By Blake Moore
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's swimming and diving program claimed 10 titles in 13 contested events Friday evening, propelling the Polar Bears to a 160-75 victory over Ohio Athletic Conference rival Baldwin Wallace inside the ONU Sports Center Natatorium to clinch their 12th straight meeting in the annual Golden Kickboard series.
With the victory, Northern improves to 4-2 overall and to 3-1 in league action this season. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets dip to 3-6 overall and 1-2 against the OAC loop.
He, Ayres, junior Ryan Groehl (Marysville), and senior Anthony Ferrell (Canton/Glen Oak) kickstarted the evening with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay, touching the wall in 1:38.74. He would then go on to capture an individual event title in the 200 fly, clocking in well over two seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Huey started his evening with an individual title in the 100 free event, registering a meet-best 49.35 clocking. The junior from Fort Collins, Colorado would then join Ayres, senior Justin Chapman (Springboro), and freshman Jack Kessler (Catawba Island/Port Clinton) to cap the meet with a triumph in the 200 free relay in 1:28.60.
In addition to guiding both relay teams to first-place finishes, Ayres proved to be the fastest man in the pool Friday evening with a 22.54 clocking in the 50 free event, besting Kessler by just .04 seconds.
Junior Grant Pfeifer (Bucyrus/Colonel Crawford), sophomores Dylan Boyd (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) and Pat Reed (Charleston, W.Va./Washington), and freshmen Jackson Stanley (Beavercreek) and Jeremy Adams (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ann Arbor Pioneer) also registered individual event victories on Friday night.
Pfeifer led a 1-2-3 Ohio Northern finish in the men's 1000 free event, the longest race scheduled Friday evening. He would post a 10:42.57 touch for the team's first individual title during the meet.
Meanwhile, Boyd dominated the three-meter dive competition, topping the field by nearly 30 points. He would register a 176.40 to claim the title after finishing third in the one-meter dive event.
Reed emerged victorious in the 200 breast event with a 2:15.76, pulling off a come-from-behind victory after trailing Baldwin Wallace's Michael Lewis through the midway point in the race.
Stanley and Adams would clinch the remaining two event titles with wins in the 500 free and 200 individual medley competitions, respectively.
Ohio Northern will return to action next Saturday, January 26 with a triangular meet against No. 16-ranked Case Western Reserve and NCAA Division II foe Hillsdale (Mich.) for the final home event this season, which will include the program's annual Senior Day festivities. The Polar Bears were slated to compete at Oberlin this Saturday, but due to forecasted winter weather, the meet has been cancelled.