Updated Sun, Mar 3, 2013 3:24 pm
On the final day of the MAC Swimming and Diving Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., the Ohio University Swimming and Diving team battled back and forth with a strong Bowling Green State University team for second place, with the Bobcats ultimately prevailing, but falling to champion Miami University.
In the first final of the day, Bobcat swimmers Laurin Williams, Bianca Hauzer, Stephanie Gyurke and Michelle Gasior took part in the 1650-yard freestyle. Gasior was disqualified for a false start, but the other three Ohio swimmers in the event brought home points for the Bobcats. Williams breezed past the competition and took home first place with a time of 16:14.60 and earned 20 points. Hauzer and Gyurke placed seventh and 15th, respectively, tacking on 14 points to the Bobcat total.
The next event, the 200-yard backstroke, saw Rachel Stearns, Anastasia Bocharnikova, and Addy Ferguson add to the Bobcat total with 27 points between the three of them on fourth, ninth, and 14th place finishes. Stearns finished about three seconds off of her old MAC record of 1:55.65 that she set at last year’s championships.
The 100-yard freestyle concluded with three Ohio swimmers gaining points to their total. Senior Lauren Funk swam a time of 50:46, good for fifth place, and contributed 14 of the 27 points, as the Bobcats won in the event. Katey Brooks and Haley Clark made up the other 13 points with ninth and 13th place finishes.
The 200-yard breaststroke did not render Ohio a single point. This brought Bowling Green within three points of Ohio for second place on the day. At this juncture, the Bobcats maintained a 425-422 edge over the Falcons. Both teams sat well behind leader Miami, who held a commanding lead with 554 points.
As they struggled to try and maintain second place in the event, Ohio swimmers didn’t help themselves much with Gasior bringing home five points and a 12th place finish, while senior Deidre Geroni tacked on a point, finishing 16th. At this point, Bowling Green, fueled by two swimmers who combined for 17 points of their own, jumped out to a 439-431 advantage.
Bobcats divers gained 42 points in the three meter diving event, helping them to leap past Bowling Green. Junior Kristin Capcik brought the Bobcats 14 points with a fifth place finish and a score of 328.55. Sophomore Morgan Srail scored 321.35 and gained the team 13 points. Junior Mary Hillstrom and Sophomore Halei Bartlett contributed an additional 15 points between them.
The additional points were just enough to seemingly clinch second for the Bobcats, but a strong third place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay put the finishing touches on Ohio’s second place standing. A time of 3:23.19 was posted by Brooks, Clark, Ferguson, and Funk, and this time gave Ohio 32 more points to finish the championships with a total of 505.
By the end of Saturday evening, the Miami RedHawks had claimed their 17th Swimming and Diving championship. The Ohio Bobcats fell short of what could have been their 12th title, but had a great performance from numerous individuals.
Ohio finished with 505 points on the weekend, compared to 621 for Miami.
The other MAC schools finished as follows:
3. Bowling Green State 467
4. Eastern Michigan 450
5. Buffalo 421
6. Toledo 394
7. Ball State 345
8. Akron 302