The Ohio State women’s swim team will host the 2014-2015 Big Ten Championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion from February 18th-21st. That will maintain consistent one-month spacing between the conference’s championship meet and NCAA’s a month later, according to the team’s official schedule.
Like the men’s team, the Ohio State women will host only three Big Ten opponents in regular meets, plus two in-conference attendees to November’s Ohio State Invitational, marking a very light conference schedule as the Big Ten moves away from the “pods” system that it’s used for so many years.
“I like the schedule we have put together as it allows our staff ample opportunities to gauge performance in our lead up to the Big Ten’s and NCAA’s,” said head coach Bill Dorenkott of his schedule. “In particular, the multi-day meets are a good way to prepare for the grit that is required to be a champion.”
The Ohio State women won’t have any official alumni meet; rather their season begins on October 10th at Notre Dame’s Dennis Stark Relays, and proceeds to the Scarlet vs. Gray meet a week later.
Things really get rolling with a good in-state showdown against Miami (Ohio) on October 23rd. The Redhawks are coming off of a 2nd-place finish at last year’s MAC Championships. This will be the two programs’ first swimming & diving dual meet since the 2004-2005 season, which highlight a schedule that emphasizes competition against in-state opponents.
The Buckeyes will next welcome in Cincinnati, another in-state opponent, and the Purdue women for a tri meet. The men’s version of that meet will be just a dual with Cincinnati.
Next up for the women will be a trip to Athens, Ohio to matchup with the Ohio Bobcats, and then home meets against Cleveland State and Kenyon.
In November, the Ohio State women will welcome in Princeton and Denison for a two-day tri meet, and then train for two weeks into the Ohio State Invitational on November 21-23. There, Bill Wadley’s team will welcome in two more Big Ten opponents: as part of four announced invitees, Purdue and Wisconsin will be in attendance, along with Kentucky and Kenyon.
A group will then head to the USA Swimming National Championships from December 4th-6th.
There’s no training trip on the women’s schedule this year (the men are going to Boca Raton), so they will be without competition for 6 weeks until things get going again on January 16th at Toledo. Then they’ll shoot across the state line for meets against Michigan State and their biggest rivals Michigan. Michigan’s will be marking that meet, January 24th, on their calendars, after a great two-day battle last year resulted in a 9-point Ohio State victory and some heated words on social media afterwards.
A home dual against West Virginia of the Big 12 will wind up January, with the “Ohio State Winter Invite” in February, generally a meet for swimmers not on the Big Ten Championship team, and the Big Ten Championship meet in Columbus. This will be the first women’s Big Ten Championship hosted by McCorkle since the 2007-2008 season; they hosted NCAA’s that year as well.
The Ohio State women come into the 2014-2015 season with high hopes after their 4th-place finish at Big Tens year and an NCAA Championship roster of 9. They graduate a couple of big contributors in Michelle Williams and Alex Norris, both NCAA qualifiers, but those losses are minimal as compared to the momentum that returns.
Senior-to-be Ashley Vance became the team’s first 200 IM Big Ten Champion in 25 years at last year’s meet, and sophomore-to-be Taylor Vargo crushed the school record in the 200 breast on more-than-one occasion. They’ve also brought in Jordan Wolfrum as their new as their new assistant. She spent last year as a volunteer assistant with Stanford: the hottest women’s program in the country after Greg Meehan won the CSCAA Coach of the Year award last year.