Men Claim Zippy Title; Women Finish Fourth
The University at Buffalo men's swimming and diving team claimed the team championship of University of Akron's Zippy Invitational while the UB women finished fourth as action concluded Sunday evening at Akron's Ocasek Natatorium. The UB men led wire to wire as they scored a three-day total of 2,112 points to easily claim the team victory over second-place Clarion (1,341.5) in the six-team men's event. The UB women finished fourth with 1,084 points. They trailed MAC rivals Toledo (1,697) and Ohio (1,211) as well as Illinois State (1,188.5) in the 10-team women's division.
Kuras Takes Three Individual Races
Senior Brittney Kuras won three individual races to lead the UB women. She broke the meet record by two-tenths of a second to win the women's 200-yard IM in 2:01.19, establishing an NCAA B cut. Kuras also won the women's 100-yard freestyle in a season-best 50.32 and had a season-best performance in the women's 200-yard freestyle as she shaved a second from her previous top time to win the race in 1:48.34, two seconds ahead of Toledo's Carly Harter.
Dugan, Culver Double For Men
Juniors Mike Dugan and Eric Culver won two individual events for the UB men. Dugan set the meet and pool record and earned an NCAA B cut with his win in the 50-yard freestyle in 20.16 and won the 100-yard butterfly by a hundredth of a second over teammate Cory Zorsch. Culver, meanwhile, claimed the men's 200-yard butterfly in a season-best 1:49.63 while also breaking the meet record by three-quarters of a second. Earlier in the meet, Culver and Billy Patrum finished first and second, respectively, in the men's 400-yard individual medley. Culver shaved nearly 14 seconds from his previous best in his preliminary and championship swims on Saturday as he won the final in 4:02.70, nearly seven seconds faster than his prelim time. Patrum also twice lowered his season-best mark finishing in 4:02.84.
Several Others Earn Zippy Individual Titles
Five other Bulls won individual titles in Akron. Mallory Morrell set the meet record in winning the women's 50-yard freestyle. Morrell, who had set the pool record of 22.59 at last season's MAC Championships, claimed the victory on Friday in 23.02. Claiming men's individual races wins were Matt Schwippert, Josh Meints and freshman Antonio Lanzi. Schwippert won the men's 100-yard backstroke in a season-best 49.64, nearly a full second ahead of the second-place finisher from St. Bonaventure. Meints won the men's 200-yard individual medley in a season-best 1:51.96. Lanzi led three Bulls as he won the men's 500-yard freestyle in 4:33.02, more than nine seconds better than his previous season-best. Culver was second in 4:35.75 while Colin McAllister finished fourth in 4:42.44, both season-best times. On the diving boards, Chris Iafrati claimed the one-meter competition with a six-dive total of 262.30 points.
Squads Claim Eight of Ten Relays
The Bulls also won eight of the ten combined relay races with the UB men sweeping all five events. UB's men opened the meet on Friday with a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay as Matt Hogan, Zorsch, Ryan Smrekar and Dugan broke the meet and pool record set in last season's meet by the Bulls by one-hundredth of a second. The UB foursome finished in 1:22.45 to eclipse last season's winning mark of 1:22.46. The Bulls closed out Friday's session with a 400-yard medley relay victory as Schwippert, Meints, Zorsch and Dugan won the timed final in 3:19.83, more than four seconds better than the second-place St. Bonaventure entry (3:24.28). On Saturday, the UB foursome of Schwippert, Meints, Zorsch and Smrekar won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:31.39. The Bulls later won their 800-yard medley relay in 6:50.57 as Lanzi, Schwippert, Dugan and Hogan combined on the winning foursome. UB's men closed out the meet with a victory in Sunday's 400-yard freestyle relay, the final event of competition. Lanzi, Tommy Steele, Hogan and Dugan combined to finish the timed final in a season-best 3:03.89, cutting 2.5 seconds from the relay's previous top mark for the season. For the UB women, Kuras was instrumental in all three of their wins. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Kuras, Alex Swies, Karly Moore and Morrell shaved three seconds off their previous top time to win in 1:33.98. On Saturday, Kuras anchored the UB women to a victory in the 800-yard medley relay teaming with Jessica Powers, Emma Miller and Becky Evangelista to take the timed final in 7:30.01. UB finished the meet with a win in the 400-yard freestyle as Kuras anchored the foursome which also included Morrell, Marissa Murphy and Evangelista to a 3:25.04 clocking, nearly eight seconds ahead of the relay squad's previous best from last month.