Swimmers fall short against Toledo

John Lopez and John Lopez

The pained look on coach Keri Buff’s face said it all as her Falcon swim team was soundly beaten 180-118 by I-75 rival Toledo Friday night.

After nearly a month away from competitive swimming, the Falcons looked overmatched against one of the Mid-American Conference’s best teams.

The difference between the teams was evident from the first event as the Falcons could only muster a third place finish in the 200-yard medley relay.

By the time the swimmers broke for the one meter diving competition, the Rockets had already built a lead of 85-46.

All was not lost as the sometimes embattled sprint group did well, placing first and second in the 100-yard freestyle.

Junior co-captain Meg Richardson won the event with a season best time of 53 seconds, only .02 seconds off her lifetime best. Equally impressive was sophomore Carrie Enright who finished second in the event with a 53:80, after being third at the turn.

The event was a redemption of sorts for Richardson who had been touched out at the wall on the 50-yard freestyle just minutes earlier.

“I was disappointed coming out of the 50 [free],” Richardson said. “I really worked with coach [assistant Mark Howard] to execute a good race plan, and I think I did that today.”

As for the sprint group coming together, Richardson was optimistic about the team’s performance.

“The girls that swim sprint have been working really hard all season,” Richardson said. “We have been trying out some new techniques all season, and it is starting to work for us.”

Not to be outdone, senior Alisha Yee had another strong meet winning the 100-yard backstroke (58.42) by nearly a second over her closest competition. Yee also finished the 200-yard backstroke second with a 2:05.85, just behind MAC record holder Meghan Reissig.

“No one knew where they were at coming into tonight’s meet,” Yee said. “After so much time off I was really happy with how I swam.”

Yee, who swam a season best 2:05.85, is confident in the team’s progress going into the MAC Championships.

“You really can’t appreciate the sacrifice we put in until after the MAC Championships,” Yee said. “It was good to swim fast, but we will shed major time at the Championship.”

Also putting in an impressive performance was sophomore Sarah Burston, who was dominant in the 200-yard butterfly swimming a 2:08.25, leading the race wire to wire.

“It felt really good to go fast today,” Burston said. “Finishing second in the 100 butterfly was not what I wanted, but it will give me something to work on for the conference championships.”

Although the team’s performance in dual meets has not been spectacular, the girls have bought into the coaching staff’s philosophy of, ‘It will all come together at the MAC Championship.’

Howard says the season is going according to plan.

“We beat the girls up really bad this week; we expected them to be tired,” Howard said. “Unlike other teams we work hard through the entire season, not resting up for dual meets. But when it comes to that final, big meet, we will have the best times we have had all season.”

Other standout Falcons were sophomore Liz Harper who placed third in the 200-yard butterfly and senior Sami Jordan who finished second to Yee on the 100-yard backstroke.

The Falcons will not have to leave the Bowling Green Natatorium for the rest of the season hosting Ball State and Youngstown State on Feb. 6, and then Akron on Feb. 7.

The season ending MAC Championship will also be hosted by the Falcons Feb. 25-28.

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Contact sports reporter John Lopez at [email protected]