The 2017 Mid-American Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships take place March 1-4, hosted by Southern Illinois University.
In 2016, Eastern Michigan dominated the meet, winning by nearly 200 points ahead of runner-up Buffalo. Missouri State finished third.
Last week at the women’s MAC Championships, Akron won their fourth-straight team title. The Eastern Michigan men will aim to win their third-consecutive—and 34th overall—MAC title.
5 Events to Watch:
1. 100 Breast
Eight men have already achieved the NCAA B standard in the 100 breast, the most out of any event in the conference. Last year, Buffalo’s Itai De La Vega won the race in record-setting fashion, setting a new meet and league mark at 53.69. De La Vega is only two-tenths from his winning time last year, but the top seed belongs to Missouri State’s Artur Osvath, who enters the meet with a time under the mark set one year ago. Look for a stacked and fast A-final on Saturday night.
2. 200 Fly
Of the 16 finalists in last year’s 200 fly final, 14 of them return this year. Southern Illinois’ Filippo Dell’Olio won the event in 2016 and returns as the second seed, four-tenths behind Osvath. Both Osvath and Dell’Olio are seeded well ahead of the competition and have already swum to NCAA B-standard times. Watch for these two to both have stellar weekends as they come face-to-face in the 200 fly.
3. 100 Free
With the top three swimmers in this event last year graduated, new names will emerge this year as the conference’s top sprinter. Three men have already been under the 45-second barrier so far this season, led by Eastern Michigan’s Jake Tyson. According to the psych sheets, the top ten swimmers are separated by just over one second.
4. 3-Meter Diving
Eastern Michigan’s Alex Chan, last year’s MAC Outstanding Diver, will aim to win his fourth-consecutive 3m diving event after setting a new meet record. Entering his final season of eligibility, the senior will have his sets on breaking the league record set back in 2010; he was 0.70 shy last year.
5. 400 Medley Relay
While all the relays should be close, the 400 medley will be extra exciting to watch. Last year, the top three teams were separated by only 0.29. Southern Illinois took the title last year, followed closely by Eastern Michigan and Buffalo, respectively. The teams return the majority of their relay swimmers: all but Eastern Michigan is only losing one senior due to graduation. Missouri State, who took fourth in 2016, is the top seed headed into the meet, adding yet another team to what should be another tight race.