2024 Women’s MAC Champs Day 1: Maier’s 1:43.90 Sets New Record; DQ Raises Controversy

2024 MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

TEAM STANDINGS THRU DAY 1

  1. Akron/Miami (OH) – 74
  2. Ohio – 64
  3. Buffalo/Ball State – 58
  4. Eastern Michigan – 52
  5. Toledo – 48
  6. Bowling Green – 22

The first day of the 2024 Women’s MAC Championships is in the books. As always, the first day of the meet featured only the 200 medley and 800 free relays, which means the team scores are, of course, very tight currently. Akron and Miami (OH) are tied for 1st at the end of Wednesday night, each having scored 74 points through winning a relay and coming in 2nd in the other.

The meet kicked off with an Akron win in the 200 medley relay. The team of Maddy Gatrall (24.66), Sara Bozso (27.54), Abby Daniel (22.83), and Rebecca Reid (22.41) combined for a 1:37.54, beating out Miami’s team by just 0.10 seconds. Notably, Miami’s Madeline Padavic was faster than Gatrall on backstroke, swimming a 24.36. The Redhawks also benefitted from a huge anchor by Nicole Maier, who came flying home in 21.79. Miami’s 1:37.54 marks a new program record for the Redhawks.

Maier would go on to be critical in Miami’s victory in the 800 free relay as well. She led Miami off with a sizzling 1:43.90, which not only marked a new career best for Maier, but set a new MAC record as well. Maier held the previous conference record at 1:44.50, meaning last night she took the record under 1:44 for the first time. Behind Maier’s incredible lead-off, Julia Waechter (1:48.51), Kaylin Herbet (1:48.44), and Greta Kolbeck (1:45.30) made up the rest of Miami’s relay, getting the Redhawks into the finish in 7:06.15. That 7:06.15 marked a new MAC record as well, taking the down the previous mark of 7:06.81, which Akron set back in 2019.

Akron’s 800 free relay would come in 2nd in 7:08.87. Weronika Gorecka, who set the MAC Championship record in the 200 free at last year’s meet, led off in 1:45.55. Other notable splits included Ohio freshman Zita Szoke, who led off her relay in 1:46.15.

Bowling Green was DQ’d in the 800 free relay for an early takeoff on the 3rd leg. The timing system shows that exchange did have a registered reaction time of -0.01 seconds, making that DQ justified and correct based on the rules (presuming the starting point of the pads are 0.00, which some are). Where this seemingly run-of-the-mill DQ takes an odd turn is that the results which were originally posted last night, which you can view here, showed Bowling Green as not the only team to have an early takeoff. On that initial set of results, Akron had a -0.01 exchange of their own on their 3rd leg, as well as a -0.15 exchange on the 2nd leg. Additionally, those results showed Buffalo with a -0.16 exchange on their 2nd leg.

Though those results showed 3 teams with early takeoffs, only Bowling Green was disqualified. SwimSwam reached out to the MAC asking for clarification on why BGSU was the only team to be disqualified, but we didn’t receive a response. Now, there is a new set of a results published on the meet page, one that no longer shows the early takeoffs from Akron and Buffalo. Akron’s -0.15 now shows as a +0.19, while their -0.01 is now a +0.23. Buffalo’s former -0.16 now shows up as a +0.49. It wouldn’t be hard to believe that the reaction time system was having an issue last night, except that it’s very odd that the only reaction times that changed from the old results to the new ones are the 2 negative Akron RTs, and Buffalo’s negative jump. Every other reaction time in both events, including Bowling Green’s -0.01 on the 800 free, stayed exactly the same. SwimSwam has asked for further explanation on the dueling sets of results, but has not yet received a response from the MAC.

On deck on Thursday morning, swimmers have apparently been told that the reaction times were changed because the touch-pads were hit by athletes outside of the exchange. Swimmers from the teams in question are claiming that the issue came from their step-over starts, which results in a swimmer fully leaving contact with the RJP at some point before re-landing on the pad and leaving, and that the original results sent out by the conference had those initial ‘departure’ from the RJPs rather than the final departure. Bowling Green State swimmers also use stepover starts.

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1 month ago

Horns up. Let’s go Buffalo

Fart mcfart
1 month ago

Lets think logically here, there are two reaction times in step over starts always because the kickback has no reaction pad on it. So its always going to be a double touch therefore why the -.15 changes to +.23

Fart mcfart
1 month ago

This is so crazy because we have video proof of the relays being legal. Also step over starts can cause malfunction due to weight shifting… get better swimswam.

Admin
Reply to  Fart mcfart
1 month ago

Could you send those videos to share.com, please?

Mess with the MACtion.
Reply to  Fart mcfart
1 month ago

Hey we all know how it goes. No relay has ever left early, except everybody else’s relay always leaves early. Don’t need to be so childish about it. SS is doing their jobs by asking the questions. If the conference thinks they handled it the right way, they should answer those questions.

If you want attention on your conference, that attention comes with scrutiny. You cannot expect the media to just write about how you shit rainbows all the time when shady stuff like this happens.

Legal or not, sending out official results then altering those official results without explanation is super duper shady. Conference should answer for that.

SwimGuy
Reply to  Fart mcfart
1 month ago

They’re just reporting on what they heard as they should. They’re a news outlet, you can’t expect them to not report on noteworthy news like this

Anonymous
1 month ago

If who wrote this article saw the official results, they would see that those times from Akron and Buffalo were positive. Not negative. This is not the correct results.

Admin
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

The original official results were negative, and they were changed, which is explained in the article.

anonymous
1 month ago

Thank you for reporting on these crazy results. Appreciate the follow-up questions as well. Would be interesting to hear from anyone there and if they had video of anything contradictory to results.

Admin
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

The odds of being able to see a -.01 on any camera not designed specifically to capture that would be slim-and-none, unfortunately.

Could maybe see the -.15 and -.16, should in theory be able to see the other touch outside of the relay exchange (though I really can’t understand what that touch would be that would impact the exchange by .25 or so seconds).

neffry
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Does the conference or the meet management team have a policy on this – what timing system was used? I help run a colorado timing system console as part of a meet management team, and our RJPs have a margin of error of -0.03. Usually officials will double confirm an early takeoff, but will come to us in the event of a protest from a coach. If the exchange is outside of the margin of error, some head refs will overturn. However, these are for USA swimming meets and championship high school meets, so the standards of officiating could be different.

Anonymous
Reply to  neffry
1 month ago

They are using Colorado timing.

Anonymous
Reply to  neffry
1 month ago

They are using Colorado

Admin
Reply to  neffry
1 month ago

It depends on the manual of the pad. It’s +/-.09 from the brand’s set point – each brand has its own set point – and what the RJP says is automatic within those bounds. So from the -.03s, it’s -.12 to +.06, what the pad says goes. Anything outside of that, what the official says goes. By the rules, that’s how it should operate – official doesn’t have to agree to a -.05, and if the RJP says +.2 and the official calls it, the official’s call should stand.

It’s an imperfect system. Fortunately a lot of bigger meets have gone to RJP cameras to settle those things. Most of the Power 5s have those now. NCAAs have them.

Meeeee
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

And just tonight they had issues with the timing system holding up the 400 MR about 10 minutes.

Also note that BG has a history of relay DQ’s with 2 at the MAC Champ meet last year.

anonymous
Reply to  Meeeee
1 month ago

They should use the GoPros like the MAC Mens meet used last year to “video” the relay exchanges (lol, seriously, they hung up GoPros at the ends)