Women’s Swimming & Diving Drops Contest To Marshall on 44th Anniversary Of Thundering Herd Tragedy

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On the 44th anniversary of one of the worst tragedies in sports history, the number 75 was written on the left shoulder of Marshall swimmers and divers.

At the meet’s conclusion, the victorious Thundering Herd started the iconic “We are… Marshall” chant with the spectators.

Ohio University women’s swimming and diving team (1-4) dominated the backstroke and butterfly events, but a few weak races put them in too much of a hole falling 160-138 to Marshall.

The Bobcats once again owned the opening 200-yard medley relay.  The team of Addy Ferguson, Tori Bagan, Laura Dawson, and Haley Clark cruised to an easy victory posting a time of 1 minute, 45.15 seconds.  Ohio swept the event with a second place finish coming from Caroline Raley, Liz Murphy, Carrie Dukes, and Josie BarkerThe 1-2 finish gave the team an early 15-2 lead over the Thundering Herd.

For the first time in a meet this season, Ohio swam the 1650 freestyle.  It was distance specialist Bianca Hauzer’s first time competing swimming the mile as a Bobcat, and she placed third with a time of 17:25.79. 

The ‘Cats responded with a scoring tear winning four consecutive events.  Dawson easily won the 200 with a time of 1:51.35, bettering her time at Eastern Michigan by a second-and-a-half. Just three events later, she stepped up on the blocks for one of the most grueling events in the sport, the 200 butterfly.

“I got on the block and my leg gave away a little bit.”  The short rest was an issue for Dawson in the race.  “I felt good for the first 50.  Then I started hurting and my body just went numb.”  She finished in 6th place.

Dawson’s exhaustion didn’t mean lost hope on the event.  Freshman Elena Patz stepped up to grab her first individual victory as a Bobcat.  “I didn’t know she had the turnaround … the girl I saw at the [final] turn – I thought that was laura.” The girl at the turn was from Marshall’s Emma Lockyer.  Patz squeezed out the victory punching the wall for a time of 2:07.61.  Lockyer was just .3 seconds behind.     

Later in the meet, Ferguson, Patz, and Dukes swept the 100 butterfly in that order.  Ohio outscored Marshall ­­ 27-11 in those two events. 

Addy Ferguson and freshman Caroline Raley went 1-2 in the 100 backstroke.  They continued their expertise in the stroke repeating that finish in the 200. 

For the second meet in a row, the Bobcats struggled in the sprint freestyle events. Haley Clark, the top sprinter for the ‘Cats, placed 3rd in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events. 

The only healthy Bobcat diver, Karrisa Conner recorded her best finishes of the season earning second place in both the 1-meter board and 3-meter events. 

She wasn’t satisfied with her 187.22 score in the 3-meter.  “I came down to 1-meter and I was like ‘OK I need to step up my game. I need to do what I know.’” The 1-meter is the weaker of the two events for Conner, but she stepped up to get the 2nd

Even with such great performances, she scored just eight points compared to Marshall’s 30. Improved health among the divers will help the entire team down the road.

Tori Bagan won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.52.  Dawson sealed her fourth double-victory of the season finishing the 200 IM in 2:06.09. 

Next up for Ohio is the H2Okie invitational.  This meet is an important early season meet for the Bobcats.  “We’re gonna rest a little bit and gives the girls a breather to see what they can do when they aren’t tired and sore,” head coach Rachel Komisarz-Baugh said after the meet. 

The meet, hosted by Virginia Tech, takes place Nov. 20-22 in Blacksburg, Va.