Dates and Times: Nov. 29 (6 p.m.); Nov. 30 (9 a.m. & 6 p.m.); Dec. 1 (9 a.m. & 6 p.m.)
Ticket Prices: $5 for adults, $3 for youth. One wristband gets you in for the entire day. Heat sheets are $1 each.
Live Stats: Follow Thu., Fri. and Sat. action here.
OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University men's and women's swimming and diving teams will return to the pool Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 to host the 19th Annual Miami Invitational at the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center. The RedHawks will face off against Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, Denison, Emory, Urbana, Marshall, and Wright State.
Head coach Dave Jennings says his goal, more than anything else, is to get as many of his swimmers as possible to compete in second events to begin preparing for the MAC championship later this season.
"We hope that the girls can swim well in the morning so they can come back and have a second swim at night," Jennings says. "If we can get the majority, or hopefully a big percentage of our team to come back and get second swims, to me that's one of the main, overall goals."
The women's team has been vigorously training the past couple weeks for the Invitational, but fit in a meet against Kenyon Nov. 9. The RedHawks cruised to a 175-116 win over their opponent, improving their record to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the MAC.
The seniors paved the way for the RedHawks, winning seven of the 11 events in which Miami was victorious. Senior Leah Thornton had an impressive night, winning the 100 backstroke (58.40) and the 200 back (2:06.34), while Stacie Clagg swam away with victories in the 200 breaststroke (2:25.09) and the 400 individual medley (4:34.59). Bekka Westrick also recorded a win against Kenyon, finishing the 50 freestyle in 23.84. Maddie Kete dominated the 100 free, hitting the wall first in 52.29, while teammate Molly Tyler swam away with the win in the 200 free in 1:55.03.
While the women's team was battling at Kenyon, the men's team was in Columbus competing against the Buckeyes. Sophomore Joe Baumgartner won the 50 free (21.32) and the 100 free (46.80), while freshman Sean Neri finished second in the 100 back (53.00). Unfortunately, Miami fell to Ohio State, 140-112, dropping the team's record to 2-2-1 overall and 1-0 in the MAC.
Focusing now on the Miami Invitational, head coach Pete Lindsay says he expects his team to compete well despite there being seven other schools and larger crowds with whom to share their pool.
"With 15 teams here, you don't have your own warm-up space, you don't have a spot where you can get away from everything," Lindsay said, "so we'll see how they react to those conditions."
Miami Invitational 2011
Last season, the Miami women's team finished on top, placing first in the Invitational with 2,637 points. Sophomore Courtney Collett won the 1650 freestyle in 16:47.54, while senior Maegan O'Connor won the 200 butterfly, breaking her own record with an NCAA "B" time of 2:00.10.
Westrick was a force to be reckoned with at last year's invitational, winning the 50 free in 22.81. As she touched the wall just under 23 seconds, Westrick became only the second female swimmer in Miami history to break the 23 second barrier. Westrick also set a personal and school record in the 100 fly, finishing in 53.53, becoming the first RedHawk to finish the event in under 54 seconds.
Clagg paced the 100 breast event, winning in 1:03.71, and Thornton was victorious in the 100 back, hitting the wall in a time of 55.16.
The men's team raced to a fourth-place finish with 1,156 points. Dennison placed first at the meet, finishing the weekend with 2,459.5 points.
Sophomore Andrew Kilkenny and senior Alex Reinhardt were part of Miami's 800-yard freestyle relay team that finished second overall with a time of 6:47.53. Baumgartner also put out some strong performances last season, finishing tenth overall in the 100 free with a season-best time of 45.94. He also finished 16th overall in the 200 free and 17th overall in the 50 free.
Meet the Competition
Wright State: The Raiders will be one of seven schools competing against the RedHawks this weekend. The women's team is 3-5 overall, coming off a 164-122 defeat against Oakland Nov. 3. Senior Justyna Hampel leads her team with top times in the 100, 200, 500, and 100 free events, as well as the second best time in the 50 free. The men's team is 3-4 on the season thus far, with junior John Vigar paving the way with top times in the same events as Hampel. Last season, the women's team finished fifth at the Miami Invitational, while the men's team placed sixth.
Urbana: The Blue Knights' swimming program is in its fifth season, boasting a 4-8 record for the women's team and a 4-7 record for the men's team so far this season. Senior freestyle swimmer Breanne Schroeder holds five individual records for Urbana: the 50 free, the 100 free, the 200 free, the 500 free, and the 1000 free. Sophomore Kim Helander leads the men's team, holding nine total school records. In particular, Helander's best event is the 100 free where he swam a 49.10 time, the 15th fastest time in the NCAA Division II last season.
Marshall: Unlike the other six teams competing, the Thundering Herd will only race its women's team in the Miami Invitational this season. The team suffered its first loss of the season to Vanderbilt, dropping the meet 163-124. Sophomore Kacey Preun holds top times in the 200, 500, 1000, and 1650 free events, the 200 breast, and the 200 and 400 individual medleys. Senior diver Lauren Rone has qualified for zones for the third time this season and holds top scores in the one-meter and three-meter diving events.
Western Kentucky: Both the men's and women's swimming teams for Western Kentucky won their Hilltopper Invitational Nov. 15-17. Sophomore Allie Duff, one of the team's strongest competitors, broke an individual record in the 200 back, as well as in 400 free and 200 medley relays during the Hilltopper Invitational. Senior Billy Kunkel also broke individual records in the 100 breast, 200 IM, and 200 free relay during the invitational.
Denison: The Big Red women's team is 2-2 so far this season, downing Kenyon, 149.5-147.5, Nov. 3. The team won its fifth-straight North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) title last season, and finished third at the NCAA Division III tournament. Senior Alyssa Swanson leads the way for Denison as a four-time national champion and 17-time All-American. The team finished third last season at the Miami Invitational. The men's team is 3-1 so far this season, coming off a second consecutive NCAA Division III title last season. The team returns junior Al Weik. He holds the national records in the 500 and 1650 free events. The team won last year's Miami Invitational.
Emory: Emory's women's team (2-2) won its third consecutive NCAA championship last season, and finished second at the Miami Invitational last year. Junior Sadie Nenning holds individual top times in the 50, 100, and 200 back events. The men's team is coming to Oxford off a 114-83 loss to Georgia. The team finished second at the Miami Invitational last season. Senior James Douglas holds top times in the 100 and 200 fly events, while junior Jacob Stephens holds individual top times in the 50 and 100 free, and the 400 IM.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats are coming off a tough battle at the Purdue Invitational Nov. 16-18. The women's team finished sixth, while the men's team placed seventh. Both teams placed seventh at the Big East Conference Championships last year.