CARBONDALE, Ill. - Miami University's men's swimming and diving team finished fourth at the Mid-American Conference Championships Saturday night, improving upon their fifth-place effort of a year ago.
Narrowly winning the team title was Eastern Michigan with 772 points, followed by runner-up Missouri State with 766 points. Buffalo (3rd, 698.5 points), Miami (419.5), host Southern Illinois (5th, 391 points), Ball State (6th, 186 points) and Evansville (7th, 162) rounded out the MAC final standings.
Saturday evening's events began with the grueling 1650 freestyle where Miami senior Alex Reinhardt placed eighth in a time of 15:44.86. He and teammate Sean Minderlein (12th, 16:09.23) picked up a total of 16 team points for Coach Pete Lindsay's squad.
Freshman Davis Staley placed sixth in event 15, the 200 backstroke. His time of 1:49.11 collected 13 team points for the RedHawks. In the consolation finals, Miami's Jake Prodoehl (10th, 1:48.82), Mike Kline (12th, 1:49.55), Sean Neri (13th, 1:50.79) and Ian Joyce (14th, 1:51.22) combined for 19 additional points, moving the RedHawks back into fourth place, ahead of SIU by eight-and-a-half points.
Joe Baumgartner took fifth place in the 100 freestyle for Miami, touching the wall in a time of 44.84. He was the only RedHawk who qualified for either the finals or the consolation finals.
Miami had three participants in the 200 breaststroke consolations. Sam Crockett (9th, 2:00.42), Evan Bader (10th, 2:01.67) and Will Olson (16th, 2:07.95) collected 17 more team points.
Miami's trio of 200 butterfly consolation finalists -- Michael Cavanaugh (9th, 1:50.88), Staley (11th, 1:52.68) and Andy Kilkenny (14th, 1:54.70) -- combined for 18 points.
In the three-meter diving finals, freshman Michael Nash saved perhaps his best effort of his collegiate career for Saturday night, placing fourth with a score of 354.10. Senior teammate Mike Grainger was right behind Nash in fifth place (352.70). Senior Chris Hoppler won the consolation finals, placing ninth overall, with 342.70 points. Miami's threesome accumulated 38 team points, clinching fourth place in the team standings.
The final event of the meet was the 400 freestyle relay and Miami's quartet of Baumgartner, Dieter, Prodoehl and Joyce placed sixth with a time of 3:03.15.
Baumgartner was named to the All-MAC second team in post-meet ceremonies.