Southern Illinois Pulls Ahead at Missouri Valley Championships

CARBONDALE, Illinois, February 9. – Southern Illinois turned in a dominating performance on day two of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. The Salukis won six of the eight finals events during the evening session, placing SIU firmly in first place with a score of 572.

Missouri State sits in second place with a score of 515.5. In third with a score of 469.5 is Illinois State. Northern Iowa (253) and Evansville (238) are fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the first event of the evening finals' session, the Missouri State Bears broke the MVC record in the 200-yard medley relay. The Bears edged out the previous record of 1:45.08 set by Evansville in 2001 with their time of 1:45.05.

The Southern Illinois relay team came in second in the event with a time of 1:45.75. Kelly Dvorak (27.24), Nora Bunford (29.35), Kasey Fernandez (26.18) and Therese Mattsson (22.98) combined to form the Salukis' relay team.

SIU took top honors in the second event of the evening as Bunford won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:34.30. Abby Blank (4:35.79) and Danielle Quarry (4:39.53) also competed in the A finals, placing fourth and fifth.

Jenna Helm swam in the B final, finishing fourth, 12th overall, with a time of 4:51.80.

The Salukis were on top again in the 100-yard butterfly as Gabriela Flores beat her best time by nearly two seconds with a time of 57.13, good enough for a first-place finish.

Salukis Rachel Winius (58.86) and Kasey Fernandez (59.22) placed seventh and eighth in the A final. Samantha Dvorak finished first, ninth overall, in the B final with a new best time of 59.55. In the C final, exhibition swimmer Natalie McLean finished fourth with a personal best time of 1:03.91.

Therese Mattsson delivered another first-place finish for the Salukis in the 200-yard freestyle with her time of 1:51.61, which broke the MVC Championship record of 1:51.81 set by teammate Isabel Madeira last year. Madeira finished just behind Mattsson at 1:53.02. Also in the A final, freshman Tovah Gasparovich finished seventh with a time of 1:56.05.

In the B final, Kelly Dvorak (1:56.66) and Karin Mullendore (1:59.43) finished second and third, respectively.

Another Saluki broke an MVC Championship record when Julie Ju finished the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.67. The previous record of 1:04.35 was set by Elzette Jordan of Evansville in 1999. Nora Bunford finished in fifth place of the A final with a time of 1:07.34.

Allison Zeller and Jordan Hawkins of Missouri State took first and second place in the 100-yard backstroke with times of 57.38 and 57.40, respectively. In third was SIU's Kelly Dvorak with a time of 57.88/ Samantha Dvorak placed eighth overall with a time of 1:00.72.

Competing in the B final was Liz Navitsky, who placed fifth, 13th overall, with a time of 1:01.65. In the C final exhibition swimmer Clair Strock finished fifth at 1:07.17.

In the 1-meter diving finals Saluki senior Christina Curtuneanu dominated, scoring 270.78 points. Also competing for SIU was freshman Emily Gable, who finished third with a score of 247.53.

In the final event of the evening, the 800-yard freestyle relay, the Salukis pulled in another first-place finish. The team of Isabel Madeira, Danielle Quarry, Therese Mattson and Julie Ju finished with a time of 7:34.09, almost four seconds in front of the next finishers.

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Author: Archive Team

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