Ohio State Picks Up Colorado State Champion Mila Nikanorov (2024)

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USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Mila Nikanorov has announced her verbal commitment to the Ohio State University for the fall of 2024. 

Nikanorov is currently a junior at Castle View High School, and trains year-round with Highlands Ranch Aquatics out of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. 

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at THE Ohio State University! I feel honored to have the opportunity to train with such an amazing group of athletes and coaching staff. I’d like to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for always supporting me! Go Buckeyes! 🌰🅾️”

Nikanorov is primarily a mid-distance to distance freestyler, with range from the 200 up to the 1650. She owns Speedo Summer Junior National qualifying times in the 500 free and 1650, as well as Winter Junior cuts in the 200 free and 1000 free, for which we named her to the “Best of the Rest” section of our Way Too Early list of top recruits from the high school class of 2024.

Top SCY Times:

  • 200 free – 1:49.09 (altitude adjusted)
  • 500 free – 4:47.51 (altitude adjusted)
  • 1000 free – 9:57.56
  • 1650 free – 16:30.21

Nikanorov is already off to a quick start to her junior season. Earlier this month at the TOPS Denver Invite, she clocked a personal best time of 4:52.51 in her 500 (adjusted to 4:47.51). The swim was over a two second drop from her previous best she set this past February, when she won the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) 5A state title in the event with a time of 4:55.86 (4:50.86 adjusted).

This summer she competed at the College Station Futures Championship, where she set personal bests in all but one of her events. She posted as high as a 4th place finish in the 800m free with a best time of 8:59.74. She also shaved off half a second in her 200 free (2:08.34), almost three seconds in the 400 free (4:24.90), and almost 20 seconds in the 1500 (17:12.93).

Ohio State has won the last three Big Ten Championship titles. Distance freestyle was neither a huge strength or weakness for the Buckeyes last season, as they scored 66 points in the 1650 and 61 points in the 500. It took a 16:52.14 to score in the 1650, and a 4:51.14 to advance in the 500. Nikanorov’s current best times would have put her just outside the B-final in the 500 and 18th in the 1650 at last season’s meet. 

Maya Geringer led Ohio State’s distance group last season with a 3rd place finish in the 500 (4:39.55) and a 4th place finish in the 1650 (16:01.30) . She was followed by Gwenyth Woodbury, who took 14th in the 500 (4:45.05) and 12th in the 1650 (16:19.37). Veronica Tofuto was also in the mix last season and took 12th in the 500 (4:44.67) and 14th (16:20.46) in the 1650. 

Freshmen Sanna Peterson and Lucy Malys are new to Ohio State’s distance group this year. At the Ohio State Invite earlier this month, Peterson posted a 4:49.80/16:27.14, while Malys clocked a 4:47.77/16:34.56. 

Nikanorov is joined by sprinter Rachel Bockrath and mid-distance specialist Sienna Angove in the Buckeye’s class of 2028. 

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Catherine MacInnes
1 year ago

16:30.21 is a Summer Junior National time! She has Summer cuts in both the 500 and 1650. Congratulations, Mila!