BOWLING GREEN - The Bowling Green State University swim team opened the regular season with a pair of wins at home against Wayne State and Ashland, taking first in all but five races.
The Falcons easily finished ahead of both Wayne State (173-119) and Ashland (190-65) in front of their home fans at BGSU's Cooper Pool. Alexis Kain, Emily Bennet and Emily Waller led the way for the Orange and Brown, each winning two individual events. Kain and Bennet also contributed to wins in the 400 medley relay for the Falcons.
"I really like the fight in them," said head coach Petra Martin. "They were battling for every inch and that's important. There's still some technical things and some racing strategies that we need to do a better job with, but overall we were happy with it. Everybody stepped up."
Depth was key to the Falcons' success, as Bowling Green racked up 28 top-three finishes across 14 races, sweeping the top three spots on multiple occasions. The Falcons opened the meet with a win in the 400 medley relay, as Alexa Harris, Kain, Jordan Bullock and Bennet combined to finish in 3:52.96. In the 1650 freestyle, the Falcons dominated, with Waller picking up the win in 17:37.85 and two freshmen, Tara Capouch and Alex Poitinger, finishing second and third, respectively.
The Falcons also swept the top spots in the 200 freestyle, where junior transfer Joëlle Scheps took first (1:51.34), followed by Jen Beatty and Erica Nieminen. Harris picked up her second win in the 100 backstroke (59.43), while Kain and freshman Daniela Carrillo finished 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke. Bullock finished second to Wayne State's Kristina Novichenko in the 200 butterfly and Bennet out-touched Ashland's Julie Widmann to win the 50 freestyle, 23.91-23.92.
After a break, Bennet returned to the pool to win the 100 freestyle comfortably over Widmann, 51.82-53.00. Scheps and Harris finished second and third in the 200 breaststroke - an event in which Harris holds the school record. In the 200 breaststroke, Kain, Carrillo and Carmen Young swept the top three spots for the Falcons, setting up Waller, Nieminen and Capouch to do the same in the 500 freestyle.
Novichenko came on strong for Wayne State in the final races, winning both the 100 butterfly and 400 IM. In the final race - the 400 freestyle relay - the Falcons swam in exhibition, with the team of Scheps, Szekely, Beatty and Bennet finishing in a time of 3:32.07.