Ball State Swimming and Diving progress in House of Champions

Ball State Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving participated in the House of Champions hosted by the IUPUI from November 18-20. The women totaled 1,347 points for second out of nine. The Cardinals were 17 points behind lead Illinois. The men finished with a total of 891.5 points, placing fourth in the field of seven teams behind University of Indianapolis, IUPUI and Illinois-Chicago.

Sophomore Marcella Ribeiro recorded the first victory of the weekend for Ball State on Nov. 18. Ribeiro won the women’s 500 freestyle with a time of 4: 53.07.

“Day one we definitely had a few home runs which I think got everyone excited,” said head coach J. Agnew. “What we had to overcome is when those initial first races don’t really meet that expectation and you have three days of racing. It’s a good time to challenge the athlete mentally. How to deal with adversity and how to move forward?

The Cardinals claimed three wins on Nov. 19, starting with junior Shelby Crist, senior Alex Bader, rookie Hannah Jones and junior Apsara Sakbun. The group placed first in the women’s 200 medley relay with a time of 1: 41.30. The time marked the fifth-best in Ball State history. Jones also won the women’s 100 butterfly, finishing with the third fastest time in program history (54.55). Bader scored the Cardinals’ final victory in the women’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 1: 01.86.

“The second day is when we really took a step,” Agnew said. “I think both teams have settled in really well. You could see their confidence grow with each run. The challenge is that at the end of that second day a lot of these guys have run four to six times with maximum effort, and emotionally you could see it wearing on them. You could tell they were a little drained. But then you see the results, and you kind of feed off of them.

Ribeiro earned her second victory of the weekend in the women’s 1650 freestyle on November 20 with a time of 16: 46.89. Bader placed first in the women’s 200 breaststroke with a time of 2: 15.35, third-best in program history. Jones, Sakbun, rookie Gracey Payne and senior Alex McDonald set an academic record in the 400 freestyle with a time of 3: 23.46.

“We came out swinging [our third day]”Said Agnew.” It was by far our best. The last session was phenomenal. [The women’s winner] at this last stint, we still had a chance. So seeing these guys fight to the end was really cool. We set an academic record, so it’s not like we haven’t done all we can. The men made enormous progress on the last day, we could see them climbing up the standings race after race. I think everyone comes out of it as excited as possible.

Ball State Men’s and Women’s Dives return to action Jan. 7 at Youngstown State. The Ball State Women’s Swimming returns to the pool Jan. 22 against Eastern Michigan, while the Ball State Men’s Swimming faces Bellarmine on Jan. 28.

Contact Nate Grubb with comments at [email protected] or on Twitter @ GrubbNate43.




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