Buffalo Men Snap Eastern Michigan’s 72-Meet MAC Dual Winning Streak

Meet Stats

  • Results
  • Saturday, January 28th
  • Alumni Arena Natatorium, Buffalo, New York
  • 25 Yards
  • Dual Meet Format
  • Final Score Men: Buffalo 161, EMU 139
  • Final Score Women: EMU 164, Buffalo 136

Men’s Recap

The Buffalo Bulls’ men’s swim team snapped Eastern Michigan’s legendary 71-meet Mid-American Conference dual meet win streak on Saturday. EMU’s time in the conference spans back to win they were NCAA Division II members, and includes a record 33 conference championships (including 17-straight from 1980-1996).

The entire Eastern Michigan streak had been under the eye of head coach Peter Linn, and the team last lost a dual meet in the MAC Conference in the last meet of the 1997-1998 season, when they fell 113-130 at the hands of Toledo – a school that no longer sponsors a men’s swim team. Eastern Michigan would still win the conference title a few weeks later, beating Toledo by a narrow 6-point margin.

The very next year, Buffalo joined the conference, and the Bulls had been victims of 15 of the 71 wins in the streak – with the last matchup being a 187-107 trouncing by Eastern Michigan in the 2014-2015 season.

Buffalo took the win on the strength of a huge senior class, who were celebrated during the meet in their last home dual meet. They will graduate 11 seniors off a 23-man roster at the end of this season.

Buffalo won the meet’s first event, the 200 medley relay, in 1:31.10 – more than a second faster than Eastern Michigan’s A relay. The Eagles fought back, though, by winning the meet’s next 3 events.

A 55.4 in the men’s 100 breaststroke from Buffalo’s Garrett Clarke interrupted that run, and then Buffalo was spurred back into the lead in large part by a 1-2-3 finish in the 50 freestyle, headed by Mason Miller in 20.69.

Buffalo roared into the lead on the back-half of the meet and wouldn’t get it back. Besides a sweep of the breaststrokes from Clarke (who also won the 200 in 2:00.01), Buffalo also got two individual victories from the sophomore Miller, who won the 100 fly in 49.20. Reid Zyniecki only won a single race, but that single race was a 4:34.19 in the 500 free to put him 5 seconds ahead of Eastern Michigan’s Kyle Lichenberg (4:38.51). For Zyniecki, that’s three seconds ahead of where he was at his best dual meet (on the same weekend) last season, and seven seconds ahead of the team’s fastest 500 freestyler this season Charles Barry, who placed just 5th on Saturday.

For Eastern Michigan, Tosh Kawaguchi swept the backstrokes, winning the 100 by just a couple of tenths in 49.37, and the 200 in a more dominant 1:47.81, which was a two-second margin of victory.

Buffalo finished the meet with a 3:03.21 in the 400 free relay that included a 44.5 anchor from Miller to break a near-deadlock in the race. EMU’s A relay took 2nd in 3:04.18.

Women’s Recap

The Eastern Michigan women wrote a different story on Saturday, beating out Buffalo on their senior day by almost 30 points. The Eastern Michigan women are 7-0 on the season in dual meets, including 3-0 in the MAC.

The Eagles are developing a strong co-ed backstroke group – much like Kawaguchi did in the men’s meet, Eastern Michigan’s Alexis Mitcheltree swept the backstrokes in 55.13 and 2:00.55, respectively. In both races, Eastern Michigan went 1-2, but in the 200, Mitcheltree won by four seconds.

The EMU women got a big lift from their divers at a key point in the middle of the meet. Brielle Johnston and Sophia Tsafantakis went 1-2 on the 1-meter for 14 of the 19 available points in that event, and then went 1-2-3 on the 3-meter for the maximum 16 points.

For the Buffalo women, Julia Box was a big winner, sweeping the butterflies with a 2:01.96 in the 200 and then later a 55.42 in the 100 fly.

Press Releases

Courtesy Buffalo Athletics (Men’s and Women’s):

BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo’s swimming and diving team welcomed the Eagles from Eastern Michigan to the Natatorium on Saturday. The women fell to Eastern Michigan 164-139 after a tough performance. The men snapped Eastern Michigan’s72-MAC dual win streak dating back to the 1997-98 season. The men beat the Eagles 161-139 after seeing tough competition.

