BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's swimming and diving team returns to the site where it all came together two years ago in search of another league title. The Mid-American Conference Men's Swimming and Diving Championships return to Southern Illinois University's Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium. It was in Carbondale that the Bulls won their first league championship in 2011.
The Bulls return nearly all their scorers from last season's MAC Championships and with many of those individuals swimming in their final league championship, the incentive to go out on top is greater.
Two Bulls enter this weekend's meet as the top seed in their respective events. Senior Mike Dugan is the fastest in the 50-yard freestyle, earning an NCAA B qualifying mark of 20.16 during the regular season. He is also seeded third in the 100-yard butterfly (49.08). Dugan finished second in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly in 2012. Cory Zorsch gives the Bulls two of the top three seeds in the 100-yard butterfly as the fastest entrant with a 49.03 clocking. Zorsch finished third in last season's 100-yard butterfly race.
Eric Culver is seeded second in the 200-yard butterfly after posting a 1:49.63 mark during the regular season. Culver raced in the championship final of the event at last year's meet.
Seniors Matt Hogan and Josh Meints return as defending champions. Hogan won the 100-yard freestyle last year and placed second in the 50- and 200-yard freestyles and the 200-yard individual medley. Meints won the 100-yard breaststroke in 2012 and is seeded fourth this year with his time of 56.78. He also finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke at the 2012 meet.
Also making their final MAC Championship appearances are Matt Schwippert and Christian Muller. Schwippert had second-place finishes in both backstroke races at last season's championship meet. This year he is seeded fourth in the 100-yard backstroke and sixth in the 200-yard backstroke. Muller finished second to Meints in the 100-yard breaststroke in 2012. Sophomore Collin McAllister finished fourth in last year's 1,650-yard freestyle and is seeded fourth in this year's race.
UB's relayers should be a force again. The Bulls won four of the five relays at last year's meet and return three swimmers from each of those teams. The Bulls set school records in four relays last year.
"This is a special time of the year and the men are ready to compete with the best in the MAC," said head coach Andy Bashor.
Competition begins at 12:00 pm Thursday through Saturday with preliminary races. Finals are slated for 8:00 pm each evening.