Simmons Wins Freestyle MAC Championship
ATHENS, OH – The University at Buffalo's Caroline Simmons defended her title as she won the 100-yard freestyle, breaking her own school record and establishing a pool record as the Bulls concluded the 2011 Mid-American Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at the Ohio University Aquatic Center.
Simmons won the race in 49.67, breaking the mark she set in winning last year's MAC Championship by two-hundredths of a second. The time was also a pool record at the Ohio facility and Simmons' second NCAA B cut of the meet. Simmons also earned a B cut in Friday's 200-yard freestyle finals where she finished fifth.
The Bulls also set their third relay record of the meet with a third-place finish in the meet's final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The UB foursome of Marissa Murphy, Jessie Koltz, Karly Moore and Simmons finished in 3:23.61, just .61 seconds behind second-place Miami (OH). The time broke the previous mark of 3:24.62 set at last season's MAC Championships and was also another B cut mark.
Katelyn Pratt-Collins, Brynn Marecki and Jordan Deren also scored championship final points with their top eight finishes on Saturday night. Pratt-Collins finished sixth in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:00.78. She turned in a season-best showing of 2:00.64 in the morning preliminary heat. Marecki established a season best with her eighth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. Marecki turned in a 2:16.46 clocking after an earlier season-best of 2:18.42 in the heats. Alie Schirmers raced in the consolation final of the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing fourth (12th overall), in 2:19.35. Deren also set a season-best in the 1,650-yard freestyle as she finished eighth in 16:52.59, cutting 40 seconds off her previous top time and just missing her 2009 school record in the event by less than six seconds. Deren did set the record for the 1,000-yard distance during the race in 10:06.36, breaking Dawn Hickey's record from 2000.
The Bulls also had consolation finalists in the 200-yard butterfly and the 100-yard freestyle. In the butterfly, Dani Adank broke Jennefer Brankovsky's 2005 record as she finished in 2:02.53 to take second place and finish 10th overall. In the freestyle, Moore was fourth in the consolation (12th overall) in 51.78 with Koltz finishing sixth (14th overall) in 51.93.
Following the meet, the league announced its All-MAC teams. Simmons earned a spot on the first team while Pratt-Collins was named to the second team.
UB finished fifth in the eight-team meet with 328.5 points. Ohio won the team title with 669.5 points.
Team scoring: Ohio 669.5, Toledo 630.5, Miami (OH) 561, Eastern Michigan 385, Buffalo 328.5, Akron 312.5, Bowling Green 312.5, Ball State 261.5.