Men's swim and dive wins MAC championship

The Eastern Michigan University men’s swimming and diving team won the Mid-American Conference championship in a come-from-behind victory Saturday.

“It was a great four days,” head coach Peter Linn said in an EMU press release. “We didn’t have a lot of stars, but everybody contributed and everybody stepped up. We hung tough all day.”

The Eagles racked up 777.5 points to take the win edging past Missouri State’s 757.5 points. This marks the 32nd MAC title in the program’s history.

Mike Fisher became Eastern’s first MAC champion in the 200 breaststroke, breaking the MAC and EMU record in the event with a time of 1:54.97.

Other highlights of the meet included Kyle Lichtenberg’s second place finish in the 1650 with a time of 15:19.78, Cole Bateman’s second place finish in the 200 backstroke in a time of 1:45.30 and Brian Moore’s second place finish in the 100 freestyle with a time of 43.74 seconds, touching out Miami’s Joe Baumgartner by just one hundredth of a second.

Moore is the only swimmer in Eastern’s history to swim the 100 freestyle in under 44 seconds.

The meet got exciting for the Eagles after the 200 butterfly, in which the team took fourth, fifth and eighth, Eastern was behind first place by only 25 points. With only the 3-meter dive and the 400 freestyle relay left to go, the team turned it on.

Alex Chan took the MAC championship in the 3-meter dive for the second year with 409.95 points while Dan Gironza took third, Sage Stephens took seventh and Peter Rusenas took eighth.

Diving coach Buck Smith was named Diving Coach of the Year following this performance by his divers.

This exceptional performance in the diving event propelled the Eagles into first place by a mere 30 points going into the relays.

The Eagles secured their victory with a fourth place finish in the 400 freestyle relay with the team of Andrew Henry, Erik Gissen, Cole Bateman and Brian Moore.

“Winning this Championship was really great because we have actually had a really hard year and it was a great way to finish it off,” Linn said in the EMU press release.

This is Linn’s 22nd MAC title with the Eagles.

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