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Bobcats Finish Second at MAC Championships

Ohio capped off a 9-2 season with a very strong showing at the 2012 MAC Championships

Feb. 25, 2012

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AKRON, Ohio - Ohio Swimming and Diving finished its participation in the 2012 Mid-American Conference Championships on Saturday, ending up in second place with 612 team points. Sophomore Rachel Stearns claimed individual honors on the final day of the championships, winning the 200 Backstroke and breaking a conference record in the process.

Toledo earned first place at the championships, scoring 635 total team points. Following Ohio, Miami finished third with 524 points and Buffalo earned fourth, scoring 448. Ohio placed five student-athletes on the 2012 All-MAC teams, as Stearns and Laurin Williams earned First-Team honors while Amanda Cecere, Emma Michaels and Sarah Owen were named to the Second Team.

The Bobcats entered the third day of competition in second place, trailing Toledo by a mere 11 points. Freshman Morgan Srail got the `Cats off to a great start in the first final of the day, finishing second in the three-meter diving competition with an impressive score of 333.10. Not only was this a personal best for the young diver but it is also a program record, defeating the mark of 329.56 set by Lindsay Hamilton in 2011.

This second-place finish was followed up by another second-place finish in the longest event of the championships, the 1650 Freestyle. Laurin Williams (Shoreline, Wash.) made Ohio Swimming history in the event, finishing 14 full seconds ahead of the previous program record with her 16:14.02. This time also qualified her for the NCAA B cut. Kristen Witham (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Rachel Harrington (Bradenton, Fla.) and Annika Games (Brea, Calif.) also swam very well in the event, placing sixth, seventh and tenth, respectively.

Stearns (Minnetonka, Minn.) earned the third MAC title of her career on Saturday, finishing first in the 200 Backstroke in a MAC-record time of 1:55.65. She finished two full seconds ahead of the nearest competitor, who happened to be teammate Sarah Owen (Portsmouth, England). Owen finished in 1:57.86. Both times qualified for the NCAA B cut.

Michaels had another strong showing in the next event of the evening, placing fourth in the 100 Freestyle with her NCAA B cut-qualifying time of 49.95. She was closely followed by teammate Abby Corcoran (Tucson, Ariz.), who finished sixth in 50.35.

The next two events of the evening saw Petra Chomicz (King's Lynn, England) finishing ninth in the 200 Breaststroke and Amanda Cecere (Chelmsford, Mass.) taking seventh in the 200 Butterfly.

Ohio ended the competition on a strong note, as the team of Lauren Funk (Springfield, Ohio), Katey Brooks (North Royalton, Ohio), Michaels and Corcoran earned second place in the 400 Freestyle Relay by touching in 3:20.68. This time is the second fastest in program history and also qualifies for the NCAA B cut.

2012 MAC Swimming and Diving Awards
2012 Women's Outstanding Swimmer of the Year - Brittney Kuras, Buffalo
2012 MAC Women's Outstanding Diver - Nikki Craft, Miami
2012 MAC Women's Swimming Coach of the Year - Liz Hinkleman, Toledo
2012 MAC Women's Diving Coach of the Year - Buck Smith, Eastern Michigan

2012 Women's Swimming and Diving All-MAC First Team
Brittney Kuras, Buffalo
Mallory Morrell, Buffalo
Briana Emig, Eastern Michigan
Kelly Hendricks, Eastern Michigan
Nikki Craft, Miami
Maegan O'Connor, Miami
Leah Thornton, Miami
Bekka Westrick, Miami
Rachel Stearns, Ohio
Laurin Williams, Ohio
Carly Harter, Toledo
Rachel Johnson, Toledo
Claire Leichty, Toledo
Laura Lindsay, Toledo
Beth Rogers, Toledo

2012 Women's Swimming and Diving All-MAC Second Team
Mallory Miles, Ball State
Bridgette Ruehl, Ball State
Alexis Kain, Bowling Green
Allie Schirmers, Buffalo
Taylor Steffl, Buffalo
Jessie Godlewski, Eastern Michigan
Stacie Clagg, Miami
Lacey Houser, Miami
Maddie Kete Miami
Amanda Cecere, Ohio
Emma Michaels, Ohio
Sarah Owen, Ohio
Christina Noens, Toledo
Louise Smith, Toledo