Even with improved depth and stronger top-of-the-depth-chart swimmers in the non-freestyle disciplines, we knew that the final two days of the MAC Championships would be more of a challenge for the Buffalo. The Bulls slipped to fourth place heading into tomorrow's final day, trailing fourth-place Miami by just a single point.
In some areas - diving in particular and the 400 IM - the Bulls flashed depth and improvement over last year's results, but on the whole the third night didn't feature any of the highlights of the first two.
Yesterday alone UB's divers outperformed their 2015 numbers, and tonight added to that total, as Abbey Croce won the consolation of the 3m dive (by less than 2 points over six dives!) for 9 more team points. Mackenzie Moss qualified for the finals, which are not contested until tomorrow.
Buffalo depth was a pleasant surprise in the 400 IM, where Hannah Miller, Victoria Butler, and Claudia Casale all qualified for the consolation to earn a good chunk of points, and Brittney Walters took seventh in the Championship Final.
The 200 freestyle was another chance for UB to show off team depth, as Megan Burns and Jess Powers each made the final, while Sarah Baxter earned a spot in the consolation. While Baxter swam to a nice come-from-behind win, Burns and Powers were unable to keep Buffalo's freestyle dominance, finishing third and sixth, respectively.
UB earned points in the consolations of the 100 fly (Julia Box), 100 back (Box again), 200 breast (Cristina Czyrka, Holly Olsen). It will come down to tomorrow to see if they outperform their 2015 results, a quest that should be boosted by Box in her premier event, the 200 fly, where she already holds the school record.
The night's final event, the 400 medley relay, saw Buffalo take 8th, more than two seconds behind the seventh-place finishers, as Eastern Michigan and Akron ran away with the race, the Eagles setting a new conference record.