By Melissa Maykut
OXFORD, Ohio - Attempting to keep its perfect Mid-American Conference record (4-0) alive, the Miami University women's swimming team will battle Ball State in the team's final home meet of the season. Miami will recognize 13 seniors during Saturday's (Feb. 2) Senior Day. Those ceremonies will begin at 12:45 p.m. in the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center.
After an impressive win Jan. 26 against Toledo, the defending MAC champs, the RedHawks prepare to take on the Ball State Cardinals. Miami aims to improve upon its overall record of 9-1.
"We want to continue racing well, and we still got a lot of detail things we have to work on," head coach Dave Jennings said. "It seems like I'm saying this every week, but the MAC is really strong, top to bottom, and so you're going to see a Ball State team that swam really, really well at their championships last year."
In addition to strong leadership in the pool, the RedHawks' 13 seniors will graduate with a grade-point average above 3.5. The epitome of Miami's 91 percent student-athlete graduation success rate--10 percent higher than the national rate--the RedHawk women also have excelled in the pool. Of their 44 dual meets over the past four years, Miami has a record of 35-9, including a MAC dual meet mark of 18-4.
Here are highlights and comments from Jennings' about his 13 outstanding seniors:
Just recently returning to the team, Bangs has been a top 16 scorer for the RedHawks in conference competition.
"She's doing a nice job getting back into it, so hopefully Corrine can help us at the MAC championships."
Graduating with a 3.80 GPA, Barhorst has acted as a motivator for the team, staying positive and upbeat, even during tough times.
"She really responds well in a pressure-packed situation," Jennings said. "She has kept our group very light and has really done a nice job."
Clagg has significantly developed in the breaststroke events over her four years at Miami. She'll challenge for a MAC title in late February.
"Stacie is a very hard worker," Jennings said. "She brings her game every day and races well. You can really count on Stacie. She's been fun to coach."
Graduating with a 3.82 GPA, Grandjean has developed into a strong butterfly and backstroke swimmer, and never backs down from a challenge.
"She's very competitive," Jennings said. "She really wants to get out and help the team. Mandi is one that adds that fire to our team."
Graduating with a 3.66 GPA, Jennings said that Kete had a rocky start as a freshman, but has stepped up and become one of the hardest workers on the team.
"She puts her heart and sole into what she does," Jennings said. "She's also been, especially these last couple years, what I call the spirit of our team. She's real positive and likes to have a lot of fun."
Graduating with a 3.54 GPA, Krueger is a dangerous butterfly swimmer with a strong work ethic.
"She is, without a doubt, one of the most dedicated kids we have on our team," Jennings said. "Laura is really team oriented and would do anything for our program. She is somebody that just defines being a great teammate."
Graduating with a 3.63 GPA, she brings her "A" game during every competition. O'Connor became the conference champ last year in the 100 fly and was an Olympic trial qualifier.
"Maegan is probably one of the best racers I've ever seen," Jennings said.
As a walk-on swimmer four years ago, Jennings described Schacter as a "great success story" for the RedHawks.
"Stacia is going to be a major factor in the conference championships," Jennings said. "One thing that's a trend of our seniors is big meet swimmers, so she brings her game when it counts."
Graduating with 3.6 GPA in zoology, Thornton is a top candidate for the backstroke conference titles this year. She will defend her two-time 100 back conference title at MACs this season.
"Leah is a very hard worker and really studies the sport of swimming," Jennings said. "She performs well at the right time."
Graduating with a 3.54 GPA, Tyler is another success story for Miami, walking on to the team her freshmen year. Beginning her career as a 400 IM swimmer, Tyler is now found her place as a freestyler.
"Molly is a quiet young lady, but very loyal, very dedicated, and a very hard worker."
Graduating with a 3.84 GPA, Warmolts has had a great career at Miami but has suffered injuries this season that have left her out of competition.
"Jenny's been a finalist in the MAC championships her last couple years," Jennings said. "Like many of her classmates, she is a very dedicated, very highly academic student."
Graduating with an impressive 3.98 GPA, Werwinski went from being a walk-on to becoming a scholarship diver. She has scored for the RedHawks in each of the last two conference meets.
"Lisa has really matured as a young women, but is also very dedicated to her academics," Jennings said. "Here's a girl that's going to have a graduate degree, as well as an undergraduate degree, when she graduates at the end of this semester."
Westrick has developed into one of the best all-time swimmers at Miami, keeping a fun, positive attitude in and out of the pool.
"She has worked really hard from day one to get where she is today," Jennings said. "When all is said and done, Bekka is going to end up as one of the best swimmers we've had at Miami."
The 2013 MAC Championships will be held from Feb. 28 through Mar. 2 at the University at Buffalo.