Review (with video): Women's Swimming & Diving season culminates with fourth straight OAC title
By: Alyssa Merrick
The Ohio Northern women's swimming and diving team's season ended on a high note, as the squad claimed its fourth-straight OAC Championship crown and its sixth consecutive OAC Regular Season title.
All this under eighth-year head coach Peggy Ewald.
The Polar Bears finished the regular season 11-3 overall, which included wins over non-conference rivals Wooster and Case Western Reserve. ONU also swept OAC competition to go 5-0 in the league.
At the 2012 OAC Championships in Akron, Northern composed a comeback to win the title with 859 points, ahead of second place Mount Union's 776.
The Polar Bears won five of the 20 events and had 11 women earn All-Conference honors in the meet, while setting three school records and two OAC records.
The top three finishers in the individual races and the top two relay teams earned All-OAC honors.
Senior Michelle Eggers placed second in the 1650 free in 18:12.13, wrapping up her career as a 12-time All-OAC honoree.
Senior Alison Garbash was a part of the 200 medley relay with sophomores Jamie Garbash, Kasey Manko, and Cait Munro clinching an OAC record of 1:49.10, which was 0.27 seconds ahead of the previous OAC record.
Garbash was also part of the 200 free relay with junior Mackenzie Hoffman, sophomore Alena Anderson, and freshman Danielle Wildman that earned All-OAC honors with a second place finish in 1:39.13.
With her two relay finishes, Alison wrapped up her ONU career as a nine-time OAC Champion and a 14-time All-OAC award winner.
Hoffman and sophomores Jamie Garbash, Kelsey Manko, and Lindsey Rayhill won the 400 medley relay in 3:59.40. Ohio Northern has won the women's 400 medley relay for the second consecutive year and for the seventh time in the last eight years.
Hoffman earned All-Conference honors in five events. Including her 400 medley relay victory, she is a four-time OAC Champ and a 15-time All-OAC performer.
She finished second in the 200 free in 57.54, was third in the 100 free in :54.31, was third in the 500 free in 5:15.08 and was a part of the 200 free relay team that finished second.
Junior Amy Elmer earned All-OAC honors as well in the 1- and 3-meter diving events, surpassing the NCAA Qualifying Standard in both. She finished second in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events with scores of 407.55 and 424.75 points respectively.
Elmer's 3-meter score shattered her past record at ONU by 50.75 points.
Rayhill won three events to help lead the Polar Bears by sweeping the butterfly events along with being on the 400 medley relay team. She won the 100 fly in 58.71 while setting OAC and ONU records winning the 200 fly in 2:08.72. Rayhill is now a seven-time OAC Champ in her two seasons with Ohio Northern.
Manko was a two-time OAC Champ this year in the 200 and 400 medley relays and was a 4-time All-OAC honoree. She finished third in both the 100 and 200 breast in 1:07.90 and 2:31.16 respectively.
Sophomore Amanda Everlove set a new American Paralympic (S8 Classification) record in the 200 fly, finishing her prelim exhibition swim in 2:31.67 during the OAC Championships.
Freshman Taylor McCabe finished first in the 400 I.M. setting a new school record of 4:40.18. She earned All-OAC honors with a second place finish in the 200 breast in 2:24.80 and a third place finish in the 200 I.M. in 2:31.16.
Despite losing Eggers and Garbash to graduation, Northern plans to return most of its roster and add to it with a strong freshman class for the 2012-13 season.