By Melissa Maykut

OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University's women's swimming team blew the Xavier musketeers out of the water Saturday, Oct. 20 when they competed in their season opener at the Corwin A. Nixon Aquatic Center. Defeating Xavier 154.5 points to 81.5, the RedHawks showed depth and leadership, earning first-place finishes in all 13 events.

"It was a solid weekend," head coach Dave Jennings said. "I thought we were a little shaky last night at Purdue, but I think they kind of readjusted and figured out what they were doing, and came back and did a nice job today."

Miami showed impressive talent from its freshman class when two rookies took the top two spots in the 1000-yard freestyle. Katie Blodgett swam to a first-place finish in a time of 10:28.25, earning nine points for her team. Teammate Christina Favia touched the wall four seconds later in a time of 10:32.17.

Jennings said the freshman class really stepped up, helping their team to the first win of the season.

First-place finishes just kept coming for Miami when Bekka Westrick finished in 1:53.12 in the 200 freestyle. Westrick earned her second first-place finish of the day in the 200 backstroke, touching the wall at 2:08.57. Teammate Maddie Kete finished second in the 200 free with a time of 1:55.41. Sophomore Emma Craig, right on Kete's heels, finished in 1:56.59.

Senior Stacia Schacter swam to a No.1 finish in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:07.29. One event later, senior Maegan O'Connor sprinted to a top finish in the 100 backstroke, hitting the wall at 58.66.

Senior Leah Thorton led the RedHawks in the 200 butterfly, touching the wall first in 2:08.02.  Thornton then posted a top exhibition time in the 100 butterfly when she finished the race in 58.34.

Three RedHawks raced each other to the top three spots in the 50-yard freestyle. Donovan earned the top placing, touching the wall in 24.02. Sara Krueger placed second in 24.28 and Annie Marquiss finished in 24.31.

Every Miami swimmer seemed to have an opportunity to win a race Saturday. Barhorst took first in the 100 free with a time of 53.28. Marquiss finished second in 53.81. In the 200 breaststroke, it was Gabbie Pettinichi's turn, winning the event in 2:26.31. It was Aubrey Kluth's turn in the 500 free when she earned her first-place finish of the day in a time of 5:06.22. Senior Stacie Clagg posted the top exhibition time of the day in the 400 IM, touching the wall in 4:31.02. Kluth finished second in the race with a time of 4:32.28.

The RedHawks dominated the two relays of the day, taking the top four spots in the 400 yard medley relay and the top spot in the 400 freestyle relay. O'Connor, Krueger, sophomore Brianna Fujan, and junior Nicole Wagner took first in the 400 medley with a time of 3:58.66. Fujan, Donovan, Westrick, and Kete earned another victory in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:32.60.

The women's team will be back in the pool Friday, Oct. 26 for their second home meet of the season against Evansville.