Women Post Highest Finish at MAC Championships
The University at Buffalo women's swimming and diving team posted its highest finish at the Mid-American Conference Championships over the weekend. The Bulls finished fourth among eight squads and scored 448 points, their highest total since joining the league in 1998. The Bulls had never finished higher than sixth in previous MAC championship meets as UB won four individual titles and a pair of relay events.
Kuras Earns Outstanding Swimmer Honors
Brittney Kuras became the first UB women's swimmer to win three individual events at the championship meet since 2005 as she was named the MAC's Outstanding Swimmer of the Year. On Saturday, Kuras claimed the 100-yard freestyle in a school and MAC meet record time of 48.90. It was the third consecutive victory in the event for the Bulls after Caroline Simmons won in 2010 and 2011. Kuras claimed the 200-yard freestyle in 1:47.66, setting UB and Ocasek Natatorium records, on Friday. In Thursday's opening night, she won the 200-yard individual medley in a UB and pool record time of 1:59.84 as she held off two-time defending MAC champion Carly Harter of Toledo by .04 seconds.
Morrell is Fastest in the MAC
Mallory Morrell claimed the 50-yard freestyle to earn the title of fastest women's swimmer on Thursday's opening night. Morrell won the race in 22.59, setting the UB and pool records for the second time on the day after she posted a 22.63 in the preliminary round, cutting .16 seconds from Caroline Simmons' record set at last year's MAC Championships. It was also the first UB championship in the 50-yard freestyle since Inger Rooneem claimed the crown in 2000.
Bulls Bookend Relays
The Bulls won two relay races over the weekend, claiming Thursday's first event and Saturday's last event. UB's 200-yard freestyle relay team of Marissa Murphy, Kuras, Taylor Steffl and Morrell broke the UB school record with their 1:30.45 clocking as the Bulls held off second-place Ohio by 0.33 seconds, denying the Bobcats of their fourth consecutive title in the event. The same four swimmers, only in a different order, won the 400-yard freestyle relay, the meet's final event, as they posted a school, MAC and MAC Championship record of 3:19.88. UB also set school records in the 800-yard freestyle relay (7:27.06) behind Kuras, Alie Schirmers, Becky Evangelista and Emma Miller and the 400-yard medley relay (3:43.90) consisting of Melissa Trail, Brynn Marecki, Steffl and Kuras.
Four Earn All-MAC Honors
The Bulls placed four individuals on the All-MAC teams. Kuras and Morrell were named First Team All-MAC. Schirmers and Steffl picked up second-team All-MAC honors. Besides Kuras' individual results, Morrell won the 50-yard freestyle and and was fifth in the 100-yard freestyle final (50.07). Schirmers finished fourth in the 400-yard individual medley final (4:19.80) and fifth in the 200-yard IM (2:03.21) and 200-yard breaststroke finals (2:17.25). Steffl was sixth in the 100-yard butterfly final in 55.14 after lowering her school record in prelims with a 54.39 clocking, seventh in the 50-yard freestyle final (23.29), 11th in the 100-yard freestyle final (50.76).