The Ohio State men’s program has just graduated a majority of their top-tier freestyle group. Of the 12 spots on their 9th place 200 and 11th place 400 free relays, they graduated 6 out of 8 spots.
It was no secret what the recruiting targets were this fall, either, as their 13-strong class (12 swimmers, 1 diver) is ripe with 50-200 freestylers.
Among the 12 are five guys coming out with 45-second flat-start bests in the 100 freestyle: Andrew Appleby, Mark Belanger, Charlie Fry, Vladislav Komarov, and Micah Simpson. That includes 45.1 for Komarov and 45.0 from Belanger.
They defended home turf fairly well, as four of those five guys come from the state of Ohio, as do 10 of the 13 recruits altogether (though, quite a few like Josh Quallen – Louisville – and Cliff Goertemiller – Harvard – did go outside of the state lines).
The Buckeyes have also brought in some long-term help for their 800 free relay; that group only graduated one from last year, Zach Holmes, but despite using their stud Tim Phillips on the relay, it failed to score any points at NCAA’s, ending up just 18th (four seconds slower than their season best.)
This is an impressive group, especially considering in OSU’s 2012-2013 freshman class, only two guys got under 1:40 all season. coming in this year will be Belanger, who goes 1:39.2; Fry, who goes 1:39.3; Jack Hendricks who guys 1:38.9; Komarov who goes 1:38.3; Alex Rosen who goes 1:40.30, and Simpson who goes 1:40.20.
Throw on top of that Steffen Hillmer, from the famed Essen club, who is 1:52 in long course (and a 51.1 in the 100 free in long course as well.)
Komarov is a really interesting story; he’s initially from Russia, but has spent the last year-plus in Pennsylvania at the Upper Main Line YMCA in search of an NCAA scholarship. Meanwhile, he’s been a force at the YMCA National Championship meets, and has become a top-level prospect.
Other standouts in the class include Matt McHugh out of Wisconsin, who’s been 47.72 in the 100 yard fly and 48.95 in the 100 yard back. He’s flat-started a 46.8 100 free on a relay at last year’s Wisconsin HS State Championships, but there’s few people in this world who go 47.7 in the 100 fly who can’t get down to a 45 in the 100 free.
Appleby also goes 48.2 in the 100 yard back, and Belanger goes 49.5 in the 100 fly.
Rounding out the swimmers is Kevin Bressler, a 56.3 100 breaststroker and 2:02.5 200 breaststroker, and 3:43 500 freestyler Matt Moen.
Going along with the theme of keeping talent home, the addition to their diving program, which has been very good the last few years, is Alex Gonzalez from Central Catholic in Canton. He’s the 2013 State Champion, and Division II State Record holder, on the 1-meter.
Looking beyond those relay losses noted (including especially Jason Schnur), the Buckeyes come back in pretty healthy shape next season: they bring back 17 point scorers from the 2013 Big Ten Championships.
The full press release from the Buckeyes is below.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team has signed a 13-member incoming freshman class, a group of National Letter Intent signees that include nine top swimmers and one decorated diver from Ohio, standouts from Wisconsin and Connecticut and two impressive international swimmers.
“We are pleased with this class and believe they will become excellent leaders for the future of our team as well as outstanding contributors for our next championship team,” said head swimming coach Bill Wadley, who will be entering his 25th season at Ohio State. The Buckeyes return 17 point scorers from the 2013 Big Ten Championships, including 14 swimmers and three divers.
2013 Ohio State Signing Class
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Cuyahoga Falls High School
Ohio State Division I Champion in 100 backstroke (2013) … five time state finalist … two-time All-American … three-time Northeast Ohio Conference MVP … two-time team captain for the Black Tigers … four-time MVP for Cuyahoga Falls after help leading his squad to a 2013 Northeast Ohio Conference River Division Championship … held seven team records …. YMCA national champion in 100 backstroke (48.23) … coached by Mike McDonald the last nine years … ranked seventh in Ohio by CollegeSwimming.com.
Three-time top point scorer and MVP for Firestone … five-time All-American (100 free, 2012; 100 free, 2013; 100 fly, 2013; 50 free, 2013; 100 fly, 2013; and 200 free, 2013) … four time All-State … Academic All-American … 2013 District Champion in 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle … district record holder in the 200 freestyle … 2013 Ohio State Champion in the 100 freestyle … holds school records in three events and the Firestone High School Pool record in 100 freestyle … ranked 10th in Ohio by CollegeSwimming.com … four-year state qualifier … six-time state medalist … two-time district champion … state runner-up in 2012.
