The Indiana men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both finished as runners-up in the 14-team Ohio State Invitational meet in Columbus. The meet ran over three days and wrapped up on Saturday evening.
On the men’s side, Indiana split the victorious Ohio State Buckeyes and the third-place University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish on the podium. The women were in between the Buckeyes — who swept the competition — and the University of Kentucky Wildcats.
The first Indiana program record of the weekend was set by sophomore Anna Peplowski, senior Ashley Turak, junior Elizabeth Broshears and freshman Kristina Paegle in the 200 free relay. Their time of 1:27.75 put them at the top of the charts to close out the women’s competition on night one.
The final day of action was highlighted by the women’s 400 free relay team of Anna Peplowski, Turak, junior Ella Ristic and Paegle setting another program record with a time of 3:13.45, good enough for first place in the event. They defeated the Ohio State relay team by just 0.16 seconds.
It was a good weekend overall for the Peplowskis. Anna continued her strong season with three individual wins to add to her contribution to the relay record and her win total was the highest of any women’s swimmer in the meet. Noelle had two individual wins of her own as the senior put up a time of 2:05.52 in the 200 yard breaststroke preliminary, an NCAA A-cut that puts her second all-time on the Indiana leaderboard behind only Olympian Lilly King. Peplowski also set a new personal best by nearly a second and automatically qualified for the national meet, as do all individual A-cut times.
Women’s distance swimmers Ching Gan and Mariah Denigan also had strong showings. The sophomore and freshman finished first and second in the mile freestyle race and were separated by just over three seconds. Gan and Denigan also took second and third in the 500 free, with sophomore Elyse Heiser rounding out the top five.
The men saw strong performances from senior Brendan Burns, junior Tomer Frankel and sophomores Rafa Miroslaw and Josh Matheny. Burns won the 100 back and 200 back and was the catalyst for the 400 medley relay team with Matheny, Frankel and Miroslaw, which set a blistering time of 3:03.98 to earn a two-second victory over the field. Miroslaw also dominated the freestyle leg of the 200 medley relay and the 200 free, touching the wall first in both events.
Matheny took first place in the 200 breast with a time of 1:51.68, and he was one of three Indiana swimmers in the top four spots in the event. Juniors Jassen Yep and Maxwell Reich finished second and fourth, respectively. Yep also won the 100 yard breast with a time of 52.05.
Divers Quinn Henninger and Carson Tyler continued their fantastic seasons as well. The sophomore duo finished first and second overall and were separated by less than four points. Henninger posted three dives with scores over 70 points and Tyler did not drop below 64 points on any of his six dives. The duo has dominated the diving depths for the Hoosiers this season and Continued that trend this weekend.
Before the meet, the November College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) rankings were released. The Indiana men and women were ranked No. 7 and 10, respectively. Both teams put up numerous NCAA A-cuts and B-cuts and routinely found themselves among the top finishers in the final rounds of events.
Swimmers like Anna and Noelle Peplowski, Paegle, Gan, Denigan, Burns, Frankel and Miroslaw have established themselves as difference-makers for the Hoosiers while Turak, Ristic, Yep, Reich and Matheny continued to show what they are capable of.
The Hoosiers will return to the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on Friday, Dec. 2, to close out the fall season versus the University of Cincinnati. Action begins at 2 p.m.