Bulls Zip To First Day Lead At Zippy Invitational
AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo men's and women's swimming and diving teams won a combined eight events and set four meet records on Friday evening as action commenced at the Zippy Invitational at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium.
UB opened the meet on Friday night with men's and women's victories in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The men's team of Matt Hogan, Cory Zorsch, Ryan Smrekar and Mike Dugan broke the meet and pool record set in last season's meet by the Bulls by one-hundredth of a second. The UB foursome finished in 1:22.45 to eclipse last season's winning mark of 1:22.46. The UB women shaved three seconds off their previous top time in the relay in 1:33.98 as Brittney Kuras, Alex Swies, Karly Moore and Mallory Morrell combined for the Bulls.
Both the men's and women's teams swept two other individual races, the 200-yard individual medley and the 50-yard freestyle. Kuras broke the meet record to win the women's 200-yard IM in 2:01.19, establishing an NCAA B cut for the senior. The time was two-tenths of a second better than the previous record set at last year's meet by Toledo's Carly Harter, who placed second to Kuras in last year's MAC Championships in Akron as well as Friday night's race. Josh Meints and Hogan finished first and fourth, respectively, in the men's 200-yard IM. Meints won in 1:51.96 with Hogan turning in a 1:54.54 clocking as both times were season-best marks for the seniors. In the B final, Paul Garman finished third (11th overall) in 1:58.74 and Travis Bohn was fourth (12th overall) in 1:59.05.
Morrell and Dugan also set meet records in winning the women's and men's 50-yard freestyles, respectively. Morrell, who had set the pool record at last season's MAC Championships, claimed the victory on Friday in 23.02. Dugan led a trio of men in the A final as he won the race in 20.16 to also set the pool record and earn a B cut. Zorsch was fifth in 20.96 and Smrekar was eighth in 21.37. Tommy Steele won the B final in 21.42 to place ninth overall.
Freshman Antonio Lanzi led three Bulls as he won the men's 500-yard freestyle in 4:33.02, more than nine seconds better than his previous season-best. Eric Culver was second in 4:35.75 while Colin McAllister finished fourth in 4:42.44, both season-best times.
In Friday's diving events, Shawn Hoffman led the Bulls with a second-place finish on the three-meter springboard. Hoffman finished with a season-best six-dive total of 300.60 points. Chris Iafrati (241.00), Derek Linebaugh (207.85) and Derek McAninch (202.50) finished sixth through eighth for the Bulls. Ava Giachino finished fourth in the women's one-meter event with 271.80 points as Rachel Eckert placed eighth with 214.80 points.
UB's men closed out Friday's session with a first- and third-place showing in the 400-yard medley relay. The A squad of Matt Schwippert, Meints, Zorsch and Dugan won the timed final in 3:19.83, more than four seconds better than the second-place St. Bonaventure entry (3:24.28). Phil Aronica, John Nord, Eric Forrester and Lanzi comprised the third-place B team for the Bulls as they finished in 3:24.90.
"It was a good day for us," said head coach Andy Bashor. "I am proud of their effort and competitiveness tonight. One of the goals this weekend is to continue to get better. We still have a lot of work to do."
The UB men scored 660 points on Friday night to hold a commanding lead of 186.5 points over second-place Clarion (473.5) in the six-team men's meet. UB's women stand fourth among 10 squads with 350 points trailing MAC rivals Toledo (444) and Ohio (436) as well as third-place Illinois State (419).
Competition continues through Sunday.
Men's scores (through six events): Buffalo 660, Clarion 473.5, Bloomsburg 386, St. Bonaventure 343.5, Indiana (PA) 269, Niagara 229.
Women's scores (through six events): Toledo 444, Ohio 436, Illinois State 419, Buffalo 350, Akron 333, Indiana (PA) 217, Clarion 217, St. Bonaventure 170, Bloomsburg 122, Niagara 102.