First things first, my apologies for not being as on top of the MAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships as I was the Women's last week. This wasn't intentional, real life just got in the way.
Anyway, we're now through just about half of the Championships: a truncated first day featuring just two relays, a second day that saw UB put down multiple finalists in the 50 free, and the preliminaries of today, the third of four days in the meet.
In terms of scores, only about a third of the events have gone final, and the Bulls are sitting fifth with 185.5 points, just a hair behind Miami, and further behind MAC affiliate members Missouri State and Southern Illinois. Eastern Michigan leads the pack by a wide margin thanks to their performance on the diving board.
But a grand majority of points are still yet to be awarded. Here's a list of the Bulls who have earned points already in the first two days:
UB claimed a pair of fourth-place finishes in Wednesday's opening relays: 1:29.34 in the 200 medley and 6:35.83 in the 800 free. Sophomore Eric Jensen swam on both relays. Missouri State was a double winner on that first evening, setting meet records in both events.
On Thursday, UB picked up 32.5 points from Antonio Lanzi (T-2nd), Oliver Patrouch (4th), and Itai De La Vega (15th) in the 50 free. Lanzi's 20.12 was good enough for an NCAA B cut.
The Bulls also showed their depth in the 200 IM, where Scott Huang took sixth and Matt Bitara and Garrett Clarke both scored points in the consolation. As expected, UB doesn't quite have competitive depth in the longer freestyle events, but Billy Patrum took 11th in the 500 free.
At this point every name I've mentioned is returning to UB next year. Only Lanzi and Patrum are even juniors.
Unlike the women, UB got a decent amount of points from the diving board, though only Derek Linebaugh made the final in the 1-meter. He finished eighth, but Cade Bennett, Kristian Santos, Dan Roche, and Troy Birdsall all earned points in the consolation.
The Bulls finished the evening with a strong second-place finish in the 200 free relay. Oliver Patrouch's 19.62 anchor leg was the second-fastest of any in the meet, and UB needed every bit of it to claim silver; second, third, and fourth place were separated by just .04s.
This morning saw preliminaries for the 400 IM, 100 Fly, 100 Breast, 100 Back, and 200 Free. As expected, UB's depth is showing.
In the 200 IM, though Missouri State has the top three qualifiers, UB's Charles Barry and Patrum are in the finals, and Callum Liddiard will also earn points in the consolation. Reid Zyniecki just missed the consolation by .11s.
The 100 fly is one of the few events where the Bulls have a clear favorite, and Patrouch is living up to the billing. He's a half-second ahead of everyone else heading into the finals. UB's got depth here, too; Andrew Cole Goins, Hudson Carroll, and Eric Forrester all qualified for the consolation.
Lanzi made the finals and Bitara and Jensen the consolation in the 200 Free, and all three will add to UB's total tonight. UB will once again have three point-earners in the 100 breast, where De La Vega and Huang will each swim in the finals and Garrett Clarke the consolation. Fully ten swimmers hit NCAA B Cuts in the prelims of that race. Itai broke the school record in that prelim but I would be surprised to see him lose it - it had belonged to Huang.
The 100 Back prelims results aren't posted, but we know from assistant coach Lauren Baisden that Jon Ekas and Carroll both made the consolation, at least. The relay tonight is the 400 medley. UB is seeded third, but closer to fifth than second. If the Bulls can hang tight in the backstroke, they could move up, though, thanks to likely Patrouch in the fly, De La Vega in the breast, and Lanzi in the free.
I'll have a recap post up either tonight or before tomorrow's preliminaries. Go Bulls.