumped out to an early lead, and while Jake battled back a bit with a 30.36 breaststroke leg, Carson touched first in 1:45.03, with Jake taking second in 1:45.79, nearly two seconds ahead of anyone else.

Ohio State put the icing on the cake of a great meet with a 1:18.67 win the 200 free relay. Not only did the four Buckeyes each swim faster than anyone else in the field (except one Texas split), but there was some nice pairing with the splits. Quach led off in 19.78, followed by James Ward with another 19.78 (albeit on a flying start). Daniel Baltes split 19.54 on the 3rd leg, while Ruslan Gaziev nearly matched that split with a 19.57.

Alabama took 2nd in 1:19.94. Hawke led off in 20.13, then Matthew Menke, Kaique Alves, and Benjamin Hines each splits 19.9s to finish in 1:19.94. Texas finished 3rd in 1:20.58. Full results didn’t show splits, but one Texas swimmer went 19.56 on the 2nd leg.

In diving action, the Longhorns swept the top three spots in the 1m,  led by freshman Nick Harris. Ohio State’s Lyle Yosit won the 3m, with Harris taking 2nd.

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1 year ago

Quach and Hawke both from Australia

Reply to  Joel
1 year ago

Hahaha, I was thinking of writing something similar along the lines of “coupla Aussie lads giving them some stick”

Love reading about their triumphs over there.

1 year ago

Horns down. Buckeyes win handily. Give credit where credit is due. Now time for the whining Horn fans to justify this loss.

Did not Cali UT
Reply to  Buckeyeboy
1 year ago

You mean winning Horn’s fans. Do you think this is finally the year, 1962 is a longtime between national titles. Guess with all the Australian help maybe top 5 this year??

Reply to  Buckeyeboy
1 year ago

As my son told me yesterday, UT is on what they called the struggle bus, totally torn down. Which will obviously pay dividends in March. That being said, OSU swam well.

Did not Cali UT
Reply to  Swimdaddy
1 year ago

Agreed – see you in March, best of luck.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Swimdaddy
1 year ago

Which team isn’t torn down? It’s the end of Christmas training. Everyone is going to be feeling it.

Dog Girl
1 year ago

Go bucks!!!!!!

1 year ago

Go bucks!!!

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