The men’s swimming and diving team placed second at the Mid-American Conference Championships, falling to Miami (Ohio). 

Missouri State brought home eight individual golds and two relay first-place finishes.

Day one of the meet ended in two second-place finishes in both the 200-yard medley and 800-yard freestyle relays. Freshmen Mohamed Abdelbaky and Pawel Krawczyk and seniors Artur Osvath and Kevin Douglas broke their season-best time in the 800-freestyle relay with a time of 6:34.60.

The Bears saw a win-streak on the second day of the MAC Championships beginning with Krawczyk’s first-place 500 freestyle swim with a time of 4:20.67. Junior Antonio Thomas touched just behind Krawczyk at 4:21.99. 

Osvath earned another win for Missouri State in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:45.91. Junior Thomas Heye also saw podium time with his fourth-place finish.

Junior Lucas Paloschi claimed another Bears’ victory in the 50-yard freestyle clocking in at 20.02, just touching out second place by a millisecond.

Missouri State found its way to the top of the podium once more on day two with a 1:19.58 win in the 200-freestyle relay.

Krawczyk found himself on the top of the podium once again in the 200 free with a time of 1:36.73.

Sophomore Michael Claunch placed third in the one-meter diving with a score of 282.60 points. 

Freshman John David Spence also made it on the podium with a score of 234.95 points for eighth place.

Senior Blair Bish garnered a first-place time of 52.86 seconds in the 100 breaststroke, claiming the fifth individual gold of the week for Missouri State on day three of the championships.

The Bears — junior Conner Ripp, Bish, Osvath and Paloschi — outswam Miami (Ohio) in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:10.71.

Three Bears placed in the top six of the 400 IM. Thomas, senior Minki Kang and senior Bryce Blattner placed third, fourth and sixth respectively.

Osvath swam a 46.8,8 earning him a second-place finish in the 100-butterfly while teammates junior Jacob Schultz and Ripp finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Ripp, Schultz and Heye all made the podium in the 100 backstroke placing second, sixth and seventh, respectively.

On the final day of the MAC Championships, Missouri State went 1-2-3-4 in the 1,650-yard freestyle. Krawczyk earned his third individual gold of the meet, clocking in at 15:07.57. Thomas, Kang and freshman Sebastian Odent all followed suit.

Ripp won his first gold of the championships in the 200-backstroke title with a time of 1:46.65.

Paloschi won the final individual title of the week for the Bears with a time of 44.28 in the 100 freestyle.

Other notable final day finishes were Bish placed second in the 200-breaststroke, Osvath placed second in the 200 butterfly, and Paloschi, Senn, Schultz and Ripp took home silver in the 400-freestyle relay.

Krawczyk, Osvath, Paloschi, Bish, Ripp, Thomas and Kang made the All-MAC First Team.

Osvath, decorated with one gold and two silver, won the Most Outstanding Senior award.

Krawczyk, who collected more individual golds than any other swimmer at the meet, was honored with the Freshman Swimmer of the Year award.

“(I’m) proud of how our group of guys represented our program this week,” head coach Dave Collins said in a tweet on Friday, March 8. “We didn’t reach our goal of winning a team championship, but we battled all the way to the end. Lots of great performances to be proud of. Special thanks to a great group of seniors for making this program better!”  

Bish and Osvath each punched their ticket to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The two seniors will represent Missouri State in Austin, Texas, on March 27-30. 

Bish will be competing in the 100-yard breaststroke while Osvath will be swimming the 200-yard breaststroke, each a top-25 seed in their event. 

“In 2016, I met Osvath in the locker room at Georgia Tech, and I think that it is fitting that we get to end this ride together,” Bish said. “It’ll be nice to have a teammate there for support throughout the meet.”

Claire began as a sports reporter for The Standard in March of 2018. She covers football, baseball, and basketball. Claire is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Communication Studies with a double minor in Journalism and Marketing.

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