Ball State wins 1st MAC meet with 172-128 win over Toledo

Ball State Senior Alex Bader swims the breaststroke leg of the 200 yard medley relay on Oct. 30 at Lewellen Aquatic Center. The Cardinal relay team won the event with a time of 1:44.76.
Ball State Senior Alex Bader swims the breaststroke leg of the 200 yard medley relay on Oct. 30 at Lewellen Aquatic Center. The Cardinal relay team won the event with a time of 1:44.76.

Ball State Swimming and Diving (2-1, 1-1) was able to get its first Mid-American Conference (MAC) win, defeating Toledo (0-3, 0-2 MAC) 172-128.

“I thought we looked very complete,” head coach Jeremy Agnew said. “Toledo is a tough team that we are going to be seeing again. It’s nice to win, but it feels good to beat a tough MAC opponent.”

The match started off with the 400-yard medley relay, which a Toledo team of Lucie Morris, Lauren Kilgore, Sydney Conrad and Kennedy Lovell won with a time of 3:49.85. After that, Ball State would win the next four events.

First, Marcella Ribeiro won the 1000 yard freestyle with a time of 10:21.95, with teammate Katie Walker finishing four seconds behind. Next, Gracey Payne won the 200-yard freestyle, finishing in 1:55.20. Then, the Cardinals swept the podium in the 100-yard backstroke, with Lilia Newkirk, Hannah Jones and Shelby Crist finishing under 58 seconds. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Alex Bader won with a time of 1:04.20, finishing .19 seconds faster than Toledo's, Kilgore.

The Rockets bounced back, as Conrad won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:06.18, before Ball State’s Apsara Sakbun took another event for the Cardinals, winning the 50-yard freestyle in a photo finish with Toledo’ Lovell, whose time of 23:93 was just a hair short of beating Sakbun’s 23:91.

Toledo then won back-to-back events. First, Madison Giglio won the 1-meter dive with a score of 248.40. Then, Lovell got her revenge on Sakbun, barely eeking out a victory in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.33.

The Cardinals then went on to win three straight events. In the first 200-yard backstroke, Ball State swept the podium for the second time, with Newkirk, Jessie Fraley and Alexa Arkenberg finishing one, two and three. Then, in the second 200-yard backstroke, Ball State’s Laura Wright won with a time of 2:20.97. To end its streak, Ribeiro won her second event, finishing the 500-yard freestyle in 5:03.76. Ball State swept the podium in that event as well, with Walker getting second and Mary Kate Phillips finishing third.

Toledo then went on a four-event winning streak. Conrad won her third event, finishing the 100-yard butterfly in 56.17. Then, Giglio completed her sweep of the diving events, winning the three-meter dive with a score of 261.08. Kilgore took the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:08.37. Then, in the final event, Toledo’s team of Lovell, Morris, Conrad and Ashley Lefever won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:36.40.

When the points were all tallied up, the Cardinals finished with 172 to the Rockets’ 128, giving Ball State its first MAC win of the season and keeping Toledo winless. 

“I think I have to give a lot of credit to our backstrokers,” Agnew said. “Being able to sweep that event, even sweep the podium some races, against a very competitive Toledo team, feels great.”

Ball State will head to Indianapolis Nov 18-20 to compete in the House of Champions Meet against IUPUI. The start time is TBA.

Contact Nate Grubb with comments at nathaniel.grubb@bsu.edu or on Twitter @GrubbNate43

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