Ball State Men’s Swimming and diving (2-4, 1-1 MAC) competed in the Mid-American Conference Championship meet this weekend. This was the final event of the season for the Cardinals, and they finished the season by setting six new school records and placing fourth out of five teams.
In each of the last two years, Ball State has finished in last place in the MAC Championship. This year the Cardinals swimmers and divers took a step forward. They improved from 190 points scored two years ago, to 420 this year. Ball State finished 472 points behind the eventual champions, Missouri State.
“The men had a quiet confidence about them walking into the meet and then announced their presence loudly on the first night with two school records,” Coach Jeremy Agnew said. “Carrying the speed and momentum forward, they brought that same energy and confidence into the next six sessions of the meet and fought like Cardinals through the last event.”
During the course of the weekend events, Ball State swimmers and divers posted over 60 personal best times and broke school records in the 200 medley, 400 medley, and 400 free relays.
“Relays are a great indicator of overall team strength and depth,” Agnew said. “The three relay records were set by a combination of 10 different swimmers. The level of competition on a daily basis within our team has been so much more intense; I think everyone was forced to raise their game in order to earn a spot on the meet roster.”
A pair of individual records fell during the course of the weekend, but they each fell multiple times. Freshman Jared Holder shaved almost a full second and a half off of the school record in the 100 back. He broke the record twice in prelims and then in the finals on pace to a third-place finish.
Senior Logan Ackley took third place in the 200 back at the event while also breaking his own school record in the process.
“Jared and Logan were exceptional this weekend for our Cardinals,” Agnew said. “It was exciting to see a senior and a freshmen standing on the podium to earn their MAC Championship medals. These guys are almost polar opposites in terms of their individual strengths and race plans. Jared's reliance on speed and kicking skills contrasted with Logan's exceptional endurance and sense of pacing demonstrates the importance of coaching each individual's strengths and weaknesses to ultimately achieve team success.”
Awards weren’t just won for performances that night. Season awards were also given and Ball State saw a trio of swimmers receive second-team All-MAC honors. Those receiving the honors were Ackley, Holder and Senior Ben Andrew.
This is the final event for the team as a whole, but there are a few swimmers and divers who will be competing in the National Invitational Championship at Cleveland State starting March 12.
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