MAC Women's Swim Championships Complete Day Two
BUFFALO, NY – An exciting finish in the night's final event capped off Friday's activity at the Mid-American Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championships at Alumni Arena Natatorium as the University at Buffalo captured a relay and earned the top two spots in the 200-yard freestyle.
In the night's final race, the 800-yard freestyle relay, UB rallied from third place in the final 25 yards to win the race, setting a new school record of 7:22.04, shaving five seconds off the previous record. The foursome included Jessica Powers, Paula Stoddard, Becky Evangelista and Brittney Kuras. Kuras tracked down Miami's Leah Thornton and Bowling Green's Hannah Newman on the final turn of the race and touched both opponents out as the Bulls won the race by a second and a half.
Kuras also successfully defended her title in the 200-yard freestyle as the Bulls went one-two in the championship final. Kuras established an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:47.83 to win the race. Powers finished second in a lifetime-best mark of 1:48.27.
Friday's championship round opened with Ohio University's 200-yard medley relay squad of Addy Ferguson, Tori Bagan, Haley Clark and Lauren Funk breaking the pool record to win in 1:39.87. UB's foursome of Marissa Murphy, Kelsey Barbour, Kuras and Mallory Morrell placed fifth in a season-best 1:41.65.
Toledo's Carly Harter won the 400-yard individual medley in a pool record 4:15.66. UB's Spencer Rodriguez earned championship points with her seventh-place finish in 4:22.65.
Ball State's Mallory Miles broke the pool record in her victory in the 100-yard butterfly, taking the race in 53.64. UB's Rachael Ragen finished eighth in 56.10 while Murphy reached the consolation final and finished 14th in 56.29.
Ball State's Bridgette Ruehl twice established the UB pool record as she claimed victory in the 100-yard breaststroke. Ruehl set a new mark of 1:01.00 as the fastest qualifier in Friday morning's heats. She later lowered the mark as she won the championhip race in 1:00.58. Barbour earned consolation points for the Bulls with a 15th-place finish in 1:04.60.
Ferguson of Ohio took the 100-yard backstroke in 54.02 as she touched out 2011 and 2012 MAC champion Leah Thronton of Miami by .28 seconds. Thronton established a MAC, MAC meet and UB pool record in the preliminary heats when she turned in a 53.87 clocking.
Buffalo remains fourth in the eight-team standings with 286 points. Miami (OH) leads with 436 points with Ohio (337) and Bowling Green (327) in second and third place.
"I thought we were better today," said UB head coach Andy Bashor. "We missed out on some swims tonight, but we're trying. The effort is there. We've got one more day to get through this."
Saturday's final day of competition begins at 11:00 am with preliminary heats. The championship session as a new team champion is crowned will begin at 7:00 pm.
Team scores through 14 events: Miami (OH) 436, Ohio 337, Bowling Green 327, Buffalo 286, Toledo 256, Eastern Michigan 256, Ball State 239, Akron 202.
200 medley relay: Ohio (Addy Ferguson, Tori Bagan, Haley Clark, Lauren Funk) 1:39.87
400 individual medley: Carly Harter (Toledo) 4:15.66
100 butterfly: Mallroy Miles (Ball State) 53.64
200 freestyle: Brittney Kuras (Buffalo) 1:47.83
100 breaststroke: Bridgette Ruehl (Ball State) 1:00.58
100 backstroke: Addy Ferguson (Ohio) 54.02
800 freestyle relay: Buffalo (Jessica Powers, Paula Stoddard, Becky Evengelista, Brittney Kuras) 7:22.04