Buffalo Women Lead Mid-American Championships; Maier Throws Down 4:39 500 Free

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Photo Courtesy: Mid-American Conference

The Mid-American Conference women’s swimming & diving championships kicked off Thursday from Ypsilanti, Michigan as the Buffalo Bulls have a slim four point lead over seven-time defending champs Akron.

Team Scores:

  1. Buffalo, 239
  2. Akron, 235
  3. Miami, 148
  4. Ohio, 114
  5. Eastern Michigan, 104
  6. Toledo, 85
  7. Bowling Green, 85
  8. Ball State, 82

The Bulls started the championships with a win in the 200 free relay as the team of Jillian Lawton (22.97), Toni Naccarella (21.61), Jenna Krull (22.52) and Ellie Duley (22.57) swam a 1:29.67 to Akron’s 1:29.86. Notably, this would have been right in the mix at NCAAs as the Bulls are ranked 22nd in Division I this season despite the NCAA championships having already taken place.

Naccarella and Lawton returned in the 50 free to go 1-2 with Naccarella coming out on top at 22.37 to Lawton’s 22.91 as the former already swam at NCAAs this season, placing 47th in Greensboro last month. Naccarella was a 22.5 earlier this season for her season best time.

Akron was another school that had a swimmer make NCAAs this year as Sarah Watson won the 200 IM at 1:56.42, which was faster than her season best. Watson made the B-Final in this event at NCAAs last month, placing 14th for the Zips as she won well ahead of Daisy Platts (1:59.13) of Bowling Green. The Zips closed the night with a win in the 400 medley relay at 3:34.85, which is the 26th fastest time in the nation this year. The team of Madelyn Gatrall (53.84), Paula Garcia (1:00.35), Watson (51.08) and Rachel Schiffli (49.58) won ahead of Buffalo (3:36.58) and Miami (3:41.25).

Miami’s Nicole Maier had perhaps the season of the day with a 4:39.96 in the 500 freestyle, which would have made the A-Final at NCAAs last month. Maier’s time puts her 16th nationally this season.

Eastern Michigan’s Bethany Berger won the 1m at 303.90 ahead of Buffalo’s Tori Franz (293.05).