The three-time defending Mid-American Conference champions, the Akron Zips, wasted no time in their pursuit for an unprecedented fourth straight conference crown. They started off the night with their fourth straight 200 medley relay title and did it this year in record setting fashion.
The quartet of Madison Myers (24.35), Paloma Marrero (27.51), Sadie Fazekas (22.96) and Ragen Engel (22.07) finished with a 1:36.89 ahead of Eastern Michigan (1:37.95) and Buffalo (1:39.40). They broke their own Mid-American record from last year that was 1:37.28. Myers had the fastest backstroke split while Eastern’s Delaney Duncan had the fastest breaststroke split with a 26.89. Duncan qualified for the NCAA championships a year ago, so no surprise there. Fazekas of Akron had the fastest fly split while Buffalo’s Megan Burns anchored Buffalo’s squad with a swift 21.67. Burns also qualified for NCAA’s a year ago.
The 800 free relay was a back and forth battle between Buffalo and Akron the whole way. The Zips had actually taken the lead going into the final leg, but it was Burns who put the hammer down and dropped a 1:45.40–the fastest split of the meet–to snag the win as well as the conference record with a 7:11.26. It was Buffalo’s fifth straight win in that event at the MAC championships. The Bulls also broke Miami’s meet record in their home pool that had stood all the way since 2009 at 7:13.21. Buffalo was also accompanied by Sarah Baxter (1:48.08), Hannah Miller (1:47.75) and Cat Schultheis (1:50.03). Akron was also under the old meet record with an impressive 7:12.19. Their relay comprised of Fazekas (1:48.46), Ragen Engel (1:48.05), Ellie Nebraska (1:47.56) and Laura Savariau (1:48.12). Eastern Michigan was third at 7:19.24 and Ohio was fourth at 7:19.36.
The meet will continue tomorrow from Oxford, Ohio and the campus of Miami University with prelims starting at 11 AM local time and finals will follow at 7 PM local.
- Akron, 74
- Buffalo, 72
- Eastern Michigan, 66
- Miami, 56
- Ohio, 56
- Toledo, 50
- Ball State, 46
- Bowling Green, 30