Splash Report: a quick preview for the MAC Championships

College swimming season is coming to a close, and conference championship meets are coming up quick!

The Women’s Mid-American Conference meet begins on February 22nd at Miami University (Ohio). There are 8 teams with 24 athletes each competing for the conference title.

The University of Akron

400 Free relay podium at MACS in 2016

The University of Akron will be chasing their third MAC crown in a row, after winning in 2015 and 2016. The Zips have been performing well this season, and are predicted to take the top spot again this year as long as their egos don’t get the best of them.

Ohio University

Ohio University could pull an upset this year. The Bobcats came in an “uninspiring” 6th place last year. Under the helm of gold-medalist Rachel Komisarz-Baugh, they have been swimming like a different team this season. Their freshmen class is packed with talent that will help the team score in individual events and boost relays. The ‘Cats will only graduate four seniors at the conclusion of the season.

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan is another team to keep an eye on. They have dominated their dual meet season and have posted fast times. It will be interesting to see if they can improve on their times at the Championships. In the past, they have done well in-season but fall flat at MACs. They recently defeated the Miami Redhawks to earn a perfect dual meet season.

Bowling Green State University & University of Buffalo

BGSU & Buffalo has done “alright” in my opinion. It’s predicted that they will place in the middle of the pack this year. BGSU has some good sprinters which will translate over to their 200-yard relays. Buffalo has a few stand-out swimmers, but they lack depth in talent.

Ball State University & University of Toledo

Ball State University and Toledo will be fighting for last place. Both teams have a losing record and have lost to all the other MAC schools in dual meets. Toledo does not have any divers this year, their only diver has red-shirted. Ball State is typically at the bottom of the conference and this year will be no different.

Splash Report is a weekly college swimming newsletter keeping coaches, swimmers, and fans up-to-date and informed on everything going on in the sport.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ohio University Aquatic Center: the best and the worst place for a swimmer in Athens

To be completely honest, my favorite place in Athens, Ohio is also my least favorite place. The Ohio University Aquatic Center, commonly known as “OUAC” or “the pool”, is where all my best and worst college experiences have taken place. For those who do not know where the pool is, it is connected Grover and behind Bird Arena. The OUAC is open to all students during the designated open swim times.

The Olympic-sized pool and facility opened in 1984 and remains in good condition despite minimal renovations. There are 22 lanes, which is plenty of space for those who frequent the pool. In the deep-end section of the pool, there are two one-meter diving boards and two three-meter diving boards.

I am a member of the Ohio University Women’s Swimming and Diving team, therefore I spend copious amounts of time at the Ohio University Aquatic Center. Twice a day, every day, I jump into the sometimes icy cold waters and grind out a workout.

The Ohio University Women’s Swimming & Diving team celebrating a victory after a dual meet on 1/21/17.

Most swim practices are a grueling two hours of non-stop laps. We are out of breath and aching at the end of the workout. Some workouts are stamped into my memory for being the worst experience of my life.

My least favorite set would be the semi-annual 25x200s freestyle. In the set, we are supposed to hold the fastest pace we can for the duration of the set. Our coach will record our times and get our average. Our average will be used as a benchmark for other workouts during the season.

Even though I often hate going to the pool, it’s still my favorite place on campus. It is my favorite place because it is “home” to me. Being in the water is like second nature. No matter what chaos is ensuing in my life, the pool remains a constant place to relieve my stresses.

The pool is also where I met all my best friends. If I weren’t on the swim team and at the pool 24/7, I wouldn’t have the relationships I do now. My team is my family and I love the time I get to spend with them.

Carrie Dukes, Katie Lemen, Caroline Raley, and Liz Murphy snap a picture underwater at swim practice.

My favorite college memory thus far took place at the OUAC. It was the first dual meet of 2014, and my first college swim meet. The atmosphere was incredible. I will never forget stepping up on the blocks for my first collegiate race. It was the 200-yard freestyle. My parents were in the stands, and my teammates and coaches were lined up on the edge of the pool cheering me on. It was truly a moment I will never forget.

To most people, the Ohio University Aquatic Center is one of the amenities on campus that they don’t take advantage of. To me, it is much more. My relationship with the pool is defiantly love-hate, but I wouldn’t be the same person without it. I give the OUAC full credit for my success in athletics, fond college memories, and lasting relationships.

Next time you’re in the mood for a good workout, grab your swimsuit and head to the aquatic center.