Feb. 23, 2006
AKRON, Ohio - The Ohio women's swimming and diving team tallied two first-place and two second-place finishes in five events to finish the first day of the Mid-American Conference Championships in second place.
Freshman Ashley Marion (London, Ontario) made an impressive MAC Championships debut in taking first in two events, one individual and one relay. Marion set the pool record and shaved over two seconds off her personal-best in winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:04.04, winning by over a full second. The win marks the first time an Ohio swimmer has won the 200 IM since 2004 when Shannon Kelly won.
"It is always nice to finish first in an event at the MAC Championships," head coach Greg Werner said. "It is even more impressive when it can be done as a freshman."
Marion added her second first-place finish of the day as the third leg of Ohio's victorious 400-yard medley relay team. Emily Wylam (Yorktown, Va.) swam the first leg, Sarah Vaughn (Athens, Ohio) the second leg and Ilse Petersen (Johannesburg, South Africa) the fourth in setting the pool record with a time of 3:47.73. This is the second consecutive year the Bobcats have taken first in the 400 medley relay.
"All four swimmers had the best times in their respective legs during the regular season, so that's why we went with them" Werner said. "And they did not disappoint."
Petersen and Michaela Hahn-Lawson (Painesville, Ohio) added second-place times for the Bobcats. Petersen, who took third in the preliminaries of the 500-yard freestyle, finished second in the finals with a time of 4:53.85. Hahn-Lawson finished second to Marion in the 200 IM with a mark of 2:05.20. Wylam became the third Bobcat to finish in the top five in the 200 IM when she took fifth in a personal-fastest time of 2:06.23.
Lindsey DeStefano (Wildwood, Mo.) posted a seventh-place mark in the 50-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 24.12. Mallory Rico (Mentor, Ohio) set a personal-best time in the prelims of the 50 free with a time of 24.14. Courtney Gallo (Lake Worth, Fla.) took eighth in the 500 freestyle with her prelim time of 5:00.45 marking a personal-best.
Ohio set numerous personal-bests throughout the opening day but Werner says the team can always improve.
"The team is very excited about the good times today," Werner said. "But we can always be better and we hope to do so in tomorrow's events."
The Bobcats finished the first day with a score of 170 points, trailing only Eastern Michigan with 228 points. Miami is third with 163 points followed by Ball State with 117. Bowling Green, Toledo, Akron and Buffalo round out the competing teams.
Action will resume tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the preliminaries. Finals are slated to begin at 7 p.m. The 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and 3-meter dive are scheduled as tomorrow's events.