The Mount Union women's swimming & diving team will compete at the 2012 Ohio Athletic Conference Championships this weekend at the Ocasek Natatorium on the campus of the University of Akron and runs from Thursday morning to Saturday evening.
The Purple Raiders (8-3, 3-1 OAC) hope to win their first conference title in over a decade after finishing second each of the past two years. Six Raiders earned All-OAC honors a year ago and look to repeat this weekend.
Senior Alyson Kolesar (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) won both the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles last year and enters as the top seed in both events this year. Kolesar finished second in the 100-yard freestyle a year ago and is seeded second.
Sophomore Courtney Gabel (Fremont/Fremont Ross) finished second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 100-yard freestyle last year and is the top seed for both events this year.
Senior Taylor Harrison (New Philadelphia/ New Philadelphia) took second place in both the 200-yard and 400-yard IM last year and enters as the top seed in both events this year. Harrison is also the top seed in the 200-yard backstroke.
Junior Katy Alkire (Akron/Firestone) finished in third place in the 400-yard IM. This year, Alkire is the third-seed in both the 200-yard and 400-yard IM.
Junior Jocelyn Gaydos (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) was a member of the 200-yard freestyle team that finished second last year. Gaydos enters as the third-seed in the 50-yard freestyle this year.
Sophomore Shelbey Mitchell (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) was a member of the 200-yard freestyle and medley relay teams that finished second last year. Both relays earned the second seed this year.
Senior Sarah Noble (Copley/Copley) is also expected to contend for All-OAC honors in both the 200-yard freestyle and butterfly. Noble took first place in the freestyle and second place in the butterfly in 2010.
The 400 medley relay team of Mitchell, senior Allison Davila (Middleburg Heights/Midpark), Harrison and Kolesar set a new school record while finishing third (4:05.38) a year ago and Davila was also part of the all-conference 200 medley relay team from a year ago.
The OAC Championships will be conducted a little differently this year, with a new team and an adjusted scoring system. In its first season with a program, Defiance College has joined the OAC for swimming and diving only. With the addition of a sixth program, points will now be awarded out to 18 places instead of just the top nine finishers as in years past.