Ohio State swimmers and alumni combined for a near sweep of the first night at the Sectional meet in Columbus, Ohio Wednesday night.
Highlighting things was a lifetime-best 8:39.13 win by rising junior Lindsey Clary in the 800 meter free. Clary crushed the field, winning by more than 18 seconds, and she also cut a full 10 off her previous best of 8:50.40.
Maybe the best swim on the men’s side for Ohio State came at the other end of the meter-age spectrum, with Matt McHugh‘s 50 free. The rising junior went 22.96, his first time ever under 23 seconds. That won the event by three tenths.
A couple of school records fell during the meet. We reported on Zulal Zeren‘s Turkish record 200 back out of prelims, and that time also stood up as a new Ohio State school record.
Zeren wasn’t able to hold on for the win in finals, though, instead fading to third in 2:15.06. (She was 2:13.63 in prelims). That win went to her teammate Camey Rabold in 2:14.53.
Meanwhile breaststroker Taylor Vargo had a huge breakout swim, dropping nearly 5 seconds off her lifetime-best to go 2:28.44 in the 200 breast. That should put Vargo in the hunt for a U.S. National Team spot – in fact, she’s now within a second of the time it took to make last year’s national team.
That time also set a new Ohio State school record.
Only two events escaped Ohio State’s dominance, and both went to local youngsters. 16-year-old Ashley Volpenhein of the Mason Manta Rays took one of those wins, going 25.86 to win the 50 free as one of the youngest swimmers in the final.
And in the men’s 1500 free, 16-year-old Christian Imbus of the Cincinnati Marlins took eight seconds off his previous best to win in 16:02.57.
Ohio State alum Elliott Keefer made a rare appearance in the 200 breaststroke, winning the race in 2:16.95. Keefer stopped competing after the U.S. Open in 2012, but made a return from a nearly-three-year break this spring at the Charlotte Pro Swim Series meet. His time this weekend was just two tenths slower than his Charlotte time.
Also winning for Ohio State individually was Andrew Appleby, who took the 200 back in 2:01.78.
The Buckeye women closed the night by going 1-2 in the 800 free relay. The A team went 8:09.84 with the team of Alexandra Norris, Lindsey Clary, Kathleen Cook and Samantha Cheverton.
Full results are available on Meet Mobile.