Feb. 22, 2002
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Salukis are one day away from claiming both the men's and women's swimming and diving conference championships. For the women it would be there seventh title in eight years and fifth in a row, while the men seek their first title since 1999. The men lead defending champion Southwest Missouri State 668.50-645 in what is shaping up to be another close finish between the schools for the conference crown. Evansville (380), Northern Iowa (300) and Bradley (177.5) round out the other team scores. The women's team has extended their lead over Evansville (467) and Southwest (410) with a team score of 548 heading into the final day, Illinois State (339.50), Northern Iowa (247.50) and Bradley (143) follow.
Sophomore Derek Helvey was the top men's performer as he won the 400 individual medley, crushing his 2001 conference championship record in that event with a time of 3:56.90. Senior Corne Prozesky won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 57.01. Brent Menghini won the 200 freestyle (1:38.70) and teammate Edoardo Daelli placed third (1:40.07) in the same event. All four swimmers participated in the 800 freestyle relay (6:44.80) and finished second behind SMS (6:44.77).
Adam Gangl and Jeremiah Cortez finished second (50.11) and third (50.13) respectively in the 100 butterfly. Daelli added a third place finish in the 200 freestyle (1:40.07). Newcomer Marcelo Possato finished third in the 100 backstroke (50.16) and joined Prozesky, Cortez, and Chrysanthos Papachrysanthou in a second place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:30.78).
The men's diving team had a very strong showing in the 3-meter finals with junior David Likar leading the way with an NCAA Zone D qualifying score of 485.40 as he placed second behind SMS diver John Waldon (521.90). Devin Aikins (476.95) and Jake Sinclair (460.25) finished third and fifth.
Brooke Radostits led the way for the women's side, winning her fourth straight 100 backstroke conference title with a time of 57.22 and adding a second place as the lead leg of the 200 medley relay (1:47.23) with teammates Amy Legner, Courtney Corder and Jenna Meckler. Sophomore Brigitta Olson won the 400 individual medley (4:29.44) as Leane Pienaar, Dana Morrell and Ashley MacCurdy followed her, sweeping the second through fourth spots. Olson also added a victory in the 800 freestyle relay (7:39.90), teaming up with Morrell, MacCurdy and Amber Mullins.
Other top women's performers included Meckler's third in the 200 freestyle (1:54.96), Legner's third in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.26) and Andri Hatzidoni's third in the 100 backstroke.
Tomorrow's preliminaries will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the finals starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium in the SIU Student Recreation Center.
MEET NOTES: The SMS men's 200 medley relay team set a new conference record with a time of 1:30.35...Josh Wegrzyn, a member of the record breaking 200 medley relay team also set a new record time in the 100 backstroke (48.47) breaking teammate Nikola Kalabic's 1999 record (49.28).