UB Women's Swimmers Welcome MAC Championships To Alumni Arena Natatorium
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo's women's swimming and diving team will host the 2013 Mid-American Conference Championships at Alumni Arena Natatorium. Competition begins on Thursday, February 28 and continues through Saturday, March 2 with league champions crowned in 20 events. Preliminary heats begin at 11 am each day with championship finals starting at 7 pm.
The Bulls posted their best finish at last season's MAC Championships in Akron, OH as they placed fourth in the eight-team field. Swimming in home waters gives the team an incentive to finish higher in the standings.
Last season's MAC Outstanding Swimmer of the Year, Brittney Kuras, looks to defend her three individual titles the 2012 meet. She won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and the 200-yard individual medley at the 2012 meet, setting school records in all three events. This season, she has the top time in the MAC in all three races while her 200 IM mark of 2:01.19, set at Akron's Zippy Invitational is an NCAA B cut.
Mallory Morrell, the 2012 MAC champion in the 50-yard freestyle, is also back to defend her title. Morrell became the first UB women's swimmer since 2000 to win the league's marquee sprint race as she posted a school record 22.59 in the final. This season, Morrell holds the MAC's top time in the event at 23.02.
The Bulls also won a pair of freestyle relay races at last season's meet and hold the league's top mark this season in the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays.
Jessica Powers leads the team in the distance freestyle events. She set season-best marks of 4:58.32 in the 500-yard freestyle and 10:14.69 in the 1,000-yard event in UB's dual-meet victory at Colgate in November and posted a 17:10.87 clocking in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Zippy Invitational. All her times rank among the top four in the league in each event.
Kelsey Barbour, a finalist in the 100-yard breaststroke last season, holds the team's top mark in the event this season (1:05.79) and should contend for a spot on the podium at this year's meet.
UB head coach Andy Bashor commented on the upcoming weekend. "We are excited to be hosting the 2013 Women's MAC Swimming and Diving Championships. It is a fantastic meet with a lot of swimming and diving talent from all the teams. The UB women have done such a great job this year with training and being a team. It's time to take this opportunity that is before us and make the most of it. This is the best part of the year."
Toledo won last season's meet, holding off second-place Ohio by 23 points (635-612) with Miami (OH) (524) and UB (448) taking third and fourth, respectively.