ALABAMA V. OHIO STATE
- Thursday, September 27th
- Columbus, Ohio (OSU)
- Results – Meet Mobile
- Men: OSU 156 – BAMA 144
- Women: OSU 181 – BAMA 119
The Alabama men gave the OSU men a run for their money in Columbus, though it was the Buckeyes who defended their home pool with a tight win as the Buckeye women handed ‘Bama a solid defeat. Freshmen played a key role, with the Bama women first years and the Buckeye men rookies delivering when it counted.
The 1000 free was perhaps the most exciting race of the evening on the women’s side, with the longest race of most dual meet setups coming down to the finish. Alabama freshman Kensey McMahon, who looks like she’ll be a distance weapon to watch, touched at 9:58.67. First NCAA race, first NCAA win. This was just .17 ahead of OSU junior Molly Kowal (9:58.84), but Kowal would get her revenge in the 500, where she took the event in 4:54.49.
Sophomores were exceptional for the Buckeyes. Freya Rayner took the sprint free races, clocking a 22.97 in the 50 and 50.65 in the 100. Hanna Gresser surged to the win in the 100 breast (1:02.32), while Katie Trace finished on top in the 200 fly (2:01.44).
Junior Kathrin Demler also pulled through for OSU, winning both the 200 free (1:49.09) and the 200 IM (2:02.92). Demler was a 2018 NCAA qualifier in the 400 IM.
Bama had a strong meet from freshman backstroker Rhyan White, who collected wins in the 100 back (54.32) and 200 back (1:57.93). White added a third win for a hat trick, posting a 55.74 in the 100 fly to edge OSU’s Rebekah Bradley (55.74). Justine Macfarlane took the win in the 200 breast for the Crimson Tide, going 2:15.13 to knock off Gresser by over two seconds.
OSU claimed both the 400 medley and 400 free relays, with Rayner putting up 50.0 anchors on both.
This one was tight the whole way through, with Bama getting off to a hot start. They won a close 400 medley relay, with junior Zane Waddell posting a 47.73 back lead-off, followed by senior Laurent Bams (53.81), sophomore Tyler Sesvold (48.97) and senior Robert Howard anchoring 43.26. Howard’s anchor leg was the difference maker, as OSU got a 47.42 fly leg from junior Noah Lense but the Buckeyes couldn’t hold off Howard at the end.
Bama took it 3:13.77 to 3:14.26, and then won the next four events. Junior Daniel Kober was 9:25.83 for a Bama 1-2 in the 1000 free, then Howard charged for a 1:37.38 200 free win. Waddell was 48.76 to secure the 100 back win, while Bams was 54.35 in the 100 breast to barely hold off OSU freshman Jason Mathews (54.43). Kober would go on to win the 500 free, too (4:33.69), and Waddell the 100 fly (48.17).
Freshman Ruslan Gaziev, who hails from Canada, was a big reason for the Buckeyes taking the win over a tough Bama squad. He took the sprint free races, going 1-3 in the 50 free at 20.19 with fellow freshman Sem Andreis (20.34) taking 3rd and Bama’s Howard taking 2nd in 20.25. Gaziev came back to clock an NCAA ‘B’ cut in the 100 with a strong 43.79, making it three straight swimming wins for the Buckeyes– Henrique Painhas was 1:48.04 in the 200 fly for a win to stop the bleeding.
Freshman Mathews earned another win for OSU in the 200 breast (2:01.88) to edge teammate and sophomore Paul Delakis (2:02.23), while Bama freshman Spencer Walker got his hand to the wall first in the 200 back (1:47.93), the only finisher sub-1:50. Another Bama freshman, Nicolas Perera, was 1:50.59 for an easy win in the 200 IM.
Diving was a huge swing for the Buckeyes, as their divers went 1-2-3 on both boards to secure a ton of padding. That padding was definitely needed, as Bama rolled out the meet with a win in the 400 free relay. Despite Gaziev hitting a 43.40 to lead off for OSU and the Buckeyes having the lead after three legs, Howard erupted for a 42.88 anchor leg for Bama to win it, 2:55.71 to 2:56.47.