Oct. 29, 2011
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Ohio Swimming and Diving picked up its second win of the weekend and season on Saturday, earning a 151-149 dual-meet victory over the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Bobcats have now begun two of their last three seasons with a perfect 2-0 mark. Freshman diver Morgan Srail had a great day for the Green and White, qualifying for the 2012 NCAA Diving Zones with her scores on Saturday.
Through 15 of the day's 16 events, the host Eagles (0-1. 0-1 Mid-American Conference) held a 147-136 advantage, needing just a second-place finish in the final event of the day to earn the victory. Ohio (2-0, 2-0 MAC) was able to step up when it mattered most, taking the first and second spots in the 400 freestyle relay, picking up 15 points to shock the home crowd.
"That was a very tight finish to a very tight competition," said Head Coach Greg Werner. "We knew that we had two very strong relays ready to go but we also knew that they had a good relay as well. Not only getting to that position but being able to perform speaks volumes about the character and toughness of this team."
Similar to Friday, Ohio was led by a number of very strong individual performances. Emma Michaels (Findlay, Ohio) and Rachel Stearns (Minnetonka, Minn.) picked up two important wins in the third and fourth events of the day, the 200 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke. Michaels earned nine team points with her time of 1:52.22 and Stearns followed suit in the next event, earning nine points with a time of 57.80.
Eastern Michigan earned first place in both the one and three meter diving events on Saturday, yet this was nothing Ohio should be disappointed about. The Bobcats' best diver of the day, Morgan Srail (Avon Lake, Ohio), earned second in the one meter competition and third in the three meter event. Her scores of 276.68 and 269.03, respectively, cemented her place in Ohio's all-time top ten, as her one-meter score is the fourth best ever achieved by an Ohio diver and her three-meter score is the tenth best ever recorded.
"Morgan did a great job," Werner said. "She got over the (NCAA Diving) Zone qualifying score as well, which means she'll be competing at that event following the MAC Championships. Eastern Michigan has been one of the stronger, if not the strongest, diving programs in the conference for a few years now, and to go up there and compete well against them bodes very, very well."
With the meet building up to an exciting climax, Ohio's 400 freestyle relay team of Sarah Owen (Portsmouth, England), Michaels, Katey Brooks (North Royalton, Ohio) and Abby Corcoran (Tucson, Ariz.) stepped up in a big way. The Bobcats earned the top spot in the event with a time of 3:32.20, earning 11 team points in the process. This first-place finish wouldn't have completed the victory for the Bobcats if it wasn't for the efforts of Michelle Gaisor (Louisville, Ky.), Lauren Funk (Springfield, Ohio), Tori Bagan (Roanoke, Ind.) and Amanda Cecere (Chelmsford, Mass.), who finished second with a time of 3:33.01.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Saturday, Nov. 5 when the Buffalo Bulls come to town. First event is scheduled for 1 p.m.