The Missouri State swimming and diving teams wrapped up their final regular season meet of the year in Charleston, Ill. at Eastern Illinois University. The men won their meet by a score of 136-69 and the women’s meet was a 146-56 victory for the Bears.
With this meet in the books, both the men and women finish with 8-3 dual meet records. They also ended their seasons on a five-meet win streak.
In most meets, Missouri State jumps out to early leads with wins in the medley relay events. At EIU, however, the Bears had to fight back after early losses in the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relays.
The individual events were very strong for the Bears. For the second time this weekend, the distance freestyle group shone. The women’s squad had senior Katharina Voelkel and sophomore Marta Nogueroles finish first and second in the 1000-yard freestyle with times of 10:43.19 and 10:53.10, respectively. The men’s team had similar successes in the event with junior Tom Bullock (9:56.49), junior Nick Carter (10:10.21) and freshman Gilles Cantrelle (10:13.47) finishing 1-2-3.
In the very next event, sophomore Amber Green built upon her already impressive resume breaking the EIU pool record in the 200-yard freestyle with her time of 1:52.73. Green’s personal best time of 1:51.83 is currently the top time in the Valley this season.
Later in the meet, freshman Renata Sander also broke a pool record, this time in the 100-yard breaststroke. Her time of 1:07.85 beat the previous pool record by nearly a full second.
In the 100-yard butterfly, the men’s race came down to the wire. Junior Tyler Saltzberry entered the race with the top seed time in the event, but EIU’s Nathan Moritz gave him competition. Saltzberry touched the wall at 53.57, a mere .11 seconds ahead of Moritz.
To wrap up the meet, Missouri State returned to the status quo with wins in the 200-yard freestyle relays. For the women, Green, junior Ali Stauffer, freshman Anna Ahlin and senior Sierra Ross turned in a time of 1:40.02, a full seven seconds ahead of the EIU team. The men’s race was closer, but still a comfortable win for the Bears. The men’s team of Carter, junior Jeff Bentz, sophomore Jacob Sims and senior Dillon Burns came in at 1:26.12, one second ahead of EIU.
Next up for the Bears are each team’s respective conference meets. The women’s meet will be first , with the Missouri Valley Conference tournament taking place on Feb. 17-19 in Carbondale, Ill. The women have won three consecutive championships and seven in the past eight years.
The men’s meet will begin on March 3-5, also in Carbondale, Ill. The Bears finished third in last season’s Mid-American Conference championship in Ypsilanti, Mich. This will be the first time the MAC meet will be held in Carbondale, a pool with which the Bears are very familiar.