Missouri State Carries Slight Lead After MAC Day Two

2017 MEN’S MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

Team scores after day two:

  1. Missouri State 248
  2. University at Buffalo 237.5
  3. Eastern Michigan 230
  4. Miami University (Ohio) 217.5
  5. Southern Illinois 178
  6. Ball State 76
  7. Evansville 75

With 1-2 finishes in the first two events of the evening, including a 200 IM final that landed five athletes in the top eight, Missouri State has managed to gain a slight lead after day two action at the 2017 Men’s Mid-American Conference Championship. The Bears earned enough points early in the session to weather the storm through a diving session in which both Buffalo and Eastern Michigan capitalized on multiple athletes landing unanswered points. Missouri State has won the MAC title only once, convincingly in 2014, but suffered heartbreaking losses by six points in 2013 and again by twenty points in 2015, both years watching their lead disappear when Eastern Michigan flexed their muscles on the springboards. To lead the MAC again, the Bears know that they will need to have some knock-out events to get enough of a lead to make a difference on day four, and today they managed to move into a great position to do just that.

500 FREESTYLE

  1. Antonio Thomas, Missouri State 4:19.97
  2. Minki Kang, Missouri State 4:23.28
  3. Kyle Lichtenberg, Eastern Michigan 4:23.56

Missouri State Head Coach Dave Collins has recruited heavily from the Arkansas LSC over the last three years, and his investment has paid off.  The duo of Antonio Thomas and Minki Kang have traded wins all season in the distance events, and today managed to team up for a 1-2 finish that lit a fire of momentum for the Bears. Eastern Michigan and Buffalo each also had two athletes in the top eight, but the Bears maximized the opportunity, with Kang just edging EMU’s Kyle Lichtenberg by less than three tenths of a second for the runner-up spot.

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY

  1. Artur Osvath, Missouri State 1:46.24
  2. Kacper Cwiek, Missouri State 1:46.71
  3. Filippo Dell’Olio, Southern Illinois, 1:47.05

The 200 IM was not just about Arthur Osvath and Kacper Cwiek taking the 1-2 finish for the Bears, as they actually scored five swims in the A-final, planting their flag in the event with a 1-2-5-6-8 domination. EMU’s Jake Tyson, who finished fourth in the event, brought the race home in 24.81, reeling in the rest of the heat on the final 50, but touched just behind third place finisher from the Saluki’s Filippo Dell’Olio. At this point, the Bears held a lead of nearly sixty points, and would need to fight to hang on for the rest of the night.

50 FREESTYLE

  1. Mason Miller, Buffalo 19.91
  2. Andre Luiz Brilhante, Southern Illinois 20.15
  3. Lucas Brock, Miami (OH) 20.38

Eastern Michigan and Missouri State were both shut out of the A-final of the shortest sprint, while Buffalo scored in first and seventh with Mason Miller‘s win and a 20.79 finish from freshman Nick Ward. Miami scored big with four in the top heat, foreshadowing a strong 200 free relay to come.

1-METER DIVING

  1. Alexander Chan, Eastern Michigan 362.85
  2. Nick Rodriguez, Buffalo 344.40
  3. Thomas Gillis, Eastern Michigan 313.05

Eastern Michigan’s Alex Chan repeated as MAC Champion on the one-meter board, leading a 1-3-5-6 finish with two more in the B-final, that brought the Eagles back into the hunt. Buffalo also scored well to bring themselves closer to the leaders, scoring in places 2,4,9 and 10, and making the battle for team score much tighter heading into the last relay.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY

  1. Miami University (Ohio) 1:20.49
  2. University at Buffalo 1:20.90
  3. Missouri State University 1:21.20

The Miami team of Lucas Brock (20.36,) Nick Ward (20.17,) Hutch Blackstone (20.04,) and Jack Strauss (19.92) claimed the MAC title in the sprint relay, without ever holding the lead in the race until the very end.  The 19.92 anchor from Jack Strauss was enough to overtake Buffalo and claim the event for the RedHawks. Missouri State held on for third in spite of the fastest split of the night, a 19.78 from SIU’s Bobby Wood, that landed them fourth just behind the Bears at 1:21.26.

Friday prelims begin at 11am, followed by finals at 7pm in Carbondale.

 

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RedSkin for life!

Way to go RedHawks!! Nice 200 free relay!

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