Feb. 27, 2010
OXFORD, Ohio- Ohio Swimming and Diving dropped to third place on day three of the Mid-American Conference Championships Friday as Toledo held strong at the top while host Miami surged forward. Rachel Heim had an incredible day for the Green and White, winning two events and re-writing both the conference and Bobcat record books with her performances in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke.
The 400 Individual Medley was the first final event of the day, which RedHawk Kelsey Vehr won in 4:16.72. Sophomore Kristen Witham (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was Ohio’s first finisher in the event, taking sixth place with a season-best 4:26.80. Teammate Petra Chomicz (King’s Lynn, England) took third in the consolation final (11th overall) with a season-best 4:30.28 and Stacey Huber (Gainesville, Fla.) earned sixth in the same consolation final (14th overall) with her 4:33.24.
Heim (San Diego, Calif.) took the next event by a comfortable margin, winning the 100 Butterfly in 53.26. This time was a meet record, a MAC record, a pool record, a lifetime best for the junior and the best 100 Butterfly time in Bobcat women’s swimming history. This record-setting pace earned 20 important points for Ohio.
Amanda Traylor (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Chelsey Bower (Bethel Park, Pa.) followed Heim’s lead, turning in impressive performances in the day’s third final, the 200 Freestyle. Traylor took second place in the event, swimming a lifetime-best 1:47.67, a time that ranks second in Bobcat history. Junior Jacy Dyer of Toledo just edged Traylor, winning the race by five hundredths of a second. Bower finished in fifth place with a season-best 1:49.09, adding 14 points in addition to Traylor’s 17.
“Amanda is having a tremendous season,” said head coach Greg Werner. “She is having a great championship. She was aggressive and really got after the 200 Freestyle to shave a bunch of time of her lifetime best. It was quite satisfying.”
Miami and Toledo excelled in the 100 Breaststroke, as the two schools together accounted for the top four spots in the event. Both of Ohio’s finishes came in the consolation final of this event, as Elizabeth Bishop (Hales Corners, Wisc.) finished fourth (12th overall) with a lifetime-best 1:04.35 and teammate Allison Schaefer (Medina, Ohio) touched in a season-best 1:04.77) for fifth place (13th overall).
Heim set her second record in the fifth final of the day, the 100 Backstroke. Just like her 100 Fly set multiple records, her 54.63 in this event set a meet record, a conference record, a school record, a pool record and was a lifetime best.
“We saw that all year long,” said Werner. “She’s one of the best, if not the best student-athletes in the conference and obviously she set herself up well for a great championships and continued that this weekend, specifically today.”
The Rockets and RedHawks finished off the day on a very high note, taking the first and second spots, respectively, in the 400 Medley Relay. The Ohio team of Sarah Owen (Portsmouth, England), Bishop, Heim and Annie Donovan (Findlay, Ohio) finished fifth in the event, earning 28 points.
When all was said and done on Friday night, Toledo still held the lead with 452 points. Host Miami surged ahead of the Bobcats to second place with 385 while the Green and White fell to third with 348.
“Tomorrow (Saturday) is a strong day for us,” added Werner. “It’s the same philosophy that we’ve had throughout the championships: every opportunity is just that, an opportunity. We want to be the team that is taking advantage of it.”
Saturday’s preliminary heats will begin at 11 a.m., with the final events concluding at approximately 9:30 p.m. Stay tuned to OhioBobcats.com for a full recap of the 2010 championship’s final day.