The Bulls were coming off of a 164-73 victory over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies; and were up against one of the strongest teams in the Mid-American Conference. Eastern Michigan took home the conference title at last year’s championship, and had never lost to the Bulls. The Bulls and Eagles had not met up for a dual-action meet since January of 2014 when the Bulls fell to Eastern Michigan 152-105.

The seniors left in all in the pool today; placing in the Top-Three in nine swimming events and on both diving boards. Andrew Cole-Goins and Eric Jensen helped their 200 Medley Relay team of Hudson Carroll and Garrett Clarke to a first place finish; clocking in at 1:31.10 and landing a place in the All-Time Top-Ten Performances. Jensen and Carroll were also members of the first place 400 Free Relay team alongside senior Martin Leigh and sophomore Mason Miller. Jensen, Carroll, and Leigh each added a second place finish to their accolades this weekend. Jensen took second in the 50 Free with a time of 21.26, Carroll took second in the 100 Back with a time of 49.52, and Leigh took second in the 200 Free with a time of 1:42.26. Senior Reid Zyniecki took first in one event, second in two, and third in one. His time of 4:34.19 in the 500 Free placed him first and was over four second ahead of second place. His two second place finishes were in the 1000 Free and 100 Back; and his third place finish was in the 200 Free. Senior Scott Huang took first in one event and second in two. He clocked in at 1:50.06 in the 200 IM for first; 55.57 in the 100 Breast for second; and 2:02.49 in the 200 Breast for second. Senior Charles Barry took third in the 1000 Free with a time of 9:39.95.

Mason Miller was a force to be reckoned with. The sophomore from Westerville, OH took first in three individual events and swam anchor for the first place 400 Free Relay team. Miller took first in the 50 Free (20.69), 100 Free (45.34), and 10 0Fly (49.20).

The diving boards were also a huge success for the men. Nick Rodriguez took first on the one-meter with a score of 337.28. Kristian Santos was right behind him in second, and Troy Birdsall took fourth. One the three-meter, Rodriguez was able to seal a third place finish, while Dan Roche took fourth.

The women saw some tough competition today and were able to seal several Top-Three finishes. The Bulls placed first in nine events, second in two events, and third in three events. Hannah Miller took first in two individual events: 1000 Free and 500 Free. She clocked in at 10:05.19 and 4:57.46, respectively. Megan Burns and Julia Box were also multiple first place finishers. Box took first in the 200 Fly (2:01.96) and 100 Fly (55.42). While Burns took first in the 100 Free (50.38), 200 Free (1:49.85), and 50 Free (22.43). Sarah Baxter and Grace Baumer each had a first place finish. Baxter took first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.91, while Baumer took first in the 200 Breast with a time of 2:18.78. The Bulls took second in both relays. The 200 Medley Relay team of Julia Box, Anna Vitolins, Baxter, and Eve Kosten clocked in at 1:44.20. The 400 Free Relay team of Andrea Ernst, Kosten, Catherine Schultheis, and M. Burns clocked in 3:25.77.

In the diving well, Abbey Croce led the way for the Bulls. The senior from Suffern, NY took third on the one-meter dive and fourth on the three-meter. Fellow senior Valerie Lortie took fourth on the one-meter dive.

The Mid-American Conference is just a few short weeks away for both the men and women. They will be back in action on February 4th when they travel to Cleveland State. The meet is set to begin at 2:00 pm.

Courtesy EMU Athletics (Men’s):

BUFFALO, N.Y. (EMUEagles.com) – Freshman Brielle Johnston (Ottawa, Ontario- Catholique Franco-Quest) and senior Alexis Mitcheltree (Moon Twp., Pa.-Moon Area) picked up two wins apiece to lead the Eastern Michigan University women’s swimming and diving team past the University at Buffalo, 164-136, Saturday, Jan. 28, at Alumni Arena Natatorium. With the win, the Eagles moved to 7-0 on the season, and 3-0 in Mid-American Conference duals.

