Jan. 14, 2006
OXFORD, Ohio - Led by a pair of individual wins from junior Paul Ricard (Bowling Green, Ohio), the well-rested Miami University men's swimming and diving team (3-1, 2-0 MAC) defeated a pair of Big East foes and finished as the top team in its first meet of 2006.
In a quadrangular meet at the Nixon Aquatic Center, the RedHawks showed no signs of rust after a six-week break from competition as they edged out a Big East foe, the Cincinnati Bearcats, 159-139, for the top spot. Behind Miami and Cincinnati, the Division III powerhouse Kenyon Lords (116 points) and the Louisville Cardinals (109) points, another Big East squad, rounded out the four-team field.
Ricard paced the RedHawks' victory as he swept the distance freestyle events, winning both the 500 and 1000 free. Miami also received individual wins from freshman Chris Heaton (Centerville, Ohio) and senior Zach Niehaus (Taylor Mill, Ky.) in the one- and three-meter dives, respectively.
Miami's "A" relay squad started the meet with a third-place finish in the 400 medley relay, finishing in a season-best 3:29.60. Ricard followed with Miami's first win of the meet in the 1000 free, toucing the wall in 9:30.70. Ricard defeated the second-place swimmer by almost 17 seconds as he notched his team-leading eighth win of the season. Freshman Jason Bank (Farmington Hills, Mich.) also finished fourth in the event with a season-best time of 9:56.54.
In the 200 free, junior Jamie Morris (Louisville, Ky.) was the top Miami finisher in third place. The RedHawks then edged ahead the Lords, 53-49, with their performance in the 50 free as sophomore Theo Kuczek (Deerfield, Ill.) and junior Justin Marcy (Daytona Beach, Fla.) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
After failing to place a swimmer in the top five in the 200 IM, Miami rebounded as Niehaus and Heaton finished one-two on the three-meter board. Niehaus, who posted his fourth individual win of the season, notched a season-best score of 327.30 as he finished first.
Senior Scott Robson (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and sophomore Ryan McHugh (Sylvania, Ohio) followed Miami's diving win with a pair of third-place finishes in the 200 fly and 100 free, respectively.
After senior Andrew O'Neill's (Rockaway, N.J.) fourth-place finish in the 200 back, the RedHawks closed the meet with victories in two of the final three events. Ricard's second win of the night came in the 500 free as he posted a time of 4:36.94, and Heaton followed with his second victory of the year in the one-meter dive. With a first-place score of 291.93, Heaton posted his first diving victory since winning the three-meter dive at Buffalo (Oct. 29).
Miami closed out its win with a third-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. Despite finishing third in the event, the RedHawks touched the wall in a season-best time of 3:12.31.
Miami resumes dual meet action when it travels to Wright State on Jan. 20. The meet with the Raiders is the RedHawks final non-conference dual meet of the year before closing the season with a pair of Mid-American Conference dual meets against the Eastern Michigan Eagles (Jan. 27) and Ohio Bobcats (Jan. 28).