The Mid-American Conference Championship is the main event of the season and all the effort put in throughout the season leads to it. This year, Ohio is hosting the meet and the excitement on the team is evident.
The words "I’m excited" have been brought up every time the MAC Championship is talked about since the start of the season, as it is always the main meet of the season but has added significance this year for Ohio by hosting it.
Competing in their own pool is one of the main advantages for the Bobcats; they do not have to figure out the slight differences at another pool. Not having to do that allows the team to be comfortable going into the meet and not worrying if the diving boards are different.
“Some boards are new, and they'll be tighter, and you don't know how to jump on it or how to use the board and it's really about like using the board to like be able to do your dives,” diver Nicole Hughes said. “If you can't use the board or figure it out you're doing your dives off at max you're nervous with all that stress.”
For the seniors, it is special as the final dual meet Jan. 27 was not the last time they competed in Athens, even though it was Senior Day.
The last time Ohio hosted the MAC Championships was 2011, and it will be a number of years before it will be back.
Being the MAC Championship, there is always a big atmosphere. Parents and fans from all eight teams will be in attendance. To combine that with the atmosphere at home meets for Ohio, it could push everyone to swim faster.
“I think the energy is going to be insane,” Elena Patz said. “I think with the energy that's already at MAC Championships and from the big home crowd everyone's going to swim really well.”
Corrin Van Lanen predicts that some records will be broken with the team’s excitement for the meet.
The MAC Championships will begin Feb. 21 at the Ohio University Aquatic Center and wrap up Feb. 24.