Eastern Michigan posts strong performance, Cards fall

After a pair of dominating dual-meet victories last weekend, the men's swimming and diving team was involved in another one-sided meet on Saturday. This time, however, the Cardinals were on the receiving end.

Eastern Michigan showed everyone at the Lewellen Aquatic Center why they are favored to win their 12th Mid-American Conference title in 14 years by winning 12 of 13 events en route to the team's 169-73 victory.

"That was just a good, old-fashioned butt kicking," Ball State head coach Bob Thomas said. "They were as tough as ever. They didn't back off at all in any event, and that's what I wanted to see."

The Cardinals (4-7 overall, 2-3 MAC) managed only one victory in the meet, with senior Nick Badgett winning the 200-yard backstroke. But Thomas was not entirely disappointed with his team's performance. He said the team practiced as hard as it has all season heading into the contest with Eastern Michigan.

He said the team's performance showed the effects of intense training. Despite being tired, there were several bright spots for the Cardinals.

"Ryan Plantz dove as well as I've seen him dive this year," Thomas said. Plantz continued his freshman season with second- and third-place finishes on the 3- and 1-meter events, respectively. "He has done a great job all season, and I think he's really starting to find his way in the MAC meets, which is good to see."

Thomas also praised sophomores Ryan Bounds and Rod Smith. Bounds performed well in the 1,650-yard freestyle, while Smith turned in one of his best efforts in the 200-yard backstroke (1:56.40).

"Ryan's 1,650 was one of his three best swims in that event, ever," Thomas said. "Smith, when he is mentally ready, can compete with anyone. It was good to see them come around at this time of the season."

The Cardinals will conclude the dual-meet season at home this weekend against MAC opponents Toledo and Ohio.,,2(+â-æ+âc&Vmen's swimmingDNEditorial,,2SORT+â-ä2AUDT



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