SwimSwam Team of The Month: Ohio State Buckeyes

by Robert Gibbs 2

January 31st, 2022 College, News, Team of the Month

While we hate to biased towards swims from the end of the month, it’s hard to ignore what the Ohio State Buckeyes did this past weekend at home against the University of Michigan Wolverines.

The Buckeye men defeated the Wolverines by a score of 189-111, marking Ohio State’s first dual meet win over Michigan since the 1991-1992 season. The Michigan men have finished ahead of Ohio State at the annual Big Ten Championships every year since 2010. Additionally, Michigan is the only team other than Texas or Cal to have won a NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships (or finished in the top two) since 2009, having won the title in 2013.

It was a much more narrow outcome on the women’s side, but the Buckeye women pulled out the win with a score of 152.5-147.5. That’s Ohio State’s first win over Michigan since the 2013-2014 season.

The teams are set to clash again at next month’s Big Ten Championships. Based on best times so far this season, the Swimulator projects the Michigan women to win the conference with 1149.5 points, while the Ohio State women are projected to finish second with 1083.5. Of course, that’s not really a prediction of the actual finish, as that doesn’t take into account diving, taper, swimmers’ lineups, etc. But it does indicate that the two teams could be in for another close meet in just a couple weeks’ time.

Dual meet records aside, the women have had recent success at the conference level. They won the team title in 2020, marking their first title in 34 years, and then backed that up with another championship in 2021.

It’s a slightly different story on the men’s side, where Indiana is currently projected to score the most points (1393.5), with Michigan currently projected second (1116), and Ohio State third (882). Indiana won three-straight conference titles from 2017-2019, while Ohio State hasn’t won since 2010.

The Buckeye men are led by Hunter Armstrong, who made the U.S. Olympic team last summer after taking second in the 100 back at U.S. Olympic Trials, marking one of the biggest surprise finishes of the meet.

In the Big Ten, Armstrong is currently seeded 4th in the 50 free, with a season-best time of 19.37. He has the same seed in the 100 free on the basis of a 42.71 showing from Ohio State’s invite last fall. He also holds the #3 seed in the 100 back (45.66).

Junior Amy Fulmer is currently projected to score the most individual swimming points for the Buckeye women, thanks to a #6 seed in the 50 free (22.24), a #2 seed in the 100 free (48.09), and a #3 seed in the 200 free (1:44.98). Mackenzie Crawford, who won the 1m diving event at last year’s Big Ten Championships, also returns for the Buckeyes.

Head coach Bill Dorenkott has led the combined Ohio State program since 2017. Prior to that time, he had led the Buckeye women since 2008. Both the men’s and women’s teams have had continued success the programs combined, with the women having won the two aforementioned conference championships, and the men’s team having finished in the top ten at NCAAs in both 2019 and 2021.

Sure, swim fans can argue about just how much dual meets mean, but anyone who knows anything about the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry knows that a win is a win, especially when it hadn’t happened in a while.

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B1G fan
2 years ago

I think the Big Ten changed the rules this year to require significantly smaller rosters. Will they still score out 24 places? Swimulator indicates yes, but is this an oversight that should be adjusted? I have no idea what scoring to only 16 does for Ohio State and MIchigan?

Reply to  B1G fan
2 years ago

Teams can take 26 to the meet, but can only score 18 (divers count as half).

We’ll try to run the numbers from last year and see how much that impacts outcome. My suspicion is “a little, but not much.”

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