Feb. 23, 2005
Ohio University hosts the 2005 Mid-American Conference Swimming & Diving Championships at the Ohio Aquatic Center Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 24-26, on its campus in Athens, Ohio. The Miami RedHawks will come into the meet looking for their fourth straight MAC title.
Miami finished the season with a conference record of 8-0 in dual meets and a streak of 32 MAC wins that dates back four years. If Miami wins the MAC Championship this week, the Class of 2005 will become the fifth class in Miami history to win a MAC title in each of its four years and the first since 1999.
Head coach Brian Vereb and the Akron Zips enter this year's championships following their third winning season in four years and look to continue their overall improvements at the championship meet. Vereb's squad recorded a program-best 22 top-10 finishes and will have 10 individuals and at least half of five relay teams returning from that performance last year.
Ball State finished fourth of the nine teams at the 2004 league meet with 400.5 points. The Cardinals finished the meet with six individual top-five finishes and four relay top-five times. Eastern Michigan head coach Peter Linn and 2004 Diving Coach of the Year Buck Smith finished sixth at last year's championships with a total of 335 points. Freshman Madeleine Pilchard will look to add on to a fantastic freshman campaign in which she picked up two MAC Swimmer of the Week awards.
Last year, Bowling Green recorded their highest finish at the MAC Championships in 11 years by finishing third. The Falcons finished with 405 team points behind Miami and Ohio. BGSU had not finished higher than sixth place in the MAC Championships over the past nine years, while finishing fourth in 1994 and second in 1993. This year, the Falcons will look to sophomore Caroline Keating who is leading the Falcons in the freestyle competition posting three first place finishes against Miami as well as Ball State.
Dorsi Raynolds will look to Jennefer Brankovsky and Ashlee Burton to lead the Buffalo Bulls. Burton posted a conference-best score of 302.9 in six dives at Bowling Green on Feb. 4. Brankovsky took home the Mid-American Conference Swimmer of the Week award twice during the 2004-05 season and will a major contributor for the Bulls over the weekend.
Erika Nilsson and Milla Kuurto have been solid contributors for Marshall this season and hope to carry their success into the MAC Championships, while Ilse Peterson and Michaela Hahn-Lawson will try and do the same for Ohio. The Bobcats and head coach Greg Werner finished second at the Championships last season with a total of 547 points.
The Toledo Rockets ended their season on a high note, defeating Eastern Michigan in the final relay event to secure the 155-145 victory. With that win, UT improved to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the MAC to post its best finish ever in school history. The Rockets will also have a chance to etch this season into UT's record books if they finish higher than fourth place at the MAC's.
Preliminaries will get underway at 11 a.m. on Thursday, while 1-meter diving prelims will take place at 2:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies will take place at 6:50 p.m. with the Day 1 finals beginning at 7 p.m. Results and recaps will be posted on the Ohio Athletics website (www.ohiobobcats.com) as well as the Mid-American Conference site at www.mac-sports.com once the first day of competition has finished.