Ohio State Leading Scorer Kit Kat Zenick Returning for 5th Year With Buckeyes Next Season

by Riley Overend 0

December 04th, 2023 Big Ten, College, News

Ohio State’s leading scorer at the 2023 Big Ten and NCAA Championships, senior Kit Kat Zenick, is coming back for her fifth and final year of NCAA eligibility with the Buckeyes next season, according to 16th-year head coach Bill Dorenkott.

“I chose to stay at Ohio State for the women and the coaches who have supported me throughout my undergraduate career,” Zenick told SwimSwam. “We’ve got something special here and I am incredibly thankful to get the opportunity to race for the Buckeyes for one more year.”

Zenick is the defending Big Ten champion in the 50 freestyle (21.85) and 100 butterfly (51.48). She also placed 3rd in the 100 free (47.92) en route to a team-high 91 points, leading the Ohio State women to their fourth conference title in a row. Zenick punctuated her junior campaign at NCAAs in March with a team-high 24 points from a 6th-place finish in the 100 free (47.27) and an 8th-place showing in the 100 fly (51.11).

The Buckeye women placed 6th as a team at NCAAs, their best finish in program history. But they’ll soon need reinforcements as 79 of their 101 individual points (78%) came from upperclassmen. It was a similar story at Big Tens, where upperclassmen accounted for 803 of Ohio State’s 1,122 individual points (72%). Zenick is the Buckeyes’ second-fastest 100 freestyler this season (48.03) behind fifth year Amy Fulmer (47.68), and fifth of their top six performers in the event this season are at least seniors (Teresa Ivan being the exception).

Ohio State is reloading next fall with freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke specialists, but there’s a gap in the butterfly department among the Buckeye women’s class of 2024 that Zenick’s return will mitigate. The Texas native should also provide a veteran presence on relays, acting as a bridge of sorts between the current dynasty that has won four Big Ten championships in a row and the next era of Buckeyes.

It’ll get even more difficult to claim the conference crown starting during the 2024-25 season with USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten. However, reinforcements are on the way for Ohio State, including this crop coming next fall:

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About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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