After an exhausting four-and-half hour bus ride, the Eastern Michigan University men and women swim and dive teams knocked off the Ball State University Cardinals at the Lewellen Aquatics Center in Muncie, Ind.
Led by sophomore Jessie Godlewski’s three first-place finishes, the women kept their pursuit of perfection alive with a 158-142 win that moved the Eagles to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference.
Godlewski finished first in the 200-yard butterfly, backstroke and individual medley in two minutes, 3.33 seconds, 2:05.16 and 2:06.50, respectively.
“It feels amazing that all the hard work is paying off,” Godlewski said. “The girls really push me through when I hear them cheering.”
Senior Briana Emig put together another great performance by placing first in the 500 and 1,000-yard freestyles in 5:05.80 and 10:17.63, respectively.
In the 1-meter dive, redshirt junior Danielle Hulvey and senior Kelly Hendricks finished first and second with scores of 285.15 and 278.47, respectively.
The Eagles took the top three positions in the 3-meter dive with Hulvey, senior Christina Nunez-Wood and Hendricks scoring 301.05, 288.90 and 282.07, respectively.
For the Cardinals, junior Bridgette Ruehl captured first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.76.
Ruehl was also part of the first-place 200-yard medley relay team along with senior Katelyn Pratt, junior Haley Richter and sophomore Carlena Magley, finishing in 1:44.47.
What can never be seen in the final results is senior captain Wesley Blassneck’s ability to motivate her fellow teammates.
“Wes did a great job making us believe in ourselves and our teammates before the meet and that was reflected in the results,” Emig said.
Even in an undefeated season, junior Meghan Richardson knows there is more work to be done if they want to reach their full potential.
“We are getting down to the wire, so we need to work on training not just hard, but precise and smart,” Richardson said.
The men won their conference opener and increased their winning streak in MAC play to 61 meets by a score of 159-130. The win puts the EMU men at 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the MAC.
Senior Jacob Hanson continued to perform at a high level, capturing first in two events: The 100-yard butterfly in 51.70 and the 200-yard medley relay with senior Mike Swain, freshman Erik Gissen and junior Dexter Foos in 1:33.65.
In the 1,000-yard freestyle, freshman Andrew Henry and senior Frankie DeMaria finished first and second with times of 9:44.60 and 10:01.09, respectively.
Senior Mike Kinross took first in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:55.90, and in second and third were sophomore Brian Moore and junior Aaron Lawson with 1:56.34 and 1:56.73, respectively.
Seniors Andrew Saunders, Jeffrey Craig and sophomore Matthew Ventura finished first, second and third in the 3-meter dive, with scores of 334.95, 329.55 and 293.47, respectively.
EMU coach Peter Linn is still looking at the big picture when it comes to making improvements for the MAC Championship.
“We are six weeks out and we are just trying to focus on the stuff that we have to improve on,” Linn said. “Some people need different amounts of rest at the end of the year and others need different things to change in their training routine.”
Emig was named MAC Scholar of the week for the week ending Jan. 13.
The EMU men snapped a two-meet losing streak.
The last time the EMU men’s team lost in MAC play was back in the 1997-98 season to the Toledo Rockets.
The women look to keep their perfect season intact and the men attempt to continue their MAC winning streak as they travel to Amherst, N.Y. to take on the Buffalo Bulls in a Jan. 26 dual meet.
The meet is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
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