The Corwin M. Nixon aquatic center lit up the final regular season meet for the RedHawk senior class Friday night, as the Ball State University Cardinals came to Oxford to face off with the No. 1 ranked mid-major team in the country.
Coming off a disappointing loss last week at Eastern Michigan University that snapped the ‘Hawks’ eight-game win streak in dual meets-ruining their bid to finish the MAC season undefeated-the Miami University women’s swim team looked to win to increase its MAC record to 6-1 on the season.
“We were not ready at all last week for the meet we should not have lost,” said senior swimmer Allison Stevens. “It was probably a blessing in disguise because we needed to know what it was like to lose again, and we did not want to get cocky going into the MACs.”
Senior night at the Nixon center was filled with energy, as the RedHawk senior swimmers looked to improve their career MAC record to 23-5. The ‘Hawks started out the meet strong, as seniors Malarie Schmidt, Paige Iversen, Allison Stevens and Alyson Schmidt won the 200-yard medley relay.
The success continued as Alyson Schmidt won the 200-yard freestyle to give the Miami swimmers an early 45-10 edge on the Cardinals. Malarie Schmidt and Megan Brunn won back-to-back events, as the Red and White opened up a comfortable lead halfway through the meet.
Although the loss last week was disappointing for the RedHawks, the swimmers were more than ready to get back to Oxford and take on the Cardinals.
“We are a team that likes to swim at this pool and we are definitely really close,” senior Alyson Schmidt said. “Everyone is behind us knowing that we have had a great year so far. We wanted to come swim here for our parents, and get up and swim fast for everyone who has supported us.”
The RedHawks did not disappoint, swimming the Cardinals out of Oxford by a score of 190-105. With the MAC championship coming up in a few weeks, this meet gave the Red and White the confidence they needed to win the title.
“This meet gives us a lot of confidence going into MACs,” Stevens said. “We have had a really good season, and we are the point in the season now where we are really tired, but we need to focus and keep swimming at our best level. This meet helped us gain our confidence back after the loss, and we are looking forward to the MACs.”
On the men’s side, senior night was just as successful, with the men beating Ball State 161-135. The relay team of sophomore Tommy Janszen, junior Michael Carroll, junior Rob Jackson and sophomore Mark Healy propelled the RedHawks to an early 15-2 lead. Senior Justin Dankovich continued to keep the Red and White on top with a win in the 100 Yard Backstroke. The men head take their 4-6 record to the Sun Belt conference championships Thursday, Feb. 19.