Sandusky, OhioPerkins High School
Three-time Ohio State Champion (100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and 200 free relay) … four-time High School All-American … 11-time All-Ohio honoree … two-time team MVP for Perkins (2011 and 2012) … Sandusky Bay Conference Outstanding Performer in 2011 and 2012 … record holder in 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay … coached by Steve Cremean.
Sycamore High School
Three-time All-American … 2012 Short Course Speedo Junior National Meet participant … 2013 Long Course Speed Junior National Meet qualifier … 2013 Greater Miami Swimmer of the Year … GMC record holder in 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay … Sycamore record holder in 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay … 2013 Southwest District Classic 100 freestyle champion … 17-time YMCA national meet finalist … 10-time OHSAA Division I meet finalist … nine-time first team GMC honoree … three-time first team Cincinnati Enquirer All-City team … 2013 Sycamore swimming MVP … 2012 Ohio State runners-up in water polo … two-time Sycamore Best Defender in water polo … team captain in swimming and water polo in 2012-13 … coached by Dan Carl.
Central Catholic High School
2013 Ohio State Diving Champion for Central Catholic … 2012 State Runner-Up … Division II state record holder … three-time GCAA Boys Diver of the Year … two-time team MVP … six-dive record (342) … 11-dive record (523) … undefeated in dual meets … three-time All-Ohio … All-American … coached by Rich Blough.
St. Xavier High School
Helped lead St. Xavier to four-consecutive state championships, GLC championships and district titles from 2010-2013 … GLC Swimmer of the Year … six-time All-American … Cincinnati Enquirer Division I Male Swimmer of the Year … member of the Cincinnati Marlins swim club … coached by Jim Brower … Ohio State Champion in the 500 freestyle and part of the 200 freestyle relay state title group … state runner-up in the 200 freestyle in 2013 … ranked ninth in Ohio by CollegeSwimming.com.
Member of junior national team in 2010 and 2011 … placed third at European Junior Championships in Serbia in 2011 … finalist at world junior championships in Peru in 2011 … national age group champion in 100m freestyle (51.13) … three-time national team champion in Germany … coached by Henning Lambertz.
Junior national champion in Russia in 2012 … multiple champion and record holder in Russian Far East region … spent three years on Dolphin Russians Swimming Club from 2009-2012 … member of Upper main line YMCA club in Berwin, Pa. from 2012-13 … won the YMCA national championship in the 200 freestyle.
Coach by Mike Debear as part of the Golden Bears … high school squad was two-time state runners-up … three-time Ohio State Champion and one-time runner-up … 13-time All-American … captain of the Golden Bears during senior year … all-State honoree … held one school record and two pool records in freestyle events … part of the water polo state championship team … also a first team all-state and captain during senior year on water polo team … ranked 8th in the state of Ohio by CollegeSwimming.com.
West Bend, Wis.
West Bend West High School
Coached by Jim Sachse and Chrise See as a stroke/freestyle sprinter … Wisconsin Little Ten Conference champions … ranked third in Wisconsin by CollegeSwimming.com … 2013 Little Ten Conference Swimmer of the Year … 2013 All-State honoree … 2013 All-Conference … won state championship in 100 butterfly by three seconds as a senior …. also placed second in 100 backstroke at state championships.
Brookfield High School
2012 High School All-American in two relay events (200 medley and 400 free) … three-time All-State in three-consecutive years (500 free, 200 IM, 200 medley relay, 400 free relay) … two-time State Champion in the 400 and 200 IM for Class M (2012 and 2013) … four-time State Open Qualifier (2010-2013) … three-time High School All-Conference (500 free, 200 IM, 200 medley and 400 free relay) … 2013 South West Conference Swimmer of the Meet … help guide high school team to state championship for Class M in three out of four years … two-time Brookfield High School Team MVP … top individual medley competitor and distance swimmer in all four years for the Bobcats … Brookfield High School All-Time record holder in 500 free, 200 IM, 200 medley and 400 free relays … ranked 8th in the state by CollegeSwimming.com … Wilton YMCA Men’s National Team for two years … USA Swimming Junior Qualifier in 1500 meter freestyle … coached by Brian Reiff.
Andrew Osborne Academy
Coached by Greg Wriede … 2010-11 Eastern Champions … 2011-12 Eastern runner-up … member of 200 freestyle relay short course national record … part of the SPIRE Lake Erie Silver Dolphins that won the 2013 Short Course USA Swimming LSC Gold Championships … member of the 400 freestyle relay team that broke a 27 year-old record dating back to 1986, breaking the team, meet and district mark.
Gates Mills, Ohio
Hawken Upper School
Coached by Jerry Holtrey at Hawken Upper School … team placed third at state championships in 2013 … runner-up CVC champions during sophomore year … three-time runner-up state champion … part of the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins club team since 2004.