Through two days of the MAC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, the UB Women sit second in Oxford, OH, closer to third than first but within striking distance of Akron with plenty of points left to earn.
The two-event opening night Wednesday saw perhaps the most balanced 200 medley UB group we’ve seen since we began covering the program a few years, and Julia Box, Anna Vitolins, Sarah Baxter, and Megan Burns brought home a school-record and third place finish.
Burns and Baxter would up the ante, along with Catherine Schultheis and Hannah Miller in the 800 free relay. If you’ve followed this program at all lately, you know that the freestyle events are UB’s bread and butter. Wednesday was no different, as the Bulls not only matched the medley group in setting a school record, but also set a new conference mark in taking the title, edging out Akron — who also broke the previous conference record — by less than a second.
As finals go, Thursday night saw more opportunities for UB’s freestyle depth to rack up points. Hannah Miller finished second in the 500 free, Megan Burns won by a predictably large margin — half a second — in the 50 free, lowering her own school record in the event to 22.04s, and Burns, Eve Kosten, Andrea Ernst, and Baxter again out-touched Akron in a freestyle relay, setting a new program record in the 200 free relay by a half-second.
Baxter swam well in the 200 IM to finish second, and Abbey Croce took third in the 1-meter diving. UB also got supplementary points from Victoria Butler (14th, 500 free), Brittney Walters (7th, 200 IM), Kosten and Ernst (10th and 13th, 50 free), Valerie Lortie and Mackenzie Moss (8th and 13th, 1-meter diving). It’s results like that, including the top-three speed UB has in many events, that make the difference between a top-three team finish and a championship.
Tomorrow, we’ll see action in the 400 IM, the 100 Fly, 100 Breast, 100 Back, 200 Free, and 3-meter diving. The relay of the day is the 400 Medley. A big day would see two championships for Julia Box, another for Megan Burns, Sarah Baxter joining Burns in the 200 Free final, and berths in the 400 IM final from Brittney Walters and Victoria Butler.