CARBONDALE, IL –The University at Buffalo got off to a strong start on Thursday night as the Bulls won three events, including both relays, at the Mid-American Conference Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium at Southern Illinois University.
The Bulls won the opening event of the night's finals, setting a school record to take the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:19.65. The foursome of Cory Zorsch, Matt Hogan, Ryan Smrekar and Mike Dugan took two-hundredths of a second off the record set at last season's MAC Championship meet.
Dugan later came back to claim his first 50-yard freestyle title. The junior won the championship race in 20.44 seconds with Zorsch finishing third in 20.60 and Smrekar tying for fifth in 20.64. Christian Muller and Tommy Steele earned consolation points for the Bulls with their 12th and 15th place finishes.
The Bulls also won the night's final race in record-breaking fashion. The 400-yard medley relay team of Matt Schwippert, Josh Meints, Zorsch and Hogan broke both the UB and MAC Championship marks with their 3:13.18 finish. Schwippert also broke Phil Aronica's school record in the 100-yard backstroke with his leadoff leg of 47.70.
Matt Hogan lowered his school record in finishing third in the 200-yard individual medley. Hogan finished in 1:46.62, taking .14 seconds off his time from last season and earning an NCAA B qualifying mark. Josh Meints finished seventh in 1:50.83.
In the one-meter diving competition, Shawn Hoffman finished seventh for the Bulls with a six-dive total of 288.85 points.
"I am very proud of the team's performance tonight," said head coach Andy Bashor. "We had a solid morning but we knew we had to be better at night, which we were. We are excited to be where we are because we have our stronger days coming up."
The Bulls stand third among the seven schools with 215.5 points. Eastern Michigan holds the first day lead with 242 points with Missouri State in second at 226.
Competition continues through Saturday.
Team scores (through six events): Eastern Michigan 242, Missouri State 226, Buffalo 215.5, Miami (OH) 130.5, Southern Illinois 122, Ball State 58, Evansville 54.