Swimming and Diving finish dual meet with Illinois and Olivet Nazarene

    Till Pallmann led the way for the men, picking up two individual wins on the day.

    Till Pallmann led the way for the men, picking up two individual wins on the day.

    Jan. 20, 2014

    By Tim McCaughan

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    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois swimming and diving team squared off with Illinois and Olivet Nazarