MAC Women's Swimming Championship Begins Wednesday

Updated 2/23/2010

Courtesy of Miami Sports Information

OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University will host many of the nation's finest women's swimmers and divers this coming Wednesday through Saturday (Feb. 24-27) when the 2010 Mid-American Conference Championship comes to Miami University's Nixon Aquatic Center.

Action begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday with finals in the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay. On Thursday and Friday, swimming preliminaries begin at 11 a.m. and diving prelims start at 1 p.m., with finals commencing at 7 p.m. On Saturday, prelims are at 11 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m.

Advance tickets are available at Miami's Athletic Ticket Office, located in the South Concourse of Millett Hall. Fans may also purchase tickets by calling 1-866-MUHAWKS or 513-529-HAWK. Tickets on event day will be located inside the Rec Center in the lobby before you enter the Nixon Aquatic Center. Tickets can be purchased via cash, check, or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express), if the event has not sold out.

Admission fees are: $12 Adult- per day; $6 Student- per day; $34 Adult All-Session pass; $16 Student All-Session Pass.

Fans may park in Miami's South Campus Garage at 545 S. Campus Ave. (Oxford, OH 45056).

It's the first time since 2004 that the women's MAC meet has been held in Oxford, a year when the RedHawks captured the league title. Miami is the defending MAC champion, having held off runner-up Ohio University last season at Bowling Green, 639.5 to 611.5, however RedHawk coach Dave Jennings prefers not to approach this meet as his team defending its title.

"I feel that you never defend anything," said Jennings. "This is a new year with different team dynamics. I believe you start each year from the ground up."

Twelve different members of Miami's 2010 team have been point scorers at previous MAC meets, led by breaststroker extraordinaire Kelsey Vehr (Cincinnati). In last year's championship, Vehr was a member of first- and second-place relay teams (400 and 200 medley relays, respectively), won two individual titles (100 and 200 breaststroke) and placed third in a fifth event (400 IM). The 130 points she singularly placed in accounted for just more than 20 percent of the team's 639.5 points.

Other important RedHawk contributors a year ago who return in 2010 include freestyler Sarah Radke (Cincinnati) who helped the team score 105 points, freestyler/butterflyer Allison Way (Omaha) with 72 points, freestyler/backstroker Chelsey Bruington (Mission Viejo, CA) with 57 points, backstroker/butterflyer Nicole Roddenbery (Peachtree, GA) with 51 points, breaststroker Megan Brunn (Mansfield) with 42 points, backstroker Kasey Carpenter (Cincinnati) with 26 points, and diver Kelsey Anagnos (St. Louis, MO) with 25 points.

In winning the '09 title, Miami had 31 placings in the top eight and 17 other placings from ninth through 16th place, resulting in its 28-point team victory over the Bobcats. Those 48 point scorers included five first-place finishes, five seconds, five thirds and four fourths. Jennings says the same type of effort will be needed to win in 2010.

"The winning team will need to have a combination of quality and depth," he said. "Both need to happen to win a conference championship. You cannot just have one."

Does Miami have any advantage in swimming at its home pool?

"I think it helps swimming at your home pool, knowing your environment, the blocks, the walls, etc.," said Jennings. "It also helps having your own fans, alums and students supporting you."

All-time, Miami leads the pack with 16 conference championships, followed by Ohio with 10, Eastern Michigan with two and Bowling Green with one. However, in Jennings' opinion, none of those four is the favorite in 2010.

"The Toledo Rockets seem to be the team to beat," said Jennings. "They have swum very well all season. I think Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Miami all will be factors in the final outcome."

Other MAC team outlooks:

Akron (4-7 overall, 2-5 MAC): The UA swimming and diving program will look to leadership and excellence from a dominant senior class to set the pace at this year's Mid American Conference Championships. Stephanie Zielinski and Kendall Karchner have been catalysts in the freestyle and backstroke events respectively all season long while Cathryn Collins has been a factor in Akron's mid-distance races. UA's diving squad will look to sophomore Leeanna Hoover for top marks from both boards while a pair of freshman in Katie Miles and Kelsea Cross could be difference makers in the butterfly and individual medley events respectively. "We are excited about the upcoming MAC championships at Miami," said coach Nittaya Klim. "In 2009 we had our best championship meet in program history and our team has done a great job this season facing some tough competition, so we are prepared to see what we can do. We are expecting to see some of our best performances from individuals this year and look to improve on last year's results."

