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Paulina Nogaj Wins Three Events as Akron Dominates Women’s MAC Championships


Paulina Nogaj Wins Three Events as Akron Dominates Women’s MAC Championships

The Akron Zips were the dominant team at this weekend’s Mid-American Conference Championships, held at Bowling Green University in Ohio. The Zips scored 896.5 points to beat second-place Buffalo by 177 points, while Miami University took third. Akron earned a measure of revenge after Buffalo beat the Zips by seven points at last year’s championships (held in April due to COVID-19 concerns), ending a seven-year win streak for Akron at the conference meet.

Leading the way for Akron were Paulina Nogaj, who was named swimmer of the meet after earning three individual victories, and Sarah Watson, who took two wins and was named outstanding senior of the meet.

Team Scores:

  1. Akron, University of            896.5   2. University at Buffalo           619.5
  3. Miami University (Ohio)         429.5   4. Ohio University                 367.5
  5. Eastern Michigan University       354   6. Bowling Green State University    339
  7. Ball State University           243.5   8. University of Toledo            233.5

Nogaj earned victories in the 50 freestyle (22.37), 100 butterfly (51.76) and 200 butterfly (1:58.24), while Watson grabbed first in the 200 IM (1:56.86) and 100 free (48.70). In other individual events, Akron’s Gail Workman won the 1650 free (16:42.05), and Weronika Gorecka took first in the 200 back (1:53.89). Andrea Fischer was the winner in the 200 breast for Akron in 2:10.68.

Akron also won all five relays. On day one, the team of Madelyn GatrallPaula Garcia, Watson and Sofia Henell took first in the 200 medley relay in 1:37.28, and Watson, Gorecka, Victoria Kaufman and Nogaj won the 800 free relay in 7:07.09. Thursday’s action saw Nogaj, Watson, Rachel Schiffli and Henell take the 200 free relay in 1:28.98.

On Friday, Gatrall, Garcia, Nogaj and Watson won the 400 medley relay in 3:31.67, breaking the previous conference record of 3:33.43 set by Akron in 2019. Finally, Nogaj, Schiffli, Abby Daniel and Henell took first in the 400 free relay in 3:16.54.

The other standout swimmer of the meet was Miami’s Nicole Maier, who won the 500 free in 4:44.19 and then took the 400 IM in 4:08.94, smashing her own MAC record of 4:11.30 set last year. Maier was aiming for a third title in the 100 free, but she ended up finishing in second (48.71), just one hundredth behind Watson. Meanwhile, Buffalo diver Tori Franz was also a double winner, scoring 318.75 on 1-meter and 322.95 on 3-meter

Buffalo also got a pair of swimming wins, from Sawyer Bosley in the 200 free (1:46.94) and Katie Pollock in the 100 breast (59.92), while Bowling Green’s Daisy Platts took first in the 100 back (52.19).