Feb. 25, 2009
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -
Behind a pair of school-record relays, the Ohio University swimming and diving team sits in a three-way tie for second place after the opening day of the Mid-American Conference Championships at Bowling Green State University. The Bobcats earned 64 points in the meet's first two relays, the only events held Wednesday night, and are tied with Toledo and Buffalo, 10 points behind leader Miami.
"The team's very competitive and they really wanted to win tonight's events, but you can't argue with the results and performance," Ohio head coach Greg Werner said. "We're sitting a spot higher than we were last year (third), when we ended up winning the whole thing. I asked the team to put in perspective what they accomplished tonight and how well they performed."
Ohio placed second in the 800 free relay in a school-record time of 7:13.50, shattering the previous school mark by over nine seconds. Senior Ashley Marion (London, Ont.), sophomores Amanda Traylor (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Rachel Heim (San Diego, Calif.) and freshman Sarah Owen (Portsmouth, England) combined to touch just .29 behind first-place Miami and over three seconds ahead of third-place Toledo. Marion also set the school record for the 200 free during the race with a leadoff split of 1:47.61, breaking Kim van Selm's nine-year-old record.
In the meet's opening event, the 200 medley relay, senior Carine Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), juniors Allison Schaefer (Medina, Ohio) and Chelsey Bower (Bethel Park, Pa.) and Heim finished fourth in an Ohio-record time of 1:40.80, three ticks ahead of the old standard, while Buffalo stopped the clock first in 1:39.74.
"We did some really good things today," Werner said. "I'm very excited about how well we're performing, but so is the rest of the conference (performing well). We're looking forward to the challenges ahead and trying to get stronger as the competition goes along, which is a characteristic of our team."
The four-day Championships continue tomorrow with swimming prelims at 11 a.m. and one-meter diving prelims at 1 p.m. Five finals are on the schedule for Thursday night, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. at BGSU's Cooper Pool. Tomorrow's finals include the 500 free, the 200 individual medley, which Marion won in 2006 and 2007, the 50 free, and the 200 free relay, as well as the one-meter diving finals.