The last time Ohio hosted the Mid-American Conference Championships was 2011. The Bobcats won the meet. 

The MAC Championships will take place from Feb. 21-24 at The Aquatic Center, where the Bobcats are looking to use the excitement of hosting the event to an improved finish.

Preseason favorite Akron has solidified itself as the best team in the MAC with four straight conference championships. Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Miami were the teams ahead of Ohio in the preseason coaches poll, too. Ohio had a dual-meet against Buffalo Nov.4 and was competitive until the final event of the meet.

The times swam throughout the season are likely to be eclipsed for every swim, as there is more time between events. All of the work this season has been building toward this weekend.

Corrin Van Lanen is the most likely Bobcat to win an event, as she had the second-best time in the 50-yard freestyle this year and came in second at the MAC Championships last year. 

Ohio may break some of its records without winning the event, though. Van Lanen is seven-hundredths of a second away from the Ohio record in the 50-yard freestyle and half a second back of the record in the 100-yard butterfly. 

Emilia Lahtinen has already beaten her time from the 2017 MAC Championships in the 200-yard breaststroke, but there still is a six-second gap to the top time in the MAC this year. There is a chance she claims the Ohio record as she is just over two seconds back of the record holder and current Miami head coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron.

Nicole Hughes has been the most consistent diver for Ohio all season. The MAC is up for grabs with the top two in both events from last year having already graduated. 

Depth is going to be key, as having as many swimmers make either of the two finals garners points. Last year, Ohio finished in fifth, just 10 points ahead of Bowling Green.

Each team has a group of talented swimmers and divers, so it is about the ones just below them making one of the finals that will be the difference between similar teams.

The meet will begin with relay events Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and the following three days having preliminaries at 10:30 a.m. with finals starting at 6:30 p.m. 

@TREricWalker

ew399115@ohio.edu

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