Entering the final event of the day, there were scenarios in which either Ohio or Buffalo could win Saturday's meet. It wasn’t an individual race or dive to determine the winning team, but a relay. Athletes from both teams lined the edges of the pool, cheering on their swimmers.
Ohio needed to finish first to win, and, when the swimmers hit the water, the cheering was the loudest of the day.
No matter what Ohio’s swimmers did, they couldn't close the gap, as the two Buffalo relays beat the best Ohio relay to the wall.
Both teams won eight events, but Buffalo picked up most of the second and third places to win the meet 161-139 over Ohio in the Aquatic Center.
12 second-place finishes were the difference for Buffalo in a matchup of the second- and fifth-ranked teams in the MAC Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
“The first place is great but those second, third, fourth, fifth places — like those really count for the overall team, you need that depth,” coach Rachel Komisarz-Baugh said. “It’s an individual event, but it’s a team sport and we can't rely on one person; we need to rely on the whole team.”
An 11-second improvement from Hannah Schlegel in the 1,000-yard freestyle helped her finish in first-place and go into Ohio record books with the sixth-best time in program history. The record came just three meets into her college career. Schlegel added a second first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle by finishing in under five minutes, the first time that's happened this season for any Ohio swimmer.
"Hannah Schlegel today just, like threw down, and she was on fire,” Komisarz-Baugh said. “I know she's good. I think everybody knows she's good, and she trains like an animal and she just puts everything into it."
The conference’s best faced off in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. Ohio's Corrin Van Lanen and Buffalo's Megan Burns each touched the wall first once. Van Lanen had her season-best performance in the 50-yard freestyle, along with her fastest dual-meet time of her Ohio career. Despite setting her career-best time in a dual-meet for the 100-yard freestyle, it was not enough to beat Burns.
Van Lanen added a first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly for the third-straight meet.
Sam Glass continued her strong freshman year with two more first-place finishes and third-place.
For the second straight meet, Glass was the first to touch the wall in the 200-yard butterfly, improving her time by two seconds. Glass led three Bobcats in the top four of the 400-yard individual medley with a win by two seconds.
“I think we showed the conference we're here to play, we're going to be tough competitors and you're definitely going to see us in those finals, we're going to be racing next to you," Komisarz-Baugh said.
This was the final dual-meet of the year for Ohio. The Bobcats will head to Evanston, Illinois, for the TYR Invite from Nov. 17 to 19.