Jan. 20, 2007
By Matt Crouch
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Swimming in their final regular-season meet, the Southern Illinois University women's swimming & diving team dominated defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Missouri State for a 173-70 victory.
The men's team went neck-and-neck with the Bears throughout the meet before falling 128-115. The loss is only the second one of the season for the men's team in dual meets.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome of the women's meet. I think it speaks very well for our women. They have worked for a couple of years to put themselves in this position. We now have a group that has the same mission and commitment to win. I couldn't be more pleased with the way they looked," said SIU head coach Rick Walker.
Despite taking the loss in the men's meet, Walker said that he was still very pleased with the times turned in by the team in the midst of some very intense training in preparation for the upcoming conference championships.
"They came in more prepared. They haven't done these times all year and they have had big meets. I don't know that we will see some of these times at conference. We said that we didn't want to give up the conference championship in order to win a dual meet. It is just a difference of philosophy. If we got beat, then we got beat by a team that went faster. What it took to go faster may cost the opposing team more than we were willing to pay," said Walker.
"I don't know how you couldn't be happy with our times. I am not thrilled, we lost, that puts a damper on anything, but it wasn't because we swam poorly. We actually had some very good times."
Ju swam as part of the winning 400 Medley Relay team with Kelly Dvorak, Bunford and Mattsson that finished in a time of 3:51.95, the fastest in the Missouri Valley Conference this season.
Individually, Ju was a winner in the 200 Free with a time of 1:51.81. Her time is a season and career best as well as the fastest time in the MVC this season.
Bunford picked up two individual wins on the day. She won the 400 IM with a time of 4:33.37. Her time is a season and career best while also marking the top time in the Valley this season. Bunford's other win was in the 200 Breast with a time of 2:22.14.
Mattsson also had a pair of individual victories at the meet. She won the 50 Free with a time of 24.04 and the 100 Free with a career best time of 51.61.
Also picking up multiple individual wins was freshman distance swimmer Lisa Jaquez. She won the 500 Free with a time of 5:13.05 and the 1000 Free with a time of 10:42.79.
Sophomore Kelly Dvorak also earned an individual win, taking top honors in the 200 Back with a time of 2:04.72.
In the women's diving events, the Salukis took the top two spots on both boards. Senior Cristina Curtuneanu won the 1-Meter with a score of 243.75 and the 3-Meter with a score of 244.05. Freshman Emily Gable finished second in both events.
In the men's events, junior Stephan Ackermann was the top Saluki with two individual wins and a winning relay team.
Santoro and Hedo also picked up individual wins in the meet. Santoro took the win in the 1000 Free with a time of 9:31.97, the third-fastest time in the Sun Belt Conference this season.
Hedo won the 200 Free with a time of 1:38.94.
Also earning an individual win was Vinicius Waked with a time of 4:34.35 in the 500 Free.
In the men's diving events, senior Ben Palacios led SIU in both events. Palacios finished second in the 1-Meter with a score of 243.60 and third in the 3-Meter with a 245.63, a season-best score.
Saturday's meet with Missouri State was the final regular-season meet for the women's team. The men's team returns to action with its final meet of the regular season on Feb. 3 with a dual meet against Western Kentucky. The meet is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at SIU's Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium.