RedHawks Prepare For Title Defense At Midwest Conference Classic

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Feb. 18, 2004

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2003-2004 Overall Record: 12-1 * 2003-2004 MAC Record: 8-0

This Week: Miami University's women's swimming & diving team hits the road for the Midwest Conference Classic, Feb. 19-21, in Indianapolis. The MCC is a final tune-up for the RedHawks before they host the MAC Championships, Feb. 26-28, at the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center.

Scouting the Field: Among the teams joining Miami at the Midwest Conference Classic are Northern Colorado, Valparaiso, IUPUI, Western Illinois and Vincennes. The MCC is the lone post-season meet for Valpo, IUPUI and Western Illinois, all members of the Mid-Continent Conference, which held its conference meet in December.

Last Time Out: The RedHawks finished the MAC regular season undefeated for the third straight season with a pair of wins over Ohio (Feb. 6, 189-109) and Marshall (Feb. 7, 186-87).

Sophomore Katie Forster (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) won three events on Friday, and another on Saturday, to lead the Red and White. Ten other RedHawks won events over the weekend, as Miami coasted to a pair of wins.

Midwest Conference Classic, 2003: Junior Christen Fout (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Hawken School) led the RedHawks to a third-place finish at the 2003 Midwest Conference Classic. Fout won three events, including the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly. She also swam with the first-place 400 medley relay with sophomore Julia Bayard (Los Angeles, Calif./Notre Dame Academy). Sophomore Laura Rosenbarger (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) also swam to a first-place finish, taking top honors in the 1,650 freestyle.

Diver Dominance: After failing to secure the top spot from either board against Purdue (Oct. 29), the RedHawk divers have managed to win each event since. In the 11 meets to feature diving since, sophomore Christin Eberst (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) and senior Heidi Willemssen (Prior Lake, Minn./Lakeview) have combined to win all 22 events, including an exhibitioned event against Marshall. Eberst has led the way, winning 20 times, while Willemssen has gotten the upperhand twice.

Eberst has been unstoppable in just her sophomore season. As a freshman, she won 17-of-22 regular-season events. In her brief career, she has taken top honors 37-of-46 (.804) times, including a 3-0 mark when exhibitioning.

We're Going Streaking!: By sweeping Ohio and Marshall in its last weekend of action, Miami has finished its conference season undefeated for the third straight year. In doing so, the RedHawks have pushed their conference winning streak to 25 meets, dating back to the 2000-2001 season. The RedHawks fell to Eastern Michigan, 157-143, but defeated Buffalo, on the final day of the 2000-01 season to start the streak. On a lesser scale, the Red and White ended its regular season on a 12-meet winning streak after a season-opening loss to Purdue.

Getting It Done: A large reason for the Red and White's recent winning streaks has been consistency. During the 2003-04 conference season, Miami has managed to win at least 10 events each time, while averaging just over 12 per meet. Including exhbitioned events, MU has won 97-of-128 (.758) MAC dual-meet events. Overall, the RedHawks have come away with 128 wins in 184 dual meet events (.696), while holding seven opponents under 100 points and topping 200 points three times.

Up Next: The RedHawks return home to host the 2004 MAC Championships at the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center, Feb. 26-28. Miami has won the last two MAC Championships, and a conference-record 13 overall.