ATHENS, Ohio, February 5. LIVING up to the reputation as one of the Mid-American Conference's best rivalries, the Ohio swimming and diving team defeated Miami Saturday afternoon in a back-and-forth struggle by a final score of 163-135. Highlighting the win for the Bobcats were seniors Rachel Heim (San Diego, Calif.), Lindsay Hamilton (White City, Saskatchewan), and freshman Laurin Williams (Shoreline, Wash.), as all three athletes recorded two wins on the day.
"I'm extremely pleased with the way we performed today," said head coach Greg Werner. "Miami has sort of set the tone for the conference after knocking off defending champion Toledo last week, so I was really impressed with our team today."
Miami jumped out to an early 15-0 lead after sweeping the 200 Medley Relay, but Williams and Annika Games (Brea, Calif.) responded with a crucial 12 points in the 100 Free with first and third-place finishes, respectively.
Stacey Huber (Gainesville, Fla.) and Sarah Owen (Portsmouth, Hampshire, England) took the lead for Ohio in the 200 Free as the duo finished first and third with times of 1:53.53 and 1:54.91, respectively. Heim and freshman Anastasia Bocharnikova (Nizhny Tagil, Russia) added to the lead by taking first and third in the 100 Back with times of 56.73 and 57.47, respectively.
The RedHawks would respond in the 100 Breast, however, as they took the top two spots in the 100 Breast. Petra Chomicz (King's Lynn, Norfolk, England) finished third in the event with a time of 1:05.98. Miami continued its run into the 200 Fly as they won the event despite a third-place finish from Amanda Cecere (Chelmsford, Mass.) with a time of 2:07.20.
"We knew what we were in for today going up against Miami, so I thought we responded well," said Werner. "It was a great contest."
Ohio got back on track in the 50 Free as Lauren Funk (Springfield, Ohio) and Annie Donovan (Findlay, Ohio) finished first and third in the event with times of 23.57 and 23.64, respectively. The Bobcats increased their lead going into the 3-meter diving thanks to impressive performances by Hamilton, Kristin Capcik, (Milwaukee, Wisc.), and Alexa Gordish (North Canton, Ohio). Hamilton won the event with an overall score of 326.63, while Capcik and Gordish took third and fourth with overall scores of 255.29 and 230.10, respectively. Capcik's score marked a personal-best for the freshman, breaking her old score of 246.52.
Heim continued her success into the 100 Free as she took first place with a personal-best time of 51.51. Owen, Bocharnikova, and Rachel Stearns (Minnetonka, Minn.) swept the 200 Back, placing first, second, and third with times of 2:03.40, 2:04.46, and 2:04.49, respectively. Miami would respond with a win in the 200 Breast, but impressive individual efforts from Williams and Huber erased any RedHawk momentum, as they took first and second in the 500 Free with times of 5:00.74 and 5:01.32, respectively.
Heim and Hamilton solidified Ohio's lead with first-place finishes in the 100 Fly and 1-meter boards. The relay squad of Funk, Heim, Abby Corcoran (Tucson, Ariz.) and Katey Brooks (North Royalton) later sealed the deal for Ohio as they took first place in the 400 Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:28.15.
The Bobcats will now head into the upcoming MAC Championships with an overall record of 10-2 and 4-1 in MAC competition. Ohio will host the Championships Feb. 23-26 at the Ohio University Aquatic Center. Information regarding the Championships will be available on www.ohiobobcats.com the week prior to the event.
"Obviously we're happy with the results today, but the real test is yet to come," said Werner. "We have to get prepared in these next two weeks and be ready to go when the time comes."
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