CLEVELAND ? In voting conducted among Mid-American Conference head coaches, Ohio University’s women’s team and the Eastern Michigan University men’s team are each predicted to claim the 2009 league championship in swimming and diving.
Both OU and EMU are the defending champion with the Eagles have won back-to-back titles and 27 all-time championships. The Bobcats’ 2008 title was their first since claiming successive trophies in 2000 and 2001. All-time Ohio has 10 MAC championships.
On the women’s side, Ohio is expected to be challenged in order by Miami, Toledo and Eastern Michigan as the main threats to its title defense. Bowling Green and Buffalo tied for the fifth spot in the poll and were followed by Akron and Ball State.
Eastern’s challenge will come from Buffalo, Miami and Ball State, respectively.
A total of 21 first-team All-MAC selections from last year will return to lead their respective team.
From the men’s programs, 2008’s Most Outstanding Swimmer Derrick Roe of Eastern Michigan and Most Outstanding Diver Chris Heaton of Miami are back to set the standard in their respective events. Additional first-team all-conference returnees are Zach Ruske and Connor Vander Zalm of Buffalo, Roe’s EMU teammates Ryan Fulkerson, Dan Kish, Adam Wohl, Owen Grey and Donald Ellison, and Heaton’s Miami teammates Scott DuCharme, Michael Carroll and Darin Smith.
Women’s first-team All-MAC honorees returning from 2008 are Ohio’s Rachel Heim, Amanda Cecere, Ashley Marion and Stacey Huber for the favored Bobcats; Meg Reissig and Kylie Gamelier of Toledo; Miami’s Kelsey Vehr; Bowling Green’s Alisha Yee; and Alissa Ricard from Eastern Michigan.
The women’s championships will be held February 25-28 and hosted by Bowling Green State University. The regular season conference competition begins October 31 with all eight teams in dual meets with Ohio at Akron, Eastern Michigan at Bowling Green, Miami at Buffalo, and Ball State at Toledo.
The men’s championships will be held in conjunction with the Sun Belt Conference on February 18-21 in Nashville. The men’s regular season league competition begins Nov. 7 when Ball State hosts Buffalo.
Women’s Poll Results
4. Eastern Michigan
t-5. Bowling Green
8. Ball State
Men’s Poll Results
1. Eastern Michigan
4. Ball State