Swimmers prepare to enter the water at the Ball State v. Evansville meet at the Lewellen Pool Jan. 18, 2019. Jack Hart, DN
Daily News sports weekend recap Jan 18
In the pool and on the track, three different Ball State sports teams were in action this weekend. With senior night celebrations and record breaking performances, this past weekend didn't lack in excitement for Cardinal athletics.
Men’s Swim and Dive fall to Evansville on Senior Night
It was heating up inside Lewellen Aquatic Center on Friday as Ball State Men’s Swim and Dive too on Evansville on the Cardinals senior night. While emotions were high for the Cardinal seniors, the Purple Aces would walk away with the victory, 188-110.
In total, the Purple Aces won 13 out of 16 events and swept the podium in two of those events. But tonight wasn’t all about the Purple Aces; it was about honoring the four Cardinal seniors on the roster.
“Our seniors have been awesome this season,” head coach Jermey Agnew said. “We were excited tonight to salute our seniors. They have put four years here and they are leading our team forward.”
While none of the seniors won events tonight, other Ball State swimmers were victorious on the night as the team took wins in the 200 backstroke and 1-and 3-meter diving events. Junior Logan Ackley was 12 seconds off of his season-best time in the 200 backstroke and swam for a time of 1:56.64.
“I was glad that I could help the team with the first place finish,” Ackley said. “But the time was okay, not where I wanted it to be.”
In the diving events, sophomore Sean Wolfe earned the gold medal on both boards. The Cardinals finished first, third and fourth in 1-meter diving and swept the podium in 3-meter. Sophomore Trey Matheis recorded a career-best on both boards with a 187.13 on 1- and a 192.30 on 3-meter.
“I was thrilled,” Diving coach Nick Gayes said. “I thought we were really consistent from top-to-bottom. I was actually most impressed with Trey. I haven’t seen him dive that well. It gives us some excitement going into MAC, where his points will count for us.”
The Cardinals will have one final co-ed home meet on Tuesday, Jan. 22 against Miami (Ohio) at Lewellen Aquatic Center.
Track & Field splits to compete in both Indiana Wesleyan, Vanderbilt events
Although looming winter storms forced the Indiana Wesleyan meet to move to Friday evening, the Cardinals went out and showcased their skills in both the shot put and weight throw events.
The first event of the invite saw junior Kelsey Walters take first place in the shot put event with a season-best distance of 13.55m. Also placing in the shot put category was sophomore Jada Caldwell who took third by throwing 11.94m.
The other event that Ball State participated in was the weight throw. Walters led the Cardinals in this event by throwing 16.17m. Sophomore Princess Carter finished 3rd with a throw of 15.96m.
“We are beginning to round into championship meet form,” head coach Brian Etelman said. “I’m excited for all that is to come from this group.”
The Cardinals who travelled to Vanderbilt split the tournament between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
Senior Jazmin Smith proved to be the leading force on the track for the Cardinals on both days in Vanderbilt. Smith seized sixth place in the 200m race with a career best 24.67. This helped her grab the fifth spot on the Mid-American Conference performance list for the 200m.
Finishing Friday’s competition was junior Maritza Rodriguez's career best time of 17:10.45 in the 5000m run. This gave her the fourth-place finish in the tournament.
Saturday's biggest performer was Smith’s new personal best in the 60m hurdles. Smith posted a 8.35 time, which earned her a second-place finish in the finals. This performance is also the second best in Ball State history and has landed Smith leading the 60m hurdles in all of the Mid-American Conference.
“Obviously, Jazmin Smith was the star this weekend,” Etelman said. “Her 200m personal best Friday night was great, but for her to go 8.35 in the 60m hurdles is the real deal. Walking away with a Top 20 NCAA ranking is big time.”
The Cardinals will hit the track once again next weekend at the Tom Hathaway Classic in Indianapolis.
Gymnastics takes last to No. 1 Oklahoma, North Carolina
Ball State Gymnastics finished in last of three teams in North Carolina against the nation’s top ranked squad on Saturday.
The Cardinals ended with a total score of 193.600 after an afternoon of competition in Chapel Hill. Oklahoma, the top-ranked team in the country, seized a victory with a team score of 197.000. The Sooners also won every event, including the all-around score. Oklahoma was followed by host team North Carolina with a team score of 195.150.
Leading the Cardinals on the floor event was senior Kaitlyn Menzione with a score of 9.825. The vault was headed up by junior Maddie MacDonald who scored a 9.725. The bars event was led by freshman Marissa Nychyk with a score of 9.700. Finally, junior Rachel Benoit led the Cardinals on the beam with a score of 9.825.
“On the beam [we] did a really nice job staying focused and competitive,” said head coach Joanna Saleem. “[We] started fairly strong on the floor and honestly had three solid events.”
The Cardinals will be back in action at Eastern Michigan on Thursday to continue the spring schedule.
“Our goal is to keep building each week...” said Saleem. “Only two more days in the gym before we head up to Eastern. They are getting some experience and were a little better than last week.”