After a record-setting improvement at last year’s Mid-American Conference Championships, the Bobcats were unable to repeat the feat this year.
In 2019, Ohio finished fifth at the MAC tournament with a total of 421 points, marking a massive improvement from the previous year when it finished seventh with just 253 points. After last year’s performance, coach Mason Norman expected another strong performance for the Bobcats, who performed well in the meets leading up to the tournament and looked poised for another impressive showing.
That was not the case, however, as the Bobcats reverted to their 2018 form, finishing seventh with a total of 262.5 points. The Bobcats had a young team this year and will be looking to get back to where they were last year over the next couple of seasons.
Despite the disappointing overall result, Ohio got some good individual performances that should inspire hope for next season. The Bobcats had multiple podium finishes over the course of the tournament, the best of which were a pair of third-place finishes, one by freshman Emma Fortman in the 200-yard freestyle and one by senior Emilia Lahtinen in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Fortman has been a major bright spot for the Bobcats this season, winning multiple races and tallying many other podium finishes. She capped off her excellent season by being named MAC Co-Freshman Swimmer of the Year.
Fortman and Katie Garrity both earned All-MAC Second Team honors, giving the Bobcats a look at the future of the team as they look to rebound from a disappointing MAC Tournament performance.
Garrity will be a senior next year and will have to step into the leadership role vacated by Lahtinen.
The Bobcats have a bright future, with freshman swimmers Formant, Mackenzie Grau and Madeline Marks winning races and earning honors throughout the season. In addition, sophomore diver Taylor Miller can give Ohio a major player at the MAC Championships over the next two years.
The Bobcats season came to a disappointing end last weekend, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism heading into Norman’s third season as coach.