The Eagles got out to a strong start, staking claim to three of the top four spots in the 200 Medley Relay to start the dual. The veteran squad of Mitcheltree and sophomores Delaney Duncan (Galesburg, Ill.-Galesburg), Dora Vrcic, and Stephanie Johnston clocked in with a time of 1:42.78 to earn the win by nearly two seconds. Meanwhile, a mix of freshman Claire Young (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.-Grosse Pointe South), senior Genna Worthley (Portland, Maine-Deering), sophomore Michal Liberman (Rosh Haayin, Israel-Begin), and junior Chase Walker (Virginia Beach, Va.-Landstown) teamed up for a third-place finish.

Buffalo bounced back with a win in the 1000 Freestyle, but the dynamic duo of sophomore Nicole Swartz (Dayton, Ohio-Centerville) and junior Sarah Dombkowski (Canton, Mich.-Plymouth) finished second and third, respectively, for the Eagles.

In the 200 Free, seniors Mary Grace Van Allen (Indianapolis, Ind.-North Central) and Sierra Wagner (Huntsville, Texas-Huntsville) racked up a pair of top-three finishes. Van Allen finished runner-up with a season-best time of 1:50.76, while Wagner touched in with a career-best time of 1:52.60, coming in two seconds faster than her previous best.

Mitcheltree returned the Eagles to the top spot in the 100 Backstroke, pacing the field with a time of 55.13. Young was not far behind, wrapping up a second place finish, with a time of 56.44.

EMU dominated the 100 Breaststroke, sweeping the top three slots. Duncan led the way, picking up the win with a time of 1:03.02, while Worthley and senior Emily Wimmer (Hammond, Ind.-Munster) rounded out the top three. Wimmer edged out UB’s Grace Baumer by two hundredths of a second to complete the sweep, turning in a season-best time of 1:05.31.

A pair of season-bests gave the Eagles second and third place finishes in the 200 Butterfly. Senior Carly Jackson (LaPorte, Ind.-LaPorte) claimed second with a time of 2:03.42, while sophomore Emilie Desnoyers finished third with a time of 2:05.30.

In the final event before the diving break, a second-place finish by Wagner put EMU ahead in the team standings, 71-60.

EMU’s diving squad came up huge for the Eagles as the Green and White scored some of the best marks in the conference this season. On the 3-meter, Johnston claimed the win with the third-best score in the MAC this year. Her score of 316.73 points was also a career-best. Junior Alli Shereda (Fraser, Mich.-Fraser) also broke the 300-point barrier, earning a season-best score of 309.38, good for fifth-best in the MAC. Freshman Sophia Tsafantakis (Washington, Mich.-Romeo) completed the sweep, posting a career-best 295.28 to finish third. Johnston and Tsafantakis provided the Eagles with a 1-2 punch on the 3-meter. Johnston earned her second win of the day with a score of 256.88, while Tsafantakis boasted a score of 249.15 to claim second.

Out of the break, Wagner posted another second-place finish, this time in the 100 Free. From there, Mitcheltree paced another dominating backstroke performance by the Eagles. The Moon Twp., Pa. native clocked in with a season-best mark of 2:00.55 to best the field, while Gavigan and Young placed second and third, respectively.

Moving to the 200 Breast, Duncan and Worthley turned in another pair of top-three finishes. Duncan touched in as the runner-up, while Worthley finished third.
Eastern picked two more top-two finishes in the 500 Free, where Dombkowski and Swartz secured second and third-place finishes, respectively, as EMU clocked in with three of the top four times.

Van Allen added a second-place finish in the 200 Individual Medley before the Eagles closed out the meet with a win in the 400 Free Relay. Wagner, Mitcheltree, Stephanie Johnston, and Walker combined for the win, edging out UB’s second-place relay squad by just over two tenths of a second, finalizing the 164-136 win over the Eagles.

Eastern Michigan wraps up the dual portion of its 2016-17 schedule next weekend, Feb. 4, at home against Miami University. The senior day showdown is slated for 1 p.m. inside Jones Natatorium.

Courtesy EMU Athletics (Women’s):

BUFFALO, N.Y. (EMUEagles.com) – Freshman Brielle Johnston (Ottawa, Ontario- Catholique Franco-Quest) and senior Alexis Mitcheltree (Moon Twp., Pa.-Moon Area) picked up two wins apiece to lead the Eastern Michigan University women’s swimming and diving team past the University at Buffalo, 164-136, Saturday, Jan. 28, at Alumni Arena Natatorium. With the win, the Eagles moved to 7-0 on the season, and 3-0 in Mid-American Conference duals.

