In this afternoon's home meet against Bowling Green, UB Swimming and Diving will not only look to improve on their seed times for the MAC Championships, but will also honor three seniors who will be graduating and leaving us behind before the next season kicks up in the fall.
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm pretty surprised that UB is graduating so few seniors this year, which says good things about the depth of the team. Note that Jess Powers is listed as a senior, but sat out a year so we get her back.
Emily Nelson, Back/IM, Plymouth, MI
Personal Bests: 100 Back - 57.65, 200 Back - 2:05.13, 200 IM - 2:10.62
Before UB: Nelson was All-State in Michigan at Salem High School.
As a Bull: Nelson has consistently posted season-best times at the MAC Championships and has this year has been UB's second-fastest swimmer in the backstroke sprints. Hopefully she can bring some points in for the Bulls at the league championships this year
Spencer Rodriguez, Breast/IM, Blaine, MN
Personal Bests: 100 Free - 50.72, 200 Free - 1:49.48, 500 Free - 4:57.79, 1000 Free - 10:01.12, 1650 Free -16:36.75, 200 IM - 2:00.64, 100 Breast - 1:05.71, 200 Breast - 2:18.18, 400 IM - 4:17.21
Before UB: Rodriguez holds four individual and two relay records at Blaine High School, where she was All State and her team's MVP.
As a Bull: As you can see, Rodriguez is UB's most versatile swimmer. Her breakout 2013-14 season was overshadowed to a degree by Brittney Kuras, but this year she's been everywhere. At last year's MAC Championships she set a school record with a victorious 4:17.21 400 IM, and has also been part of two UB record-setting relay teams. She's also in the UB top ten all time in eight other events.
Taylor Steffl, Fly/Free, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Personal Bests: 50 Free - 23.14, 100 Free - 50.76, 100 Fly - 54.39
Before UB: Taylor won two state championships in relays and finished second and third in two further events in Michigan on her way to All-State and All-American status as a senior. She also won two national championships with her club relay team.
As a Bull: Steffl has stuck with just three events in her time at UB, but she's been darn good at them. If not for the emergence of Megan Burns, Taylor would be our top option in the freestyle sprints, and she's frequently finished second only to Burns this year. Better yet, she's the school record holder in the 100 Fly, set way back in her freshman year. Her presence on UB's relays has been a big part of the women's successes this year, and she's going to be a notable name at the MAC Championships this spring.
Thank you, Emily, Spencer, and Taylor! We hope today's meet against BG is a win!