After remembering and honoring a former Cardinal great, the men's swimming and diving team turned that emotion into their most dominant performance of the season Saturday.
Senior Matt Pavlovich received the Douglas Coers Memorial Scholarship prior to the meet, then joined his teammates in pounding Mid-American Conference opponents Buffalo, 183-54, and Bowling Green, 164-72. The wins snapped a six-meet losing streak, evened the team's MAC record at 2-2 and pulled the Cardinals' overall record to 4-6.
The Cardinals put a stranglehold on the meet early, taking the top three places in the meet's first event, the 400-yard medley relay. They never looked back. The team won all 13 events against Buffalo and 10 of 13
events against Bowling Green. They also recorded five sweeps of the top three spots.
"It was like a feeding frenzy," coach Bob Thomas said. "It's been a long time since we won and they smelled blood early on. Any time you swim fast and win, it's a lot of fun, and they were really enjoying themselves."
Eight different Cardinals won individual events, led by senior Matt Smith. Smith won the 100-yard (47.96)
and 200-yard (1:44.12) freestyle events against both opponents.
"It's been a while since our last win and it feels good getting used to it again," Smith said. "We knew (Buffalo and Bowling Green) were a few guys short throughout the meet. We just kept our focus and most of our guys had really good times."
Smith's four victories were followed by sophomore triple-winner Ryan Bounds. Bounds won the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:53.50) against both teams, as well as the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.15) against Buffalo.
Seniors Marc Smith, 500-yard freestyle, and Nick Badgett, 200-yard backstroke, junior Nick Schulyer, 50-yard freestyle, and sophomore Jason Revere, 400-yard individual medley, won their respective events against both opponents, as did freshman Josh Willer in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:14.24).
Willer's wins were his first collegiate victories. In addition, freshman Ryan Plantz won both the 1- and 3-meter diving events against Buffalo.
"We had some good swims across the board this weekend," Thomas said. "We had some of our best dual-meet times of the season and that will give us some confidence the rest of the way."
The Cardinals will put that confidence to the test this weekend, as they welcome defending MAC champion Eastern Michigan to Lewellen Aquatic Center.