The Eagles got out to a strong start, staking claim to three of the top four spots in the 200 Medley Relay to start the dual. The veteran squad of Mitcheltree and sophomores Delaney Duncan (Galesburg, Ill.-Galesburg), Dora Vrcic, and Stephanie Johnston clocked in with a time of 1:42.78 to earn the win by nearly two seconds. Meanwhile, a mix of freshman Claire Young (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.-Grosse Pointe South), senior Genna Worthley (Portland, Maine-Deering), sophomore Michal Liberman (Rosh Haayin, Israel-Begin), and junior Chase Walker (Virginia Beach, Va.-Landstown) teamed up for a third-place finish.

Buffalo bounced back with a win in the 1000 Freestyle, but the dynamic duo of sophomore Nicole Swartz (Dayton, Ohio-Centerville) and junior Sarah Dombkowski (Canton, Mich.-Plymouth) finished second and third, respectively, for the Eagles.

In the 200 Free, seniors Mary Grace Van Allen (Indianapolis, Ind.-North Central) and Sierra Wagner (Huntsville, Texas-Huntsville) racked up a pair of top-three finishes. Van Allen finished runner-up with a season-best time of 1:50.76, while Wagner touched in with a career-best time of 1:52.60, coming in two seconds faster than her previous best.

Mitcheltree returned the Eagles to the top spot in the 100 Backstroke, pacing the field with a time of 55.13. Young was not far behind, wrapping up a second place finish, with a time of 56.44.

EMU dominated the 100 Breaststroke, sweeping the top three slots. Duncan led the way, picking up the win with a time of 1:03.02, while Worthley and senior Emily Wimmer (Hammond, Ind.-Munster) rounded out the top three. Wimmer edged out UB’s Grace Baumer by two hundredths of a second to complete the sweep, turning in a season-best time of 1:05.31.

A pair of season-bests gave the Eagles second and third place finishes in the 200 Butterfly. Senior Carly Jackson (LaPorte, Ind.-LaPorte) claimed second with a time of 2:03.42, while sophomore Emilie Desnoyers finished third with a time of 2:05.30.

In the final event before the diving break, a second-place finish by Wagner put EMU ahead in the team standings, 71-60.

EMU’s diving squad came up huge for the Eagles as the Green and White scored some of the best marks in the conference this season. On the 3-meter, Johnston claimed the win with the third-best score in the MAC this year. Her score of 316.73 points was also a career-best. Junior Alli Shereda (Fraser, Mich.-Fraser) also broke the 300-point barrier, earning a season-best score of 309.38, good for fifth-best in the MAC. Freshman Sophia Tsafantakis (Washington, Mich.-Romeo) completed the sweep, posting a career-best 295.28 to finish third. Johnston and Tsafantakis provided the Eagles with a 1-2 punch on the 3-meter. Johnston earned her second win of the day with a score of 256.88, while Tsafantakis boasted a score of 249.15 to claim second.

Out of the break, Wagner posted another second-place finish, this time in the 100 Free. From there, Mitcheltree paced another dominating backstroke performance by the Eagles. The Moon Twp., Pa. native clocked in with a season-best mark of 2:00.55 to best the field, while Gavigan and Young placed second and third, respectively.

Moving to the 200 Breast, Duncan and Worthley turned in another pair of top-three finishes. Duncan touched in as the runner-up, while Worthley finished third.
Eastern picked two more top-two finishes in the 500 Free, where Dombkowski and Swartz secured second and third-place finishes, respectively, as EMU clocked in with three of the top four times.

Van Allen added a second-place finish in the 200 Individual Medley before the Eagles closed out the meet with a win in the 400 Free Relay. Wagner, Mitcheltree, Stephanie Johnston, and Walker combined for the win, edging out UB’s second-place relay squad by just over two tenths of a second, finalizing the 164-136 win over the Eagles.

Eastern Michigan wraps up the dual portion of its 2016-17 schedule next weekend, Feb. 4, at home against Miami University. The senior day showdown is slated for 1 p.m. inside Jones Natatorium.

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Coachandy

Big win, Camper!

Brad Flood

Congratulations to The Buffs & Coach Andy Bashir!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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