Feb. 25, 2012


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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.

Miami's Maegan O'Connor were named first-team All-MAC, while Maddie Kete, Stacie Clagg and Lacey Houser earned second-team honors.

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