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UB Women's Swimming and Diving wins 800 free relay, in first place after Day One at MAC Championships

UB Athletics

Day One is a slow start to the MAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships, featuring just a pair of relays (the other three days will feature preliminaries in the morning and championship heats in the evening), but after two races and this first day, the women of UB Swimming and Diving sit in a first-place tie at the Championships.

In the meet's first event, the 200 medley relay, defending MAC champs Akron claimed victory for the second straight year in conference-record time. UB finished sixth - the only team not to improve by more than a second on their seed time - despite being seeded third.

The Bulls were well behind the field - four seconds out of first, and three of fourth - at the halfway mark, but Taylor Steffl swam the fastest butterfly leg in the field and Megan Burns the fastest freestyle leg in the field to pass Toledo for sixth.

You'll remember from my meet preview that the freestyle and butterfly are UB's two strongest disciplines, so the close to that event should be no surprise, and the overall results of the other relay tonight, the 800 meter freestyle, shouldn't, either.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>CHAMPIONS! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/800freerelay?src=hash">#800freerelay</a> <a href="http://t.co/LXz27KAQ4A">pic.twitter.com/LXz27KAQ4A</a></p>&mdash; Lauren Baisden (@UBCoachBaisden) <a href="https://twitter.com/UBCoachBaisden/status/570749172816551937">February 26, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Returning three-fourths of last year's championship relay, the Bulls were a good bet to place high in this one even replacing Brittany Kuras, owning a seed time a full three and a half seconds faster than anyone else.

UB would only win by a single second, but smashed the pool record by nearly ten in doing so. Spencer Rodriguez' opening leg in 1:47.10 put the Bulls up early, and though EMU surged ahead in the middle two legs, Jess Powers closed in 1:46.77, the only swimmer to go sub-1:47, to win the event for Buffalo.

In fact, Rodriguez and Powers were two of just four swimmers in the event to go sub-1:48 in their leg. That is good.

Thanks to 40 big points from that win and Ohio out-touching Akron by .08 second, Buffalo finishes the day in a three-way tie at 66 points with the Zips and Eastern Michigan.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Team Scores Through Day 1:&#10;1. EMU / Buffalo / Akron 66&#10;4. BGSU / Ohio 62&#10;6. Toledo 54&#10;7. Miami 52&#10;8. Ball State 44&#10;&#10;<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2015MACSWIM?src=hash">#2015MACSWIM</a></p>&mdash; Tori Kohl (@TKohlMAC) <a href="https://twitter.com/TKohlMAC/status/570751248498073600">February 26, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Tomorrow's events are relatively small in number, again. Prelims for the 500 free, 200 IM, and 50 free, as well as the 1-meter diving competition will start at 11:00 AM, and finals for those events and the 200 free relay in the evening, beginning at 7:00 PM.

Between Powers, Miller, and Rodriguez, Rodriguez again, and Burns, it would be really nice to sweep the individual events. I'm a little less optimistic about the relay, as UB's freestyle team isn't as deep in the shorter distances.

Follow us on Twitter and check back here tomorrow night for updates!

Go Bulls!