BUFFALO, N.Y. - Though it didn't produce any champions through the first six events, Miami University stands first after the opening day of the 2013 Mid-American Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.
Ohio trails Miami (191 points) in the team standings with 172 points and Eastern Michigan is third with 155 points.
The RedHawks top placers were Bekka Westrick who placed second in the 50 freestyle, Leah Thornton who took third in the 200 individual medley, Courtney Collett who finished fourth in the 500 free, and Nikki Craft who placed fifth in the one-meter diving event.
Coach Dave Jennings was moderately pleased with the results.
"We had a solid first day and pretty much raced the way we have all season," said Jennings. "We just need to keep doing what we're doing."
The first event of the night was the 200 freestyle relay and Miami captured 32 points with a third-place finish by the quartet of Westrick, Cynthia Donovan, Maegan O'Connor and Maddie Kete. Their time of 1:31.84 finished behind champion Buffalo (1:30.46) and runner-up Ohio (1:31.58). Host Buffalo won the 200 free relay.
Miami's four entries in 500 freestyle competition combined for 34 points. Collett got 15 points with a fourth-place finish in the finals (season-best 4:50.39), Pearce won the consolation finals and placed ninth (season-best 4:52.89), followed by Molly Tyler (season-best 4:55.81) in 11th place and Whitney Mitchell (season-best 4:57.72) in 13th place. Eastern Michigan's Brianna Emig won the event.
The RedHawks' three entries in the 200 IM totaled 36 points. Thornton placed third in a season-best time of 2:01.51 while freshman teammate Aubrey Kluth touched the wall with the fifth-best time (2:02.57). Nicole Wagner placed third in the consolation finals, 11th overall, with a season-best time of 2:03.53. At that point, Miami led Bowling Green in the team standings, 102-80. Buffalo's Brittney Kuras placed first in the 200 IM.
Miami had three of the top nine finishers in the 50 freestyle, earning 39 points. Westrick was the runner-up in a time of 22.57, Maddie Kete placed sixth (23.22) and Donovan won the consolation final in a season-best time of 23.12. Buffalo's Mallory Morrell won the 50 free.
Craft picked up 14 points after her 292.35 effort on the one-meter board, placing fifth. Senior Corey Bangs was a very pleasant surprise with her 13th-place performance of 257.55. EMU's Danielle Hulvey took first in the one-meter competition.
In the final event of the evening, the 400 medley relay, the team of Thornton, Stacie Clagg, O'Connor and Kete placed third with a season-best time of 3:42.80. Ball State finished first.
Friday's events include the 400 IM, the 100 butterfly, the 200 freestyle, the 100 breaststroke and the 100 backstroke. Friday evening's finals also include the 200 medley relay and the 800 free relay.
Standings after six events:
Miami, 191 pts
Ohio, 172 pts
Eastern Michigan, 155 pts
Buffalo, 147 pts
Bowling Green, 135 pts
Toledo, 109 pts
Akron, 96 pts
Ball State, 87 pts