Ball State (10-7 overall, 1-6 MAC): With six school record holders and one NCAA Zone Diving Qualifier highlighting the roster, the Ball State women's swimming & diving team looks poised for a big showing at the 2009-10 Mid-American Conference Championships. "As a team, I feel we are well prepared for this year's meet," said BSU head coach Laura Seibold-Caudill. "We have a number of student-athletes with the potential to place in the top eight this season in what will be a very level field." Leading the charge for BSU is senior diver Lisa Maertin, who placed in the top eight on both boards at last season's league meet. Earlier this season, Maertin posted an NCAA Zone Diving Qualifying score of 280.65 on the one meter board. Returning school record holders for the Cardinals include senior Mary Ehresman (400 IM - 4:25.41 and 400 medley relay - 3:49.49), senior Emily Karwoski (200 IM - 2:05.66), senior Sarah Kehe (800 freestyle relay 7:35.05), junior Katie Bylsma (400 medley relay - 3:49.49), junior Maria Gramelspacher (100 fly - 55.79, 400 medley relay - 3:49.49 and 800 freestyle relay - 7:35.05) and sophomore Nikki Saulters (100 back - 57.12 and 400 medley relay - 3:49.49). Also looking to make an impact for the Cardinals is junior Alanna Bader, as well as sophomores Sara Hostetler and Elizabeth Spillman. All three have been played a large role in the Cardinals success this season.

Bowling Green (1-6 overall, 1-6 MAC): Bowling Green State University is entering the 2010 MAC Championships with a 1-6 record but has high expectations that the team's season-long hard work to will pay off.  Senior Meg Richardson will be a force to be reckoned with in the freestyle sprint events as she holds the second, first and third fastest times in the MAC in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard freestyle races.  Sophomore Vicky Yu and junior Sarah Burston are also likely to have a good showing at the MAC Championships in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly events as well as in the individual medley races.  Head coach Keri Buff is looking forward to seeing the team's preparation pay off; she said, "This team has stepped up to a new level of training all year.  It's time to see all that hard work pay off."

Buffalo (8-3 overall, 4-3 MAC): The University at Buffalo swimming and diving team has high expectations going into this year's MAC Championship meet. The Buffalo effort will be led by experienced seniors, namely Jessica Ballard, and diver Meili Carpenter. The Bulls are also expecting impressive performances from junior Jessie Koltz, sophomores Brynn Marecki and Alie Schirmers , as well as freshman Caroline Simmons. "I'm excited about where we are at this point," said head coach Andy Bashor. "With all the hard work that these women have put in, we're expecting great performances in the pool and on the diving board."

Eastern Michigan (5-6 overall, 3-4 MAC): Three years removed from a MAC Championship and coming off a fourth place finish in 2009, Eastern Michigan is looking to climb back up the ladder in competing for a title. The Eagles' strengths heading into this weekend are most certainly their distance freestyle events as freshman Briana Emig and sophomore Samantha Partridge, who was a second team All-MAC selection last year, hold top-five MAC times this season in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 between them. Sophomore Sarah Maraskine will contend in backstroke while several Eagles are looking to place high in both diving events, including freshman Danielle Hulvey. "We are just looking forward to a very competitive meet," said head coach Peter Linn. "We have a young team and are hoping to have a big impact at the meet." 

Ohio (10-2 overall, 5-2 MAC): The Bobcats head into the 2010 conference championships winners of eight dual meets in a row, having not been defeated since November 7 at Toledo. The team has been buoyed by great performances this season, both by individuals and relay teams. Junior Rachel Heim has captured four MAC Swimmer of the Week awards, as she has been nearly unstoppable in her top events. Strong diving performances have also been key for Greg Werner's squad this year, as freshman MaryRose Hillstrom and redshirt junior Lindsay Hamilton have been scoring well from the one and three meter boards. "We are really excited to compete in this year's championships," said Werner." I've been fortunate to be associated with the conference now for 15 seasons, and especially the last three-four years, the improvement, the progression of the conference from top to bottom has been impressive and very, very exciting to be a part of. To see us gathering more and more national recognition is very satisfying. We won't see that changing one bit this year...we only see that process continuing and accelerating. We are very excited to be a part of that and are certainly looking forward to that challenge. We know that we're going to be challenged by every competitor and every program at the championships."

Toledo (11-2 overall, 7-0 MAC): After posting consecutive top-three finishes at the MAC Championships for the first time in school history, Toledo's swimming and diving team hits the pool this week seeking its first title. "We're really looking forward to an exciting meet," said head coach Lars Jorgensen. "There are a lot of good teams and we just want to do our best and hope to be in contention at the end." Junior Jacy Dyer, last year's MAC Champion in the 500 free and runner-up in the 1650 free, will lead the Rockets, who are ranked No. 39 in the CSCAA/CollegeSwimming.com poll. Other returners include senior Caitlin Cormack (runner-up in 400 IM) and junior Laura Heckroth (runner-up in 500 free) from last season. Also competing will be freshman Carly Harter, who has the MAC's fastest time in the 200 free and 200 IM this year, and sophomore Laura Lindsay, who has "B" cuts in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

Miami All-Access: Miami All-Access is an internet broadband offering provided by MURedHawks.com and CBSSports.com College Network that will webcast the entire 2010 MAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. To sign up and register for this comprehensive, easy-to access multimedia coverage ($6.95 per month), go to www.MURedHawks.com and click the LAUNCH BROADBAND CHANNEL button. Powered by Microsoft's Silverlight technology, this state of the art interface will give fans the highest quality streaming experience in the most user-friendly environment. This new player will be fully compatible across different web browsers.

