McKendree Sweeps Division I Opponents Southern Illinois and Saint Louis

Photo Courtesy: McKendree Athletics

(O’FALLON, Ill., Oct. 20) – The McKendree University swimming and diving program hosted four teams in a meet on Saturday afternoon. The men’s team swam against Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) opponents Missouri S&T and Maryville University. The women’s team swam against Saint Louis University and GLVC opponent Maryville University.

Overall, it was a great showing for the Bearcats as they went 5-1 on the day with the men defeating two Division I opponents.

Men’s Scores

McKendree: 261 Maryville: 22
McKendree: 187 Southern Illinois University: 97
McKendree: 180 Missouri S&T: 107
McKendree: 170 Saint Louis University: 125

Women’s Scores

McKendree: 219 Maryville: 41
McKendree: 138 Saint Louis University: 153

Sophomore Throstur Bjarnason (Reykjanesbær, Iceland/Fjölbrautaskóli Suðurnesja) took the top spot in the 500, 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 4:38.97 and 9:26.41. Sophomore Alexander Skinner (Namibia, Africa/Windhoek Afrikaans Private School) touched the wall first in the 50, 100, 200-yard freestyle with a times of 20.73, 45.16, and 1:38.59. Senior Daniel Buijs (Amersfoot, Netherlands) won the 100, 200-yard backstroke as he touched the wall in 51.28 and 1:51.88. Junior Matija Pucarevic (Belgrade, Serbia/Sixth Belgrade Grammar School) took top honors in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.57. The 200-yard freestyle relay took of Luca Simonetti (Sassari, Italy/Liceo Scientifico Gulielmo Marconi Sassari), Pucarevic, Bjarnason, and Skinner flew the lanes as they touched the wall in 1:42.68 to take the top spot.

Freshmen divers Ethan Larson (Anchorage, AK/Paideia High School) and Xavier Flores (Fresno, CA/Clovis West High School) took the top spots in the one and three meter diving events. Larson took number one in both events with scores of 253.25 in the one meter and 284.65 in the three meter. Xavier took second in both events with scores of 206.35 in the one meter and 210.75 in the three meter.

“The men were facing some very tough competition today with both Division I and top Division II teams like nationally ranked Missouri S&T. They rose to the occasion and put forth some nationally ranked times today,” said head coach Jimmy Tierney.

“Pool records were set by Matija, Xander, and Throstur who defeated the defending national champion in the 1000-yard freestyle. Daniel Buijs (Amersfoot, Netherlands) also gave the Bearcats some big wins in both backstroke events.”

Sophomore Meredith Geyer (Germantown, TN/Germantown High School) took top honors in the 200-yard freestyle and backstroke with times of 1:53.37 and 2:03.52. Sophomore Victoria Sananikone (Cedar Park, TX/Cedar Park High School) touched the wall first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:05.02. Junior Milica Sostarec (Subotica, Serbia/Medical High School) took the top spot in the 50-yard freestyle as she finished the face in 24.58. Freshman Hayley Rey (Columbia, IL/Columbia High School) touched the wall in 52.99 to win the 100-yard freestyle. Freshman Hallie Dixon (Jeffersonville, IN/Jeffersonville High School) won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:17.07.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Geyer, Marshall, Sananikone, and Sostarec finished number one with a time of 1:50.56. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Sostarec, Hayley Rey (Columbia, IL/Columbia High School), Sananikone, and Geyer took the top spot with a time of 1:37.44.

“I am very proud of our women who competed without two of our top scorers in Sydney Rey (Columbia, IL/Columbia High School) and Caitlyn Canadi (South Lyon, MI/South Lyon High School). We gave Saint Louis University all that they could handle but fell just a little short,” said Tierney.

“Haley Rey is emerging as one of the top free sprinters in the GLVC and has provided McKendree quite a 1-2 punch in both the 50, 100-yard freestyle today. Meredith Geyer (Germantown, TN/Germantown High School) continues to impress each and every week and I really like the progress we are making.”

“It was an outstanding day for the Bearcats. Our goal is to be tenacious as competitors in each and every event,” said McKendree head coach Jimmy Tierney. “We want opponents to know that the Bearcats will bring that to the pool every time and we did that today.”

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with McKendree Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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