By Ben Vandertill, For The Miami Student
The Miami University men’s swimming and diving team closed its regular season with a 160-155 win over Ball State University.
Emotions were running high, as it was the last meet before the Mid-American Conference Championship for both teams. But even more so for the RedHawks, as it was senior day. The RedHawks celebrated seniors Joe Baumgartner, Sam Crockett, Michael Heavilon, Andrew Kilkenny and Dan Nemeth, as they competed in their last meet at the Nixon Aquatic Center.
“I think it’s pretty crazy, I remember freshman year being up there and you don’t really think it’s that big of a deal and then all of a sudden I’m up here,” Baumgartner said. “It’s pretty crazy to think I’m a senior now and after this meet I am probably done swimming for the rest of my life.”
Coming out of the gates firing, Miami dominated the first event, the 200-yard medley relay. Taking the first through fourth place finishes. The winning squad, made up of junior Heshan Unamboowe, Crockett, Heavilon and Baumgartner, posted a time of 1:34.13.
The hot streak continued as the junior Chris Dieter took first in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:53.16. Next up was sophomore Bryan McNamara, winning the 200-yard freestyle and then junior Davis Staley won the 100-yard backstroke.
Baumgartner, who also posted a winning 20.55 time in the 50-yard freestyle, reflected on his team’s senior day performance.
“I think everybody swam pretty well today, it was good to come back; our last meet wasn’t too hot,” Baumgartner said. “It was good to see everybody’s energy up.”
The RedHawks continued to stay ahead of the Cardinals in the back half of the meet. Junior diver Michael Nash took over the diving board, winning the 3-meter events with a score of 354.76. Other standouts included Kilkenny in the 100-yard freestyle, Max Jelen in the 200-yard backstroke and the RedHawk divers who took the top four places in the 1-meter diving event.
Kilkenny had another standout meet, but believes his team still has some work to do this season.
“I think it’s pretty exciting,” Kilkenny said. “We finish up here in our last duel meet of the season and we’ve set some pretty hefty goals for ourselves going into conference in Geneva. We’re all swimming really well. I think we’re all having a pretty good time with the way we’re swimming. We’re not really done by any means. We can’t really get into that mindset because we have a lot to do still.”
The Miami women’s swimming and diving teams also finished their regular season on a high note, defeating Ohio University 172-126.
The RedHawks now enter the MAC Championship meet with an impressive 7-2 duel meet record. The RedHawks were able win the majority of the events. Freshman Shay Spelman won the 1000-yard free, sophomore Logan Klinsky won the 200-yard freestyle, senior Annie Marquiss won the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events, sophomore Pei Lin won both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events and sophomore Stephanie LeMire came away with victories in her swims in the 200-yard medley and the 200-yard breaststroke. The ’Hawks also won the 400-yard freestyle relay, posting a time of 3:29.72.
The MAC Championship starts Feb. 25 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The men’s MAC Championship starts March 5 in Geneva, Ohio.