Feb. 24, 2011


ATHENS, Ohio -- Miami University's women's swimming and diving team slipped to third place following the conclusion of day two's events at the Mid-American Conference Championships at Ohio University.

The host Bobcats lead all teams with 271 points, followed by Toledo with 195. Miami is third with 175 points, followed by Eastern Michigan in fourth (164), Akron in fifth (146), Buffalo in sixth (138.5), Bowling Green in seventh (131.5) and Ball State in eighth (85).

Despite a minimal number of swims, we had a pretty good day," said head coach Dave Jennings. "Ohio had a very good effort and they've got a pretty good lead at this point, so we'll just have to reel them in over these next two days."

RedHawk freshman diver Nikki Craft (Bay Village) came the closest to winning a championship Thursday night, placing second behind Ohio's Lindsay Hamilton in the one-meter event. Craft's score of 289.35 earned her an NCAA "B" standard and 17 team points. Teammates CORY BANGS (Monument, CO) earned five team points by finishing 12th, while Lisa Werwinski (Canton) placed 16th for one point.

The first final of the night came in the 500 freestyle. Toledo gobbled up 66 points by placing swimmers in first, second, fourth and fifth place. The best Miami placers were Sarah Bullock in 16th.

Miami's Megan Brunn (Mansfield) took third place in the 200 individual medley, swimming to a season-best and "B" standard time of 2:01.59. She earned 16 points for the RedHawks. Sophomore Katie Arlinghaus (Oxford) placed 14th in the 200 IM and won three points for her team.

Sophomores Bekka Westrick (Fairfield) and Maddie Kete (Bay Village) earned 26 points for the RedHawks in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing fourth and eighth, respectively. Freshman Cynthia Donovan (Cincinnati) placed 15th overall.

The evening's final event was the 200 freestyle relay. Miami's foursome of Westrick, Maegan O'Connor (Fishers, IN), Donovan and Kete placed fourth in a time of 1:32.89. Ohio won the 200 free relay in a MAC meet record time of 1:30.30.

Friday is a huge day for the RedHawks and they hope to narrow the gap between them and Ohio. In the 400 individual medley, Miamians Kelsey Vehr and Brunn have the first- and second-best times among MAC swimmers. Five of the MAC's eight best times in the 100 butterfly belong to RedHawks, so that's another crucial race. In the 200 freestyle, Red & White swimmers have the first- and third-best times in the conference. Led by defending 100 breaststroke champion Vehr, Miami has three of the league's top four times this year. The 100 backstroke, paced by Leah Thornton's MAC-best time, is another important race. And in the 400 medley relay, Miami's unit ranks first among all teams. The prelims begin at 11 a.m. and the finals start at 7 p.m.