Ohio State Makes History By Sweeping Rival Michigan for 3rd Year in a Row

Ohio State vs. Michigan

  • Jan. 20, 2024
  • McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion
    • Columbus, Ohio
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • PDF results
  • Team scores
    • Men: No. 11 Ohio State 163, No. 17 Michigan 137
    • Women: No. 5 Ohio State 184, No. 14 Michigan 116

The Ohio State men and women swept Michigan on Saturday for the third year in a row, reaching unprecedented levels of dominance over their Big Ten rivals.

It was the first time in program history that Buckeye women beat the Wolverines in three consecutive seasons and the first time the men had achieved the feat since the early 1950s.

OSU was led by fifth-year Josie Panitz, who picked up three individual victories in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.06), 200 breast (2:12.46), and 200 IM (2:00.96). She owns season bests in the 100 breast (59.00), 200 breast (2:08.27), and 200 IM (1:56.18) that rank 10th, 13th, and 19th in the NCAA, respectively. At NCAAs last year, Panitz placed 7th in the 100 breast (58.12), 25th in the 200 breast (2:09.64), and 18th in the 200 IM (1:55.66).

The Buckeyes flexed their freestyle depth as four different swimmers captured titles in that discipline. In the 50 free, OSU junior Teresa Ivan (22.53) edged senior teammate Katherine “Kit Kat” Zenick (22.54) by just .01 seconds. The Buckeyes also got wins from fifth-year Amy Fulmer in the 100 free (48.85), senior Maya Geringer in the 500 free (4:49.10), and junior Gwen Woodbury in the 1000 free (9:49.34).

Michigan freshman Stephanie Balduccini prevented a complete OSU freestyle sweep by securing the 200 free title in 1:46.95 ahead of Fulmer (1:47.65). The Brazilian rookie was a few seconds off her season-best 1:43.30 that ranks 9th in the NCAA. Balduccini also placed 2nd in the 100 free (49.24) behind Fulmer and added a 49.20 leadoff on the Wolverines’ 400 free relay (3:17.98) that finished 2nd behind the Buckeyes (3:16.43).

Zenick also won the 100 fly (53.59) and sparked OSU’s 400 free relay with a 49.27 leadoff along with her runner-up finish in the 50 free. Despite the Buckeyes’ freestyle depth, their 400 free relay was an upset of sort as Michigan ranks 2nd in the NCAA this season (3:10.30) nearly three seconds faster than OSU (3:13.19).

Casey Chung paced the Wolverines with wins in the 100 back (53.24) and 200 back (1:57.09) along with a 24.87 backstroke leadoff on their 200 medley relay that placed 3rd in 1:38.45. The senior was just about a second off her season-best 52.23 in the 100 back that ranks 27th in the NCAA.

Michigan freshman Hannah Bellard continued her promising freshman campaign with a 200 fly victory in 1:58.41. She has been more than five seconds faster this season at Georgia’s midseason invite, where she blazed a 1:53.21 that ranks 5th in the NCAA. Bellard has only lost the 200 fly once this season, the first time she raced the event last October against Arizona’s Julia Heimstead. Bellard also showed off her range with a 3rd-place showing in the 1000 free (10:02.90).

Men’s Recap

In his second meet this season since returning from an Olympic redshirt this past fall, OSU senior Charlie Clark triumphed in the 500 free (4:23.56) and 1000 free (9:00.94). His season bests of 4:20.87 and 8:54.84 rank 69th and 11th in the NCAA, respectively. At the 2023 NCAA Championships last March, Clark placed 25th in the 500 free (4:15.96) and 7th in the 1650 free (14:41.43).

Buckeyes sophomore Tristan Jankovics also tallied multiple individual victories with 1st-place finishes in the 200 back (1:44.68) and 200 IM (1:45.95). He was a few seconds off his season-best 1:42.76 that ranks 12th in the NCAA.

