Courtesy: Ohio State Athletics
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State swimming and diving program announced the competition slate for the 2018-19 season on Wednesday, featuring nine home events and the first-ever Big Ten/ACC Challenge. OSU faces strong competition with meets against Texas A&M and Louisville, Virginia Tech and Penn State, the annual Ohio State Invitational and a tri-meet with Florida and Kentucky among the highlights.
“Our team communicated a desire to take on a more ambitious schedule,” said Bill Dorenkott, director of swimming & diving. “We believe this schedule will provide the challenges necessary to best prepare us for Big Ten’s and NCAA’s. Our goals are simple: battle for conference titles and become a consistent top ten team at the NCAA’s. This schedule will show us if we are on track.”
The Buckeyes open the season at home with a meet against Alabama on Sept. 27 after traveling to Tuscaloosa, Ala., during the 2017-18 season and coming away with a win for both the men and women. Ohio State will then host its annual alumni weekend from Oct. 5-6, featuring an intrasquad exhibition and alumni meet. The following weekend, Texas A&M and Louisville will come to McCorkle for a two-day tri-meet on Oct. 13-14. The Texas A&M women took third overall at the NCAA Championships, while the men’s team was the SEC Championship runner-up last season. The Louisville women’s team boasts a defending individual NCAA Champion and the men’s team finished as the runner-up at the ACC Championships.
The first road trip of the Buckeye season takes the team to Blacksburg, Va., for a meet against Virginia Tech and Penn State on Oct. 26-27. Ohio State will meet Virginia Tech for the first time since the hiring of head coach Sergio Lopez Miro, and faces its first conference opponent of the season. OSU returns home to host Denison and the Akron women to open the month of November (2).
OSU welcomes Kenyon on Nov. 9 before heading to West Lafayette, Ind., for the inaugural Big Ten/ACC Challenge on the campus of Purdue on Nov. 10-11. Ohio State director of swimming and diving Bill Dorenkott will be the assistant coach for the Big Ten men’s team. The short-course yards dual meet will follow a similar format to the 2016 College Challenge, in which a running score will be kept combining the points earned by both the women and men. At least two male and two female swimmers from each institution will be designated to compete, but no more than five males and five females from each school will participate. Additionally, for divers, there will be no more than two males and two females from each school. Numbers may vary based on men’s and women’s swimming program membership, as well as selection to the All-Star team based on personal event times and diving results.
The annual Ohio State Invitational takes place the third weekend in November (15-17), when the Buckeyes host 10 teams at McCorkle. Kentucky, Notre Dame, the Indiana State women, West Virginia, a small group from Kenyon, the Ohio women, Stanford women, Yale, Penn State and Pitt will all be in attendance. Of note, the Stanford women are the reigning NCAA Champions.
Closing out November and surging into December, OSU athletes will split between the AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta, Ga., from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, and the Denison Invitational from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
To open 2019, the Buckeyes will head south to Gainesville, Fla., for a meet with Florida and Kentucky on Jan. 4-5. The road stretch continues against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Jan. 19, followed by the Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 25-26 in Notre Dame, Ind.
Returning to the friendly confines of McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion, Ohio State will host the Winter Invitational on Feb. 16-19 before embarking on the chase for a conference title. The women travel to Bloomington, Ind., from Feb. 20-23 for the Big Ten Championships, and the men will be in Iowa City, Iowa, from Feb. 27 to March 2.
OSU is set to host a women’s Last Chance Meet on March 3, and a men’s Last Chance Meet is to be announced for March 10. The squad will then participate in the CSCAA National Invitational Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as the NCAA Zone Diving Meet in West Lafayette, Ind., both from March 14-16.
Wrapping up the post-season, the women’s NCAA Championships are from March 20-23 and the men’s NCAA Championships take place on March 27-30, both in Austin, Texas.