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Ohio Wins 2011 MAC Swimming & Diving Championship

Feb. 26, 2011

Complete Results

ATHENS, Ohio - The phrase "home sweet home" will have a new meaning to the Ohio swimming and diving team as the Bobcats took home their 11th Mid-American Conference Championship Saturday night in front of a full crowd of Bobcat fans, finishing with 669.5 points, overall.

"It's been a great season, but it's been especially fun these past couple days," said head coach Greg Werner. "This was well-deserved and I'm really proud of what we were able to accomplish today."

The `Cats entered the final day of competition with a slim 37-point lead on Toledo and were able to hang on until the end despite strong performances across the board from the Rockets. Toledo finished second with 630.5 overall, followed by Miami in third with 561.

"We're all through the roof with excitement," said senior captain Kasey Tolbert (Yorktown, Ind.) "It was a great feeling. I can't even put it in words. We're a family and when we're out there, there's nothing like cheering for you're team."

Senior Stacey Huber (Gainesville, Fla.) started things off for the Bobcats with a second-place finish in the 1650 Free with a time of 16:21.69, breaking her personal-best time of 16:28.19. Laurin Williams (Shoreline, Wash.) capped off her stellar freshman season with a fifth-place finish and a personal-best time of 16:37.08.

Rachel Stearns (Minnetonka, Minn.) put Ohio fans on their feet as she continued her spectacular weekend with a first-place finish in the 200 Back and a pool record and personal-best time of 1:57.20. Sarah Owen (Portsmouth, Hampshire, England) finished fifth in the event with a 2:00.52, while Anastasia Bocharnikova (Nizhny Tagil, Russia) took ninth with a 2:01.61 to give the Bobcats a 529.5-491.5 lead over Toledo after two events.

"We did it with balance and depth," said Werner. "They bought into what we were doing, believed in themselves, and got the ball rolling early in the meet. For the coaches, it was just a matter of getting out of the way and letting them perform. It's really fun when that happens."

The duo of Lauren Funk (Springfield, Ohio) and Annie Donovan (Findlay, Ohio) combined to give the Bobcats 30 more points in the 100 Free as they finished third and seventh with times of 50.06 and 51.19, respectively. Katey Brooks (North Royalton, Ohio) and Abby Corcoran (Tucson, Ariz.) took 10th and 13th in the event with times of 50.98 and 51.79, respectively.

Petra Chomicz (King's Lynn, Norfolk, England) added to Ohio's lead with a sixth-place finish and a personal-best time of 2:15.86 in the 200 Breast, but it was Rachel Heim who stole the show once again as she delivered another impressive performance in the 200 Fly. The senior from San Diego picked up her second individual championship of the weekend with a personal-best time of 1:59.39, breaking the meet, pool, and MAC records. Fellow senior Amanda Cecere (Chelmsford, Mass.) finished third in the event with a 2:00.09 to boost Ohio's point total to 620.5.

"It was a great meet," said Heim. "I thought the team overall looked great today and we definitely earned this."

Senior Lindsay Hamilton (White City, Saskatchewan) finished her strong weekend on the diving boards as she took home second place on the 3-meter boards with a score of 320.65, sealing the win for Ohio.

"It's one thing to win by yourself, but it's something special when you do it as a team," said Hamilton. "It's just really great to see my hard work over the past five years pay off and it this is all just a great feeling."

Hamilton was also voted MAC Diver of the Year following her performance. Werner was voted as this year's MAC Coach of the year as well.

"It's not an individual award by any means," said Werner. "It should be coaches, team, and staff of the year because it's not all about one person. You can't do this with just one person."

Ohio captured its ten other conference championships in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, and most recently in 2008.

"We weren't perfect," said Werner. "Every team had their spots that they wish they had better, but we did it today with balance and I couldn't be happier."

Final Team Standings
1. Ohio - 669.5
2. Toledo -630.5
3. Miami - 561
4. Eastern Michigan - 385
5. Buffalo - 328.5
6. Akron - 312.5
6. Bowling Green - 312.5
8. Ball State - 261.5

MAC Champions
Lauren Funk - 50 Freestyle
Lindsay Hamilton - 1-Meter Diving
Rachel Heim - 100 Butterfly and 200 Butterfly
Rachel Stearns - 200 Backstroke
200 Freestyle Relay - Brooks, Heim, Donovan, Funk
400 Medley Relay - Stearns, Chomicz, Heim, Funk

MAC Records
Lindsay Hamilton - 1-Meter Diving
Rachel Heim - 100 Butterfly and 200 Butterfly
400 Medley Relay - Stearns, Chomicz, Heim, Funk

School Records
Rachel Heim - 100 Butterfly (52.51)
Rachel Heim - 200 Butterfly (1:59.39)
400 Medley Relay - Stearns, Heim, Funk, Chomicz (3:39.47)

MAC Honors
Diver of the Year - Lindsay Hamilton - Ohio
Diving Coach of the Year - Buck Smith - Eastern Michigan
Swimmer of the Year - Kelsey Vehr - Miami
Head Coach of the Year - Greg Werner - Ohio

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