Mid-American Conference Championships, Day Four

AKRON, Ohio, February 25. THERE must have been something in the water Saturday for the final night of the 2012 MAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships because records didn’t just fall, they plummeted. In five of the seven events Saturday night the meet, MAC and pool records, belonging to the Oliver J. Ocasek Natatorium fell. In the midst of the records falling, the University of Toledo earned their second ever MAC Championship in women’s swimming and diving. Toledo overcame an 80-point deficit after the first day to take the 2012 MAC title with a three-day score of 635. Ohio finished second at 612, followed by Miami, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Akron and Bowling Green.

Claire Leichty of Toledo opened the final night of the 2012 Championships with a MAC record of 16:11.80 in the 1650 freestyle. Leichty defended her title in impressive form as she broke the previous record by .72 seconds, set by former teammate and current Toledo assistant coach Jacy Dyer. Laurin Williams of Ohio finished second with a 16:14.02, and Briana Emig of Eastern Michigan finished third with a 16:16.89. The three medalists, along with Rachel Johnson of Toledo all broke the ONAT’s pool record.

Ohio’s Rachel Stearns swam one of the best swims of the weekend setting a meet, MAC and pool record in the 200 backstroke. Stearns blazed her way through the pool to record a time of 1:55.65, 1.5 seconds ahead of the previous record. Ohio teammate Sarah Owen took second with a 1:57.86, and Toledo’s Christina Noens took third with a 1:58.47.

Buffalo’s Brittney Kuras was next to have her moment as she set the pool record with a time of 48.90 in the 100 freestyle. Toledo’s Carly Harter took second for the Rockets as she also broke the ONAT record, and Bekka Westrick took third for the RedHawks.

Toledo’s Laura Lindsay finished off her perfect season in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes as she broke the meet, MAC and pool record in her final race at 2012 championships. Lindsay clocked a time of 2:09.79 in the 200 breaststroke. Alexis Kain took second with a time of 2:14.06, and Ball State’s Bridgette Ruehl finished third with a 2:14.28.

Toledo swimmers weren’t done there, as the meet, MAC and pool record for the 200 butterfly was left in crumbles by Beth Rogers. Rogers put up a time of 1:57.87 to take the gold for Toledo.

In the 3 meter diving competition, Nikki Craft of Miami took first with a six-dive combined score of 334.05. Craft’s last dive helped her overcome a deficit to second place finisher Morgan Srail of Ohio. Taking third was Lacey Houser of Miami.

In the final event of the weekend, the Buffalo Bulls relay team of Mallory Morrell, Taylor Steffl, Marissa Murphy and Brittany Kuras, finished off the job that swimmers had been doing all night in breaking another meet, MAC and pool record with a time of 3:19.83. Ohio University took second and Miami rounded out the medalists on the weekend in third.

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