All afternoon, UB Assistant Swim Coach Lauren Baisden, who is my personal hero of this meet for her Twitter updates, referred to tonight's final session of the 2015 MAC Women's Swimming and Diving Championships with the tagline "Last One Fast One."
Though Akron built up a huge lead yesterday, UB had yet another strong day, especially in the individual events, and was plenty fast for three more MAC titles. Buffalo got top-five finishes from Jess Powers (1), Spencer Rodriguez (2) and Hannah Miller (5) in the mile swim, yet another championship from Megan Burns (100 free), and finished the meet with a two-second win in the 400 free relay.
The Bulls finished the meet fourth in the MAC with 477 points, 34 in front of Miami and 30 behind Bowling Green. UB was hurt in particular on the diving boards and in the breast and backstrokes, but did come within .06 seconds in the 200 free relay of sweeping every single freestyle event.
Unlike last night, UB was able to buttress their top-end speed with points in the non-freestyle disciplines, though the team's lack of depth still showed. UB had one finals qualifier - Brittney Walters, who finished sixth and set a new school record in the process - in the 200 fly, but also earned points in that event from Saoirse Palu-Benson and Victoria Butler, and from Cristina Czyrka and Holly Olsen in the 200 breast. It didn't help UB any this year, but Claudia Casale was the first woman out of the points in the 200 back.
For the meet, three swimmers (the three you'd expect) won multiple individual races and added to their haul in the relays, which I've also marked:
Megan Burns: 50 Free, 100 Free [400 Free Relay]
Jessica Powers: 200 Free, 500 Free, 1650 Free [800 Free Relay]
Spencer Rodriguez: 200 IM, 400 IM [800 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay]
It's also worth noting that Rodriguez would have won the 1650 if not for Powers.
Rodriguez, Powers, and Burns (obviously) were named All-MAC first team. Brittany Walters
As of this moment, I don't think the Swimmer of the Year Award has been announced, but you have to this it would go to one of these three. The only others in the meet with multiple wins were Ohio's Addy Ferguson (two individual), and one or two of Akron's swimmers who were on the Zips' three winning relays.
That's the most points that University at Buffalo has ever scored at the MAC Championships. We are moving forward. #BullsDominate— Lauren Baisden (@UBCoachBaisden) March 1, 2015
Looking ahead, UB is going to be in pretty good shape next year, too. If you'll remember from our Senior Salutes, only three of this year's current team will be gone next year.
Rodriguez is the biggest hit, but Brittney Walters looks ready to take on the IM mantle. It's incredible to think, though, that UB will a year from now be racing returning champions in every individual freestyle event.
For now, UB has ended another season, with a fourth-place finish in the MAC Championships on the back of a 50% win percentage in the pool events. Next year, we're looking for more points in the diving and more in the breast and backstroke, but we're not really graduating anyone from those disciplines, so things should be good.