Akron Wins 7th-Straight MAC Title, Swims 3:15 400 Free Relay on Day 4

Mid-American Conference (MAC) – Women


1. Akron – 811.5
2. Buffalo – 738.5
3. Eastern Michigan – 485
4. Miami – 408
5.Bowling Green – 293.5
6. Toledo – 283
7. Ohio – 262.5
8. Ball State – 223

The Akron Zips won their 7th consecutive MAC title tonight, coming in 73 points ahead of Buffalo. There was only one change in the standings on day 4 – Bowling Green jumped Toledo for 5th place. Akron won 3 more individual events and another relay today.

Akron sophomore Sarah Watson shaved .02 seconds off her personal best, winning the 100 freestyle in 48.91. Watson swam a 48.93 in the event last year at MACs, which stood as her personal best until tonight. Watson, who won the 200 IM on Friday, took the race out quick, flipping in 23.57, and came home in 25.34. She led a 1-2 charge by the Zips, with Morgan Waggoner touching 2nd in 49.50. Waggoner was a bit off her personal best of 48.94, which she also swam at last year’s MACs. Toni Naccarella (Buffalo) came in just behind Waggoner, earning Bronze with a 49.52. 200 free champion Camila Lins de Mello took 4th with a 49.67.

The Zips posted another 1-2 finish in the 200 breast, with Paula Garcia winning the race, and Andrea Fischer taking 2nd. Garcia won the 100 breast yesterday, and used her speed to get out to a quick start. Garcia hit the turn at the 100 mark in 1:03.52, with Fischer right behind at 1:03.84. The strongest part of Garcia’s race came on the back half, where she split 1:07.16, compared to 1:08.20 for Fischer. Garcia swam a 2:10.68, coming in off her personal best of 2:09.82, while Fischer swam a 2:12.04, also off her best of 2:11.68.

Akron’s best team performance came in the 200 fly, where Paulina Nogaj, the 100 fly champion, took the title. Nogaj swam a 1:57.45, coming in off her best time of 1:56.49. She swam her best time back in December at the Zippy Invite. Akron also picked up the next 2 spots, with Mackenzie Vargas swimming a 1:58.73 for 2nd, and Jessica Bonezzi clocking a 1:58.81 for 3rd. Vargas has a personal best of 1:57.05, which she swam at the 2018 MAC Champs, and Bonezzi was also just off her best of 1:58.26, which she swam at last year’s Championships. Buffalo’s Nicole Roitenberg touched right behind Bonezzi, finishing 4th in 1:58.99.

The Zips won the 400 free relay with a 3:15.81, finishing 1.61 seconds ahead of runner-up Buffalo. Sarah Watson led the relay of, matching her time she swam to win the 100 free individually – 48.91. Morgan Waggoner went next with a 48.78, with Sofia Henell splitting 49.28 on the 3rd leg, and Paulina Nogaj anchoring in 48.84. Buffalo finished in 2nd with a 3:17.42, touching as the only other team under 3:21. Toni Naccarella led the team off in 49.56, with Jillian Lawton (49.43), Andrea Ernst (49.08), and Katie Burns (49.35) following.

Bowling Green sophomore Daisy Platts completed her sweep of the backstroke events, taking the 200 back with a 1:54.45. The swim marks a personal best for Platts, and likely leaves her just outside what it will take to earn an invite to NCAAs. Eastern Michigan’s Claire Young finished 2nd tonight, after also finishing 2nd in the 100 back last night. Young swam a 1:55.34, leading 3rd place finisher Weronika Gorecka (Akron) by half a second. Gorecka touched in 1:55.82, with Toledo’s Izzy Jones just behind her in 1:55.95.

Bowling Green also picked up a win in 3 meter diving, where Talisa Lemke scored 351.36. She led the field by nearly 50 points, with Eastern Michigan’s Sofia Tsafantakis coming in 2nd with a score of 302.22.

Eastern Michigan picked up the first win of the session, taking the mile. Alyssa Shugarman, the 500 champion from day 2 of the meet, finished the race in 16:29.68 to touch the wall first. The Eagles were strong in the event, with Savanna Mouat finishing 3rd in 16:35.44, and Abby Rapien taking 7th with a 16:57.88. Buffalo’s Brittney Beetcher swam a 16:32.49 for 2nd.

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