By Melissa Maykut
The Miami University women's swimming team cruised to a 173-113 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons Friday evening at the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center. Impressive performances from freshman Aubrey Kluth, sophomore Courtney Collett, and from a handful of seniors improved the team's record to 3-1. The Falcons record fell to 2-1.
Determined to add another win to their season, the RedHawks started out hot Friday evening with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Seniors Leah Thornton, Stacie Clagg, Lisa Werwinski, and Maddie Kete raced to a 1:46.33 victory in the event, finishing the relay a whole second before the Falcons. The team also improved on the 1:48.16 time that Thornton, Clagg, Maegan O'Connor, and Ellen Barhorst posted in last week's meet against Evansville.
Miami's seniors continued with powerful momentum against the Falcons, earning first- and second-place finishes from Thornton, Bekka Westrick, Clagg, O'Connor, and Laura Krueger.
"Our seniors are really stepping up," head coach Dave Jennings said. "Our whole senior class has reached their level of training and what they're doing, and it's showing. It's showing they're taking that leadership role and really doing a good job with it."
Thornton had several top finishes after the 200 medley, earning top scores in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. Thornton beat out her teammate Maegan O'Connor for the first-place finish, swimming the 100 back in 58.22. In the 200 back, Thornton found herself neck and neck with Bowling Green's Alexa Harris, touching the wall a mere one-tenth of a second behind Harris to finish second in 2:04.76.
Westrick also had two victories for the day, swimming to wins in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Westrick sprinted to her first-place finish in the 50 free in 23.56, then beat out the Falcons' Emily Bennett one event later in the 100 free, touching the wall in 52.09.
Clagg earned three excellent scores throughout the day, dominating the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 IM. In the 100 breast, Clagg finished second with a time of 1:06.01, but sprinted to a first-place finish in the 200 breast, winning the event in 2:21.05. Several events later, Clagg swam to a second-place victory in the 200 IM with a time of 2:09.60.
Miami also saw impressive performances from O'Connor, who placed first in the 100 butterfly in 56.64, and from senior Laura Krueger who finished second in the 200 fly with a time of 2:08.09.
Jennings saw notable races from freshman Aubrey Kluth and sophomore Courtney Collett Friday, as well.
Kluth paced herself to a first-place finish in the 1000 free with a time of 10:25.93. Kluth touched the wall two seconds before her teammate Stephanie Pearce, who finished second in 10:27.75.
Collett swam an outstanding race in the 500 freestyle where she cruised to a first-place finish in 5:05.61. Collett had a quick start out of the blocks and held a comfortable lead throughout the race. She finished two seconds before Pearce (5:07.67) who placed second, and was a whole three seconds faster than Bowling Green's Emily Waller, who touched the wall in 5:08.01.
Overall, Jennings is proud of the racing his team had against a solid Bowling Green squad, but still wants to work on the team's "skills and drills" like starts and turns.
"We still seem to be getting beat on those and that's something we just have to be a lot better at, especially as we get through the rest of the year."
Miami's women's team will compete in it second away meet of the season Friday, Nov. 9 against Kenyon in Gambler, Ohio. The start time for that meet is 5:30 p.m.
The RedHawks' men's swimming team will compete against Cleveland State tomorrow (Sat.) at the Nixon Aquatic Center. The first race begins at 2 p.m.