Nearly 1,000 fans in McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion were treated to a thrilling battle in the 200 free, where OSU freshman Tomas Navikonis (1:35.62) outdueled Michigan sophomore Eitan Ben-Shitrit (1:35.72) by just a tenth of a second. Navikonis owns a season best of 1:33.60 that ranks 29th in the NCAA while Ben-Shitrit has a season best of 1:33.99 that ranks 37th. Navikonis also contributed a 44.49 leadoff on the Buckeyes’ 400 free relay that won in 2:55.75.

The Wolverines were led by sophomore butterfly specialist Tyler Ray, who placed 1st in the 100 fly (46.58) and 200 fly (1:44.38). His season bests of 45.84 and 1:43.13 rank 25th and 19th in the NCAA, respectively. Ray also split 20.46 swimming fly on Michigan’s 200 medley relay that kicked off the meet with a win in 1:26.08.

The Wolverines also got multiple individual victories out of Ansel Froass, who swept the breaststroke events with wins in the 100 breast (54.74) and 200 breast (1:58.13). He added a 3rd-place showing in the 200 IM (1:48.09) behind Jankovics and Ben-Shitrit (1:46.33).

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Marchand Goat
4 months ago

Will Michigan ever beat OSU again in the near future? With the recruiting classes they’re bringing in I feel like it’s a long shot…

Casual Swim Fan
4 months ago

Is starting out 0-4 in one weekend against your 2 biggest rivals (while rested) a good look for the sleek new UM staff?

Last edited 4 months ago by Casual Swim Fan
Swimbula
Reply to  Casual Swim Fan
4 months ago

Rested??

Admin
Reply to  Casual Swim Fan
4 months ago

There’s some rebuilding of talent that needs to happen in Ann Arbor, and Indiana and Ohio State (especially the OSU women) are very good teams.

Ways to go to close some of those gaps, but in most cases, closer than last year.

Swimnerd
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

It’ll be real interesting when OSU finishes 4th next year behind IU, Michigan and USC or Wisconsin potentially on the women’s side. How painful will that fall be? As one staff builds momentum, another crashes. Lots of good recruiting happening out there. Wolverines are coming!

swimmer
Reply to  Swimnerd
4 months ago

Buddy… take a look at Ohio States incoming class. They are not losing that’s for sure. Michigans culture is putting them at a stand still- but i’m sure they will enjoy fourth!

Swimnerd
Reply to  swimmer
4 months ago

Buddy…take a look at the fifth years OSU loses. No incoming class will come close to the production, but keep the chatter going. If you knew math, it doesn’t add up.

swimmer
Reply to  Swimnerd
4 months ago

Look at the incoming class and get back to me on that…

JustSwimmin’
Reply to  Swimnerd
4 months ago

The fifth year class of osu this year was never projected to be even close to how good they are now, and same goes for all the classes below them. Recruiting isn’t end all at Ohio State.

Pac6?
Reply to  Swimnerd
4 months ago

Looks like the change in staff has helped OSU so far. Also, by now swimmers have to know not to commit to a school for the coaches. A team’s success comes from within the team, not just their coaching staff.

Go the Distance
Reply to  Swimnerd
4 months ago

Speaking of pain, you guys couldn’t beat OSU with Maggie freaking MacNeil.

#MFan
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Well said Braden. Bottom had to go… recruiting is starting to pick up for UM… and swimmers are getting faster not slower… there is a bit of a talent gap for now… too many top swimmers and/or 5th years that didn’t come back because of whatever cultural issues were there with the last coach. Matt Bowe and staff seem to be doing a good job… we are seeing that in the results. And shout out to Cameron G for winning a diving event!

James Beam
4 months ago

Suited?

B1G Fan
Reply to  James Beam
4 months ago

Unsuited

Facts
4 months ago

They really handed the OSU swim team the same script as the Michigan football team

Pac6?
Reply to  Facts
4 months ago

the football team can steal the plays and the swim team can take the coaches.

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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