Ball State men's swim and dive finish the Mid-American championships in sixth place with 147 points, beating rival Evansville by one point. A number of the men swam season bests in the final competition of the season. Head swimming coach Bob Thomas said it was like winning the meet.
"We are so closely matched. It was no different than the battle between Eastern and Missouri State," Thomas said.
In the 1,650-yard freestyle, senior JD Middleton dropped one minute. He swam a season-best time of 16:36.20. Middleton said he was a little nervous.
"It was my last swim at Ball State," Middleton said. "But I definitely felt really good and was surprised at how I felt during it."
In the 100-yard freestyle, senior Austin Green swam a season-best time of 46.51, dropping 0.32 seconds.
MAC swimming and diving championships final results
1. Eastern Michigan - 717 points
2. Missouri State - 716 points
3. University of Buffalo - 661.5 points
4. Miami (Ohio) - 518.5 points
5. Southern Illinois - 489 points
6. Ball State - 147 points
7. University of Evansville - 146 points
In the 200-yard breaststroke, sophomore Cullen Tyler swam a season best of 2:02.81, dropping 1.07 seconds.
In the 200-yard butterfly, senior Tanner Barton finished in 12th place with a season-high time of 1:51:12. He moved up one place from the preliminary round. Barton said he was happy with the race.
"Finals is always a fun time because you are already here," Barton said. "Once you are in the finals session, you can just go out and race. I scored some points in the last event, which helped in the standings."
Freshman Logan Ackley scored a team-best time in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:52:26. Ackley said it was a great experience to swim in consolations.
"Being around the team and having them all cheering you," Ackley said, "it was so much fun."
In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Cardinals swam a season-best time of 3:06.89. Barton led off the relay, followed by junior Banistre Lienhart, freshman Ben Andrew and Green.
For the MAC championships this year, the Cardinals had 52 season-best times. Thomas said the whole tournament was very competitive.
"I was happy to see the number of guys get into a scoring position," Thomas said. "I think it opened some eyes in terms of next year. We got a lot out of this championship."