BUFFALO, N.Y. - Miami University holds a 119-point margin over second-place Ohio in the team standings after two days of the 2013 Mid-American Conference Swimming and Diving Championships.
Amazingly, the RedHawks' 456 team points have been amassed without a single Miami swimmer or diver winning an individual or relay championship. Friday night, however, two RedHawk relay teams-the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay-were runners-up, as was Leah Thornton is the 100-yard backstroke event. Miami also had a pair of fourth-place finishes, four sixth-place efforts, one seventh place performer, and two swimmers placed eighth. Five other RedHawk competitors added points in consolation final events.
Friday evening began for Miami with a second-place effort by Leah Thornton, Nicole Wagner, Bekka Westrick and Maddie Kete in the 200 medley relay. They had a season-best time of 1:40.41. Ohio's relay unit won the race with a time of 1:39.87.
Freshman Aubrey Kluth placed fourth in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:21.46 to lead the RedHawks. Teammate Stacie Clagg finished eighth (4:24.07), while Brianna Fujan won the consolation finals to claim nine additional points for her team. Toledo's Carly Harter (4:15.66) won the event.
In the 100 butterfly, the RedHawks had two veterans, but neither senior Maegan O'Connor (4th, 54.39) nor senior Bekka Westrick (6th, season-best 54.18) had enough to keep up with champion Mallory Miles (53.64) of Ball State.
Miami's Courtney Collett placed sixth in the 200 freestyle finals with a time of 1:50.66, well behind Buffalo's Brittney Kuras who touched the wall in 1:47.83. Senior Molly Tyler (10th, season-best 1:51.58) and classmate Maddie Kete (13th, 1:51.95) combined for 11 more team points in the consolation finals.
RedHawk swimmers took sixth, seventh and eighth place in the 100 breaststroke finals. Wagner (6th, 1:02.91), Gabbie Pettinichi (7th, 1:03.43) and Stacia Schacter (8th, 1:03.28) tallied a total of 36 points for Miami, giving it a 69-point lead in the team standings at that point. Ball State's Bridget Ruehl (1:00.58) won the event.
In the 100 backstroke, defending MAC champion Leah Thornton (54.30) was barely edged out by Ohio's Addy Ferguson (54.02). Miami had two other swimmers in the finals-Maegan O'Connor (4th, season-best 55:18) and Brianna Fujan (6th, 55.61). Bootsma won the consolation finals, finishing ninth overall, with a season-best time of 56.06.
Miami senior Corey Bangs placed 14th in the three-meter diving consolations. She recorded a score of 273.75, a season best.
The final event Friday evening was the 800 freestyle relay. Miami's team consisted of Bekka Westrick, Courtney Collett, Molly Tyler and Leah Thornton. Their time of 7:23.55 was a second-and-a-half slower than champion Buffalo (7:22.04).
Miami needs one more day of solid performances to claim its 17th MAC title. The Championships conclude on Saturday with action in the 1650 freestyle, the 200 backstroke, the 100 freestyle, the 200 breaststroke, the 200 butterfly, three-meter diving, and the 400 freestyle relay.
1. Miami 456
2. Ohio 337
3. Bowling Green 327
4. Buffalo 286
Toledo 256 (tie)
Eastern Michigan 256 (tie)
7. Ball State 239
8. Akron 202