This past weekend, behind strong performances of seniors Kelly Hendricks, Andrew Saunders and Jeffrey Craig, the Eastern Michigan University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams scored high marks and built more momentum for the Mid-American Conference championships at the Michigan First Chance Meet in Ann Arbor.
Hendricks placed first in the women’s 1- and 3-meter diving events with scores of 296.70 and 335.75, respectively.
“I definitely needed this performance this weekend because in the last few meets, I did not fare as well,” Hendricks said. “So it is a good confidence booster heading into the MACs.”
Saunders and Craig finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s 3-meter dive with scores of 339.55 and 337.15, respectively.
In the 1-meter dive, the roles were reversed as Craig won and Saunders finished second with scores of 337.75 and 322.25, respectively.
“I was very happy with my performance this weekend, and I want to keep my performance up going into the MAC championships,” Saunders said.
Saunders said he was not stressed about going into the meet.
“I just wanted to relax and think of this like it is a practice,” he said. “I did not want to think of this as a meet, but just a regular day.”
Senior Tyler Capen placed third in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 51.78 seconds, while sophomore Nate Schingoethe placed fourth with a 52.45 finish.
Capen placed fifth in the 200 individual medley in 1:53.95, as well as finishing fourth in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:51.97.
“I thought Tyler Capen had the best meet from a swimming standpoint,” EMU coach Peter Linn said.
In the 50 freestyle, freshman Brad Lebling touched the wall in fourth with a time of 21.33.
Junior Aaron Lawson finished third in the 100 butterfly with a 52.04.
Sophomore Dan Proctor placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 58.74.
As of press date, no decision has been made by Linn as to whether or not any of the swimmers from this meet will make the final team roster for the MAC championships.
This past week, Linn informed his team of their participation in this weekend’s meet. The event was not on the original team schedule going into the season.
“It wasn’t on [the University of] Michigan’s schedule originally. They decided to do the meet and we took advantage of that,” Linn said. “Also, [our participation] was done with the idea to evaluate where we were in training.”
The event served as an exhibition match, meaning team points did not count but points and judges’ scores were still recorded for individuals participating in swimming and diving events.
The teams who competed in the field included Purdue, Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State (diving only) and Toledo (women’s divers only).
The women’s swim and dive team will travel to Buffalo, N.Y., for their MAC championships from Feb. 28- March 2, while the men go down to Carbondale, Ill., from March 7-9.
The men are looking to capture their 31st MAC title and to become back-to-back MAC champions.
Seniors Jacob Hanson and Mike Swain are the swimmers to watch out for on the men’s team.
The women are looking for their first MAC championship since the 2005-06 season.
Seniors Briana Emig and Lauren Kalinosky are the main swimmers to look out for on the women’s team.
Start times for both of the championships will be a day session at 11 a.m. and a night session at 7 p.m. each day.
For up to the second stats on the MAC championship meets, visit www.emich.edu/athletics for live scoring and instant updates. Meet information for both events will be available at www.easternecho.com/sports, two hours after the conclusion of each of the MAC championships.
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