Feb. 25, 2012
AKRON, Ohio -- First- and third-place diving performances by Miami's Nikki Craft and Lacey Houser helped Coach Dave Jennings' RedHawks capture third place at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Women's Swimming & Diving Championships in Akron Saturday.
Craft was selected as the MAC's Diver of the Year.
Toledo won the team crown with 635 points, 23 more than runner-up Ohio with 612 points. Miami placed third with 524 points, followed by Buffalo (448), Eastern Michigan (392), Ball State (317), Akron (287) and Bowling Green (268).
The highlight of the final night of competition came from diving coach KR LI's proteges. Craft's title on the three-meter board was Miami's first MAC championship in that event since Cassie Eakins won in 2000. It's only the ninth time that a RedHawk diver has won a MAC title. Craft scored 334.05 on her six dives, edging out Ohio's Morgan Srail by less than a point (333.10). Houser's score of 324.10 placed the RedHawk freshman third among the eight finalists.
In the first swimming event Saturday night, the 1,650 freestyle, JENNY WARMOLTS (a personal-best time of 17:04.24)and Courtney Collett (17:09.96) placed 13th and 14th, respectively.
Thornton tried to sweep the MAC backstroke events, but she wound up in fifth place in the 200 backstroke finals with a season-best time of 1:59.28. Warmolts (2:01.79), Brianna Fujan (2:02.30) and freshman Katie Bootsma (2:03.63) respectively placed 12th, 15th and 16th in the consolation finals.
Miami had two entries in the 100 freestyle finals. Westrick (season-best time of 49.78) placed third, while teammate Kete (50.83) finished 7th.
In the 200 breaststroke event, Clagg was the sixth swimmer to touch the wall, clocking in with a season-best time of 2:17.27. Sophomore KAYLA SCOTT (2:21.28) placed 16th in the consolation finals.
Three RedHawks were finalists or consolation finalists in the 200 butterfly. Maegan O'Connor (2:02.05) placed sixth, senior Kelsey Mallon (2:03.00) placed 13th in her final race as a RedHawk, and Collett finished in 16th-place (2:14.13).
In the last event Saturday night, Miami's foursome of Westrick, Kete, O'Connor and Thornton placed third in the 400 freestyle relay with a season-best time of 3:23.80.
2012 MAC Swimming and Diving Awards
2012 Women’s Outstanding Swimmer of the Year – Brittney Kuras, Buffalo
2012 MAC Women’s Outstanding Diver – Nikki Craft, Miami
2012 MAC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year – Liz Hinkleman, Toledo
2012 MAC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year – Buck Smith, Eastern Michigan
2012 Women’s Swimming and Diving All-MAC First Team
Brittney Kuras, Buffalo
Mallory Morrell, Buffalo
Briana Emig, Eastern Michigan
Kelly Hendricks, Eastern Michigan
Nikki Craft, Miami
Maegan O’Connor, Miami
Leah Thornton, Miami
Bekka Westrick, Miami
Rachel Stearns, Ohio
Laurin Williams, Ohio
Carly Harter, Toledo
Rachel Johnson, Toledo
Claire Leichty, Toledo
Laura Lindsay, Toledo
Beth Rogers, Toledo
2012 Women’s Swimming and Diving All-MAC Second Team
Mallory Miles, Ball State
Bridgette Ruehl, Ball State
Alexis Kain, Bowling Green
Allie Schirmers, Buffalo
Taylor Steffl, Buffalo
Jessie Godlewski, Eastern Michigan
Stacie Clagg, Miami
Lacey Houser, Miami
Maddie Kete Miami
Amanda Cecere, Ohio
Emma Michaels, Ohio
Sarah Owen , Ohio
Christina Noens, Toledo
Louise Smith, Toledo