Record setting day for Zips swimming and diving

By Terry Rabbitts, Sports-editor@buchtelite.com

The University of Akron’s swimming and diving team members set a new Mid-American Conference record, along with several school records, on their way to capturing the Zippy Invitational for the second straight year at Ocasek Natatorium this past weekend.

The Zips completed the weekend with 2,317 points for the three-day event to win easily. Oakland University followed Akron with 1,663 points for second place, just barely edging Bowling Green State University, who ended up in third with 1,658 points.

The weekend opened with a bang as the 200 freestyle relay A and B relay squads finished one-two in the event. Team A, consisting of Hannah Raspopovich, Susan Franz, Sadie Fazekas, and Madison Myers, set a meet record and set the third-fastest time in program history with a time of 1:31.54 for the top finish.

Team B, which includes Victoria Shaffer, Ashley Niznik, Laura Savariau, and Paloma Marrero Munoz, was right behind team A, finishing in 1:33.04.

In the diving competition, Kim Jones’ prelim score off 266.25 qualifies her for the NCAA Zone meet. To qualify for the one-meter dive, a diver had to earn a minimum score of 265.

The Akron diving team shook off a slow start in the prelims and once again swept the top three scores in the three-meter event. Alice Hottensmith collected her second first-place finish on the weekend with a score of 319.20. Rachel Aepelbacher’s six dives resulted in a score of 296.35 for second and Paige Kelkenberg was just four points behind with a score of 291.35 for third place.

Luka Szynal obliterated the MAC, program, meet and pool records in the 200 backstroke (1:55.04) by touching the wall with a time of 1:53.86 for first place. Her time is currently the eighth-fastest in the NCAA for this event. Niznik also bested her fastest time by .81 of a second with a time of 1:57.56, which now gives her the third-fastest time in program history.

During the weekend, Akron broke seven program records and several swimmers finished with either a program all-time top ten fast time or by improving on their own existing time.

Ragen Engel set a new time in the 100 freestyle by completing it in a blistering 49.77. Her time gives her the meet, pool, and school record. Myers was third in the event with a time of 50.04, which is her personal best and would have bested the old record of 50.06 if not for Engel’s time. Myers now owns the second fastest time.

Marrero Munoz broke the program record in the 200 breaststroke, finishing in 2:13.31 and beating the previous mark by .03 seconds, good for first place.

Erin Seiler broke her own program record (1:59.26) in the 200 butterfly by finishing in 1:59.11.

In the last event of the weekend, the 400 freestyle relay of Myers, Fazekas, Raspopovich, and Engel swam a 3:21.40 for first place, resulting in a new meet record.