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Ohio Wins 2008 MAC Championship

Feb. 23, 2008


BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Ohio swimming and diving team captured its 10th Mid-American Conference Women's Swimming and Diving Championship Saturday night at Alumni Arena Natatorium on the campus of the University at Buffalo. The Bobcats totaled 679.5 points to win their first MAC title since 2001, followed by Toledo (605.5), Eastern Michigan (575), Miami (538), Buffalo (341), Bowling Green (333.5), Akron (246) and Ball State (175.5).

The Bobcats had two freshmen capture individual MAC Championships on the final day, as Stacey Huber (Gainesville, Fla.) took the title in the 1,650-yard freestyle to begin the evening and Amanda Cecere (Chelmsford, Mass.) touched the wall first in the 200-yard butterfly.

Ohio had 10 swimmers named All-MAC, five earning first team accolades and five earning second team honors. Huber, Cecere and fellow freshman Rachel Heim (San Diego, Calif.), along with senior Emily Wylam (Yorktown, Va.) and junior Ashley Marion (London, Ontario) all were named first team. Selected to the second team were seniors Ilse Petersen (Johannesburg, South Africa), Michaela Hahn-Lawson (Painesville, Ohio) and Mallory Rico (Mentor, Ohio), along with sophomore Leah Giancarli (Akron, Ohio) and freshman Amanda Traylor (Los Alamitos, Calif.). Ohio Head Coach Greg Werner was named MAC Swim Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.

Ohio pulled away from the other schools in the third to last event of the championships, as the Bobcats posted the top three times in the 200-yard butterfly. Cecere finished the race in a new pool-record and meet-record time of 2:00.01 to win the MAC title in the event, and was followed by Giancarli (2:00.62) and Heim (2:02.82) in second and third place. Cecere and Giancarli's times are both NCAA provisional qualifying times.

Huber finished the 1,650-yard freestyle in a new meet-record and pool-record time of 16:32.96 to win the MAC title. Her time tops the previous meet record set by former Bobcat Kim Van Selm in 2000 (16:36.18) and the previous pool record set by Yale's Suzanne Heizer in 1993 (16:37.63). Traylor finished second in the 1,650 free with a new lifetime-best time of 16:48.84.

In the 200-yard backstroke Marion, Wylam and senior Sigal Simsolo (Kibbutz Yakum, Isreal) finished fourth, fifth and sixth with times of 2:01.24, 2:02.84 and 2:03.23, respectively. Wylam was the MAC champion in the event the previous two years.

Petersen posted the fastest time for the Bobcats in the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 51.68 to finish in seventh place. Petersen was followed by Bobcats Mallory Rico in the eighth (52.04) and sophomore Chelsey Bower (Bethel Park, Pa.) in ninth (51.36).

Ohio senior Jamie Acks (Solon, Ohio) finished 10th in the 3-meter dive with a new personal-best mark of 238.65. Sophomore Ali Giordano posted a score of 231.75 to take 15th place in the 3-meter dive.

In the final event of the championships the Bobcats took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Bower, senior Lindsey DeStefano (Wildwood, Mo.), Rico and Petersen teamed to finish in a time of 3:25.14, the fourth-fastest time in school history.

Ohio entered the final day of competition in first place with 426.5 points, 10 points in front of Toledo. Ohio's depth proved to be too much for the rest of the field, however, and the Bobcats pulled away on the last day to give Head Coach Greg Werner his third MAC Championship in 13 years as head coach.

Ohio captured its nine other conference championships in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2001.

Final Team Standings (20 Events)
1. Ohio - 679.5
2. Toledo - 605.5
3. Eastern Michigan - 575
4. Miami - 538
5. Buffalo - 341
6. Bowling Green - 333.5
7. Akron - 246
8. Ball State - 175.5

MAC Honors
Senior of the Year: Madeleine Pilchard (EMU)
Swimmer of the Year: Madeleine Pilchard (EMU)
Diver of the Year: Megan McKinley (Toledo)
Swim Coach of the Year: Greg Werner (Ohio)
Diving Coach of the Year: Marie Canarecci (Toledo)

Wes Liles is the swimming and diving contact in the Ohio media relations office. He can be reached via email at liles@ohio.edu.