This is usually Track and Field's line, but, another day, another record for UB Women's Swimming and Diving. The Bulls sit second after Day 2 of the MAC Championships, distantly behind first-place Akron and just a shade in front of Eastern Michigan.
But the story today is sophomore Megan Burns, who memorably went undefeated in her marquee event - the 50 free - as a freshman and has already well established herself as the conference's top sprinter long before today. All she did today was get even faster, swimming the 50 free three times and lowering her personal best three times. The final go, the opening leg of UB's 200 free relay, broke the UB, MAC, MAC Championship, and Bowling Green pool records. Only the first legs of relays can count as records, as later legs are generally faster thanks to more predictable starts.
Burns' time of :22.16 missed the NCAA 'A' Cut by .30s, roughly the same amount she dropped today, but word is that she stands a good chance of a Nationals invitation. As a reminder, 'A' cuts earn automatic berths, while 'B' cuts are simply the minimum eligible benchmark. For the most part, much of the spots at nationals are claimed by A cuts, but there's always a few more spots in every event.
Following the sophomore in the 200 relay, Catherine Schultheis, Eve Kosten, and Sarah Baxter brought the Bulls home in second, a little over a half-second behind Akron's meet-record time. The Zips are absolutely running away with this meet, so there's no shame there. UB did improve over last year by half a second and post the third-fastest time in program history, and as with last night's relays it's a preposterously young group; everyone but the freshman Schultheis is a sophomore.
Prior to the relays, Burns claimed her expected 50 free title with a championship swim of 22:36. Akron's Hannah Raspopovich took second, but was .41s behind. In a 20-second race, that's an eternity; the seventh-place finisher was closer to Raspopovich than she was to Burns.
The title was Burns' second of the meet after yesterday's 800 free relay, and Jess Powers also earned her second title, winning the 500 free for the third consecutive year and by four full seconds.
Burns and Powers weren't the only highlights, though. Sarah Baxter (4th, NCAA B Cut) and Eve Kosten (9th) each added points in the 50, and Hannah Miller (9th) in the 500. Miller had a relatively low seed time, but moved all the way up to ninth in the prelims and would have finished fourth in the final had she swam just .04 faster in the afternoon qualifiers. Still, she earned nine big points for the Bulls.
UB also got a nice boost in the diving well, where both Abbey Croce and Mackenzie Moss qualified for the finals, and Kelly Moran got into the consolation. All told, their 25 points in the 1-meter alone was more than Buffalo earned in both diving events combined at last season's championships.
UB did not advance anyone to the final or the consolation of the 200 IM.
The final two days of the Championships will both pick up in number of events and move out of UB's comfort zone. For the Bulls to maintain not only their current second-place standing, but even third place, their depth in non-freestyle disciplines will be put to the test. As yesterday, prelims tomorrow will run midday with finals beginning at 7:00 PM.