Live Results: Live results for the 2010 MAC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships may be accessed at www.MURedHawks.com.

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, February 24

7:00 p.m. - 200 Medley Relay

7:35 p.m. - 800 Freestyle Relay

Thursday, February 25

11:00 a.m. - Preliminary heats begin

500 Freestyle

200 Individual Medley

50 Freestyle

12:45 p.m. - Timed Trials Begin

1:00 p.m. - 1-Meter Diving Prelims (1-Meter consolation finals (9-16th places) will follow prelims)

7:00 p.m. - Consolation Final - 500 Freestyle

7:12 p.m. - Championship Final - 500 Freestyle

7:20 p.m. - Consolation Final - 200 Individual Medley

7:28 p.m. - Championship Final - 200 Individual Medley

7:37 p.m. - Consolation Final - 50 Freestyle

7:44 p.m. - Championship Final - 50 Freestyle

7:51 p.m. - 1-Meter Diving Finals

8:40 p.m. - 200 Freestyle Relay

Friday, February 26

11:00 a.m. - Prelim heats begin

400 Individual Medley

100 Butterfly

200 Freestyle

100 Breaststroke

100 Backstroke

1:00 p.m. - Timed Trials Begin

2:00 p.m. - 3-Meter Diving Prelims

7:00 p.m. - Consolation Final - 400 Individual Medley

7:12 p.m. - Championship Final - 400 Individual Medley

7:24 p.m. - Consolation Final - 100 Butterfly

7:33 p.m. - Championship Final - 100 Butterfly

7:42 p.m. - Consolation Final- 200 Freestyle

7:51 p.m. - Championship Final - 200 Freestyle

8:00 p.m. - Consolation Final - 100 Breaststroke

8:08 p.m. - Championship Final- 100 Breaststroke

8:16 p.m. - Consolation Final- 100 Backstroke

8:24 p.m. - Championship Final - 100 Backstroke

8:40 p.m. - 3-Meter Diving

9:20 p.m. - 400 Medley Relay

Saturday, February 27

11:00 a.m. - Prelim heats begin

200 Backstroke

100 Freestyle

200 Breaststroke

200 Butterfly

1:00 p.m. - Exhibition Platform Diving

7:00 p.m. - Championship Heat - 1650 Freestyle

7:25 p.m. - Consolation Final - 200 Backstroke

7:34 p.m. - Championship Final - 200 Backstroke

7:43 p.m. - Consolation Final - 100 Freestyle

7:51 p.m. - Championship Final - 100 Freestyle

7:59 p.m. - Consolation Final Heat - 200 Breaststroke

8:08 p.m. - Championship Heat - 200 Breaststroke

8:17 p.m. - Consolation Final Heat - 200 Butterfly

8:25 p.m. - Championship Heat - 200 Butterfly

8:39 p.m. - 3-Meter Diving

9:20 p.m. - 400 Freestyle Relay

9:35 p.m. - Awards Ceremony

Parking Directions to South Campus Garage: 545 S. Campus Ave. Oxford, OH 45056

From the North: I-75 south to I-70 west to SR 127 south (Exit 10, Eaton/ Hueston Woods); Turn left off of exit ramp. Follow SR127 through Eaton and Camden to State Route 73; Turn right and follow SR 73 to Oxford. • Take a Left on Patterson Avenue • Take an immediate Right on Spring Street • Follow Spring Street • Take your 3rd Left onto Campus Avenue • The South Campus Garage will be on the Left Hand Side, just past the Health Center

From the South: I-75 north to I-275 north (Take the airport exit which goes off to the left); Follow signs for Indianapolis/Cincinnati (I-275 splits and becomes I-74/Indianapolis and I-275/Cincinnati-Dayton); Follow I-275 east towards Dayton, take the Colerain Avenue exit(Exit 33) and turn left. This is Colerain Ave/ SR 27 north; this will take you into Oxford. • Follow 27 until you arrive to the Chestnut Street intersection. The 1st Street at the entrance to campus off SR 27 • Make a Left turn on Chestnut Street • Continue on Chestnut Street • Make your 3rd Right Turn onto Campus Avenue • The South Campus Garage will be on your right, just past the Campus Recreation Center

From I-70 going East: Take the SR 27 south exit in Richmond, Indiana; Proceed through Richmond and Liberty, Indiana and into Oxford. • Follow 27 / College Corner Pike until you get to the intersection of College Corner Pike and Locust Avenue. Turn Right onto Locust Avenue • Make your first Left onto High Street • Continue on High Street through town • Turn Right onto Campus Avenue • Continue on Campus Avenue through Spring Street intersection • The South Campus Garage will be on the Left Hand Side just past the Health Center

From I-70 going West: Continue west to SR 127 south (Exit 10, Eaton/ Hueston Woods); Follow SR 127 through Eaton and Camden to State Route 73; Turn right and follow SR 73 to Oxford. • Take a Left on Patterson Avenue • Take a quick Right on Spring Street • Follow Spring Street • Take your third Left onto Campus Avenue • The South Campus Garage will be on the left hand side just past the Health Center.