Sydney Pickrem Picks Up Backstroke Duties, Hits 1:58 IM at OSU


  • October 12-13, 2018
  • Ohio State University
  • Friday results
  • Scores (thru day 1)
    • WOMEN – Texas A&M 104, OSU 63
    • MEN – OSU 94, Texas A&M 72 | OSU 97, Louisville 70


The Texas A&M women got off to a strong start on Day 1 of this two-day meet, with senior Sydney Pickrem earning two wins on the day. It was business as usual for Pickrem in the 200 IM, one of her best events, as she clocked a 1:58.64 as the only finisher under 2:00. Primarily an IM’er and breaststroker, Pickrem is incredibly versatile, and she won the 200 backstroke in a respectable 1:57.95.

With A&M having graduated Beryl Gastaldello and Lisa Bratton, their two top backstrokers, Pickrem is, oddly enough, stepping in on medley relay backstroke duties. In the 400 medley relay, Pickrem led off in a 54.25 as the Aggies sailed to the win in 3:38.74, keying on a 1:00.63 breast split from Anna Belousova.

Belousova won the 100 breast individually (1:01.89), while Aggies got a tie for the 100 free win between Katie Portz and Claire Rasmus (50.76). Sophomore Taylor Pike was a winner for A&M as well, hitting a 1:57.99 in the 200 fly.

Ohio State got on the board early, taking the 200 free relay (1:32.42) and coming back in the next event as Molly Kowal beat Rasmus in the 500 free, 4:52.25 to 4:54.85.

Notably, Louisville’s competing with a much smaller squad, as eight of their best are swimming at the SMU Classic.


On the men’s side, all three teams had a more balanced battle with a bigger spread of wins.

Ohio State bookended things, taking wins in both relays. Mateo Chavez was 20.23 leading off in the 200 free relay, getting a 19.9 split from freshman Sem Andreis and 19.8’s from Mossimo Chavez and Matthew Abeysinghe to finish first in 1:19.83.

In the 400 medley relay, OSU finished in 3:13.89, edging A&M (3:14.06) and Louisville (3:14.28) by a hair. Jason Mathews, an OSU freshman, split a 53.84 breaststroke, while A&M’s Benjamin Walker split a 53.71. All three anchors were 43’s (Andrew Loy for OSU, Adam Koster for A&M, and Andrej Barna for Louisville).

Mathews was the sole win for the Buckeyes individually going 54.64 in the 100 breast to edge Walker (54.85).

Walker had a win of his own earlier in the meet, going 1:48.24 to be the only sub-1:50 finisher in the 200 IM. A&M also had wins out of freshman Shaine Casas (1:47.36, 200 back) and Koster in the 100 free (44.02).

For Louisville, sophomore Nicolas Albiero was 1:47.21 to take the 200 fly, and Marcelo Acosta swam his only race of the night for a win, going 4:26.39 in the 500 free.

The rest of the meet will take place tomorrow in Columbus.

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About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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