By Melissa Maykut
Miami's seniors ended their regular season careers on a high note against Ball State. Completing Senior Day in a perfect way, the Miami University men's swimming and diving team topped the Ball State Cardinals, 148-118.
Lindsay said he was pleased with the way his guys swam today, commenting on the energy level his team brought to the meet this morning.
"I thought the seniors swam pretty well, the energy level was pretty high and there were some good races across the board," Lindsay said. "I was pleased. Our guys continued to fight. It was a good meet."
In the first three events of the morning, the RedHawks stayed close on the Cardinals' heels. Freshman Davis Staley sprinted to a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke in 51.87, while Joyce earned three points for Miami in third (53.14).
In both the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly, the RedHawks finished two-three-four. Whipp went runner-up in the 100 breast in 59.12, while junior Jonathan Profitt finished third (59.17) and junior Will Olson took fourth (1:00.05). Junior Michael Cavanaugh took second in the 100 fly (51.20), with freshman Tyler Simonton taking third two seconds later (53.87) and Reinhardt finishing fourth (54.11).
After three events, Miami was down 30-27, but a victory in the 1000 free gave the RedHawks a one point lead over the Cardinals. Junior Sean Minderlein was the man to catch in the 1000 free as he powered his way to a 9:54.22 victory. Ball State's Nick Stevens couldn't keep up with Minderlein, finishing runner-up eight seconds later in 10:02.98.
After that race, the momentum shifted in Miami's favor. Freshman Chris Dieter dominated the 200 free in 1:43.77. Reinhardt was right behind in second (1:44.17), while Joyce finished third in 1:44.60.
Joyce earned another third-place finish in the 50 free when he tied with teammate Sam Reeder in a time of 21.97. Sophomore Joe Baumgartner was the victor in the race, hitting the wall in 21.32. Baumgartner later earned a second individual victory in the 100 free in 47.01.
With a 68-45 lead over the Cardinals, Cavanaugh added another nine points to Miami's lead with a 1:54.25 victory in the 200 IM. Sophomore Andrew Kilkenny added another four points with a runner-up finish in the event (1:56.46). Kilkenny later earned the top time in the 500 free at 4:43.49.
The RedHawks again went two-three-four in the 200 fly, with junior Maxwell Cain earning four points for Miami in second place (1:58.05). Sophomore Michael Heavilon placed third (1:58.07) and Reinhardt took fourth (2:00.23).
Neri continued to shine for Miami when the RedHawk freshman posted the second-fastest time in the 200 back, touching the wall in 1:54.68. At this point, Miami held a comfortable 123-81 lead over the Cardinals.
Over on the diving boards, Grainger took the top score in the one-meter event (318.89), while Hoppler registered the second-highest score (313.12). In the three-meter diving contest, Hoppler finished with the top score (368.62) and freshman Michael Nash went runner-up (327.75).
In the final individual event of the morning, Miami registered the second, third, and fourth fastest times of the 200 breast. Freshman Evan Bader had the runner-up time (2:08.12), sophomore Sam Crockett took third (2:11.95), and Olson finished fourth (2:14.75).
The RedHawks closed the meet with a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Baumgartner, Reeder, freshman Jake Prodoehl, and sophomore Chris Breger took the top time in 1:26.20, clinching the relay and meet win.
Before competition began, head coach Pete Lindsay took a few minutes to honor the seniors before the final home meet of their careers. Senior divers Grainger and Hoppler have been in the MAC diving finals the past three years for Miami. Reinhardt is a three-time MAC champ in the 1650 and 500 freestyle races. Senior captains Joyce and Anderson Whipp have been the heart of the RedHawks this season, keeping the team positive and motivated, in and out of the pool.
Miami will have a little less than a month before travelling to Carbondale, Ill. for the MAC championships Mar. 7-9. The swimmers who do not compete at MACs will stay in Oxford to race in the Ohio Senior Championships Mar. 1-3.