Cardinals end drought by upsetting RedHawks

Men's swimming, diving team win first MAC competition.

Ball State's swimming and diving team started the 2002-2003 conference season with a 146-97 upset win over Miami on Saturday.

With the win, Ball State moves to 1-0 in MAC competition.

"It was a major win for us," coach Bob Thomas said. "It's been four years since we last beat Miami in an individual meet. It is a very exciting win."

The Cardinals were fueled by five wins in individual events: Chad Rusk in the 50-yard freestyle, Jason Revere in the 200-yard IM, Andy Young in the 200-yard butterfly, Rod Smith in the 200-yard backstroke, and Ritchie Caudill in the 200-yard breaststroke.

The Cardinals were able to counteract Miami's strong diving with clutch dives by sophomore Ryan Plantz.

"Miami traditionally has a strong diving squad," coach Thomas said. "We knew going into the competition we would be at a slight disadvantage. Ryan Plantz did a great job, though, and was able to step up and secure third place in the one and three meter."

Freshman Ritchie Caudill won the 200 breaststroke. With so many young swimmers on the team, this is what the Cardinals need if they are going to continue to win in MAC play Thomas said.

"It is very uncharacteristic," Thomas said of the freshman's victory. "Most of the time your upperclassmen tend to carry more of the experience as well as the knowledge of the MAC season and what the competition is like. Ritchie Caudill had a fantastic meet. It was probably his lifetime best performance."

Despite the long roads trips and rigorous schedule, Thomas thinks his team will remain strong throughout the course of the season.

"One of the nice things is the freshmen don't know what to expect, which is in a way good," coach Thomas said. "They are able to take one meet at a time. At times that inexperience tends to be a major plus. Right now our freshmen are stepping up and doing a great job."


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