Ball State’s swimming and diving teams had been out of action for over a month. Despite the long layoff, there were minimal signs of rust, as the Cardinals beat Mid-American Conference rival Toledo, 194-104.
The women, who improved to 4-2 in duals Thursday, started the event with a win in the 400-medley relay with the team of junior Audrey Schank, sophomore Alex Bader and freshmen Shelby Crist and Apsara Sakbun. The squad finished with a time of 3:51.75, taking first by less than six-tenths of a second.
The women won 11 of the 16 events on the night. Junior Caitlin Locante set new personal bests in both the one-meter and three-meter dives en route to a second-place finish in one-meter and a win in the three-meter.
“I think it’s honestly all about getting into your space and just kind of like feeling relaxed and having fun with your teammates,” Locante said. “I can get a little bit worked up and nervous beforehand, but honestly, my teammates just put me at my best.”
Other wins on the night were from sophomore Katie Walker in 1,000 freestyle, Bader in 100 and 200 breaststroke and senior Peighton Gilbert in the 50 and 100 freestyle and as part of the 200 freestyle relay team.
“I was excited to see the team come out and race with a little fire,” head coach Jeremy Agnew said. “Coming off Christmas training is always hard. We were definitely not as sharp as we were hoping to be today, but sometimes when you just race hard on days you don’t feel great, it shows a lot of character.”
The special theme of the night was “vs. cancer.” Bracelets were given to those in attendance, and the swimmers and divers stayed poolside after the event to sign autographs.
“I think everybody is affected by cancer nowadays,” Agnew said. “There’s not a person on our team who hasn’t been affected by it. If we can do something to help, we are excited to try.”
The women are next in the pool Saturday, Jan. 18 in a co-ed meet against Indiana State and Youngstown State at Lewellen Aquatic Center.