By Tim Glon
AKRON — Sophomore Nolan Huey (Fort Collins, Colo./Fossil Ridge) and senior Braden Kuhn (Tiffin/Columbian) led the Ohio Northern men at the 2018 Ohio Athletic Conference Swimming & Diving Championships Thursday-Saturday at the University of Akron's Ocasek Natatorium.
Huey set three OAC records, four ONU records, surpassed three NCAA "B" Cuts and was named the OAC Swimmer of the Year.
He won the 200 back, 200 I.M. and 400 I.M., setting OAC records and surpassing NCAA "B" Cut in all three events.
Huey won the 200 back in 1:49.93, the 200 I.M. in 1:51.10 and the 400 I.M. in 3:59.65.
He had a 4:04.08 time in the 400 I.M. prelims, then shattered that mark with his 3:59.65 clocking in the finals, breaking the league and school record by more than four seconds.
Huey also broke the ONU record in the 100 back, covering the first leg of the 400 medley relay in :50.53, a full second faster than his previous mark of :51.59.
Kuhn earned All-OAC honors with a school-record 493.00 points in the 3-meter diving. His effort was also an NCAA "B" Cut. Kuhn won the event in 2016 with 391.45 points, but the winning effort in 2018 was an Ocasek Natatorium record 602.55 points by John Carroll's Ryan McClelland.
He also set an NCAA "B" Cut mark in the 1-meter diving with a career-best 456.05 points.
The Polar Bears finished second out of five teams with 823.5 points in the 20 events by a scant three points.
The Ohio Northern coaching staff, led by 14th-year head coach Peggy Ewald, was named the OAC Men's Coaching Staff of the Year.
Junior Pete He (Mason) swept the butterfly events as he won the 100 fly in :50.27 and the 200 fly in 1:54.54. He also earned All-OAC honors with a third place finish in the 50 free in :21.13.
In all, Huey and He won five OAC titles each and He was named All-OAC honors in six events at the Championships.
The Polar Bears won three of the five relays with He and senior Ian Simpson (Strongsville) helping with three of them.
The 400 free relay team of Huey, Chapman, He and Simpson ended the Championships by winning the 400 free relay in 3:05.30 to claim the sixth consecutive OAC crown in the event for the Polar Bears.
Northern also won the 200 medley relay, as Huey, junior Anthony Ferrell (Canton/Glen Oak), He and Simpson won the race in 1:32.56.
Simpson also earned All-Conference accolades in the 100 free, finishing second in :46.56, and the 100 back, finishing third in :51.59.
The top three finishers in each individual event and the top two relay teams earn All-Conference honors.
Ferrell earned All-Conference honors in both breaststroke events, finishing second in the 200 breast in 2:06.16 and third in the 100 breast in :57.31.
Freshman Ryan Mow (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) was second in the 500 free in 4:43.07 and the 1650 free in 16:26.95, earning All-OAC kudos in both events.
The Polar Bears made a late charge in the final two events, out-scoring John Carroll 86-54, but could not overcome a 35-point deficit and fell in the closest team race since 1996 by an 826.5-823.5 count.
Mount Union was third with 696 points, Baldwin Wallace was fourth with 319 points and Wilmington was fifth with 312 points.
Final Team Standings
1. John Carroll 826.5, 2. Ohio Northern 823.5, 3. Mount Union 696, 4. Baldwin Wallace 319, 5. Wilmington 312.