BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Bowling Green State University swim team got off to a fast start at the 2013 Mid-American Conference Championships, shattering school records en route to a fifth-place standing and a total of 135 points thus far.
The Falcons saw record-setting performances in the 400 medley relay, the 500 freestyle and the 200 IM, as Bowling Green qualified four athletes to the championship finals and notched a second-place finish in the 400 medley relay.
In the final race of the evening, a team of Alexa Harris, Alexis Kain, Jordan Bullock and Brittany Szekely swam the relay in a time of 3:41.00, smashing the previous school record of 3:42.98 set at last year's MAC Championships. The Falcons' brilliant performance was second only to Ball State, who touched in 3:39.86 to win the event.
"We're sitting in a really good place," said head coach Petra Martin. "We're swimming well and working together as a team. We saw a lot of school records, but we need to make sure that we're doing our job in the evening sessions as well. This is just the beginning - there's still two big days ahead of us."
Emily Waller, Harris and Joëlle Scheps broke individual BGSU records, with Waller finishing sixth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:53.98 - faster than her preliminary time, which also bested the previous school record. In the preliminaries, Harris (2:02.29) and Scheps (2:02.48) each surpassed the school record in the 200 IM, qualifying to the championship final where they finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Bennet came close to her personal best in the 50 freestyle, qualifying to the championship final with a time of 23.21. She nearly matched that time in the final, finishing seventh at 23.24.
In the night's first event, the 200 freestyle relay, the Falcons finished fourth to match their finish at last year's MAC Championships. A team of Bennet, Szekely, Kayla Effinger and Kain swam a season-best 1:32.29 to beat squads from Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Akron and Ball State.
Individually, Kain and Effinger each set personal bests in the consolation final of the 50 freestyle. Kain finished 12th overall with the fifth-fastest time in BGSU history (23.58). Effinger wasn't far behind, touching in 23.60 to finish 13th and adding her name as sixth-fastest in school history.
Tara Capouch swam in the consolation final of the 500 freestyle, finishing 16th with a time of 5:00.96. In the morning session, she swam a personal best of 4:59.68, the sixth-fastest mark all-time from a BGSU swimmer.
Stephanie Boyle and Bullock performed well in the 200 IM, qualifying to the consolation final with a career-best times of 2:03.22 (Boyle) and 2:03.35 (Bullock) - the fifth and sixth-fastest times in school history. Boyle went on to finish tenth in the final, ahead of Bullock in 13th.
The MAC Championships continue Friday with races in the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay. To watch the championships live online, visit the MAC website. For live results, click here.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY ONE:
1. Miami - 191
2. Ohio - 172
3. Eastern Michigan - 155
4. Buffalo - 147
5. Bowling Green - 135
6. Toledo - 109
7. Akron - 96
8. Ball State - 87