October 24, 2014

Medina
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College swimming: Addy Ferguson’s record-breaking pace lands her in nationals

Cloverleaf graduate and Ohio University swimmer Addy Ferguson will compete in the NCAA Division I nationals in the 100 butterfly and 100  backstroke. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Cloverleaf graduate and Ohio University swimmer Addy Ferguson will compete in the NCAA Division I nationals in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. (COURTESY PHOTO)

GENEVA — The 48 hours following a college conference swim meet are usually reserved for reflecting on the season.

Ohio University sophomore Addy Ferguson found out two days later her season wasn’t over following a record-breaking Mid-American Conference weekend.

The 2012 Cloverleaf graduate set a pool record in the 100 butterfly (53.48) and conference, school and pool records in the 100 backstroke (53.10). She is headed to the Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis on March 22 for the Division I National Championships.

“It’s really exciting,” Ferguson said. “Not only because I’m a sophomore, but it’s a huge deal to make it in general. Everyone on the team is excited and that makes me proud of what I accomplished.

“I think the nerves will be good for me. I do better when I’m under pressure. It won’t even be so much nerves. I made it there, so it will be a fun meet for me. I’m going to do my best and have fun with it. Me being the only Bobcat going, I’ll represent all the Bobcats who aren’t there and the ones who have been there.”

ESPN3.com will stream the finals live Friday and Saturday. The Thursday sessions, along with the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday, will be streamed live via gophersports.com. ESPNU will also air a 90-minute show at 9 p.m. on April 2.

Ferguson has been quite the topic of conversation at Ohio University this season after the two-time Gazette MVP and four-time All-Gazette selection was named first-team all-conference for the second season in a row.

As a freshman, Ferguson was named the team co-MVP and was a MAC champion in the 100 backstroke. She also was a member of the winning 200 medley relay, which finished in a school-record 1:39.87, and part of the 200 free relay that recorded the sixth-fastest time in school history (1:31.68).

At this year’s conference meet, which was held at the SPIRE Institute, she broke her school record and set a championship record in the backstroke finals. She posted the top qualifying time in the prelims by clocking a first-place 53.64. Ferguson set a pool record in the fly finals, which ranks as the second-best in school history in the event.

“It was a goal of mine to make nationals since last year, but going into the meet I knew it would be tough because the times were fast,” Ferguson said. “I didn’t even know I qualified until after the meet, so it kind of set in that I didn’t qualify at first.

“I’m expecting a very exciting atmosphere. It’s such a great meet. A lot of huge swimmers that I’ve never seen in competition before will be there.”

Ferguson, who is seeded 37th in the backstroke and 55th in the fly, will head to Minnesota with her coach and parents.

While the goal is always to come out on top, the Cloverleaf graduate is looking at the weekend as something she can use to her advantage in future years.

“It’ll be something like I’ve never experienced before, so I’m excited to watch everyone swim fast, as well as swim fast myself,” Ferguson said. “I want to accomplish my best times and possibly make the finals.

“Going in, I can use this as a great learning experience and use it to drive me for next year. Next year when I qualify, I’ll already have a year under my belt, so I’ll know what to expect and it won’t be much as adjustment.”

Zip-ping up a title

Akron’s women’s swim team made history in going from last place to first to claim its first MAC title. Brunswick graduates Alice Hottensmith and Danielle Dostall were a big part of that team. Hottensmith, a sophomore, finished fifth in 1-meter diving with 266.35 points and 10th in the 3-meter with 305.35 and has qualified for the NCAA zone diving meet at Ohio State this weekend. Dostall, a senior, participated in the 1,650 free (17:57.11).

Contact Brad Bournival at sports@medina-gazette.com.