VanNess sets record despite loss

Cards take three first place finishes in the loss on senior night.

Despite Ball State's fall against Mid-American Conference opponents Ohio and Toledo Saturday, the team proved it has heart during the season's final home meet.

Ohio and Toledo both defeated the Cardinals 170-112 and 159-124 respectively.

It may have been motivational speeches by head coach Laura Seibold-Caudill and several senior swimmers (on senior day) that made the Cards capture three first place finishes against two heavily favored foes.

The Cards (7-8 overall, 4-4 MAC) won the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes thanks to Karla Bailey's continued success. Sophomore butterfly swimmer Jamie VanNess set a pool record with the Cards' first-place time (4:31.66) in the 400-yard individual medley.

"I was nervous coming into this meet, knowing that I'd be swimming against such tough competition," VanNess said. "And it was tough because we began tapering last week to prepare for MAC. But we gave it our all today, and I was able to swim well against some great competition."

Seibold-Caudill noted VanNess as the best swimmer of the meet.

"It was her best meet of the year," Seibold-Caudill said. "She was in a slump at the beginning of the year, so it's great to see her finish so well."

Ohio battled for bragging rights with the Toledo Rockets in a heated rivalry to decide which would reign the victor.

In the end, Ohio prevailed. MAC Swimmer of the Year Kim van Selm carried the Bobcats to their victory, winning the last stretch of the 400-yard team relay.

Van Selm, who qualified for the NCAA National Finals in 2001, also won both the 200- and 500-yard individual freestyles.

"Kim is in a class of her own," Seibold-Caudill said. "But I was very happy with how we competed against her."

"Swimming against conference opponents in meets like this gives us a great idea what MAC will be like," Bailey said. There was a lot of tight competition today, and that always makes me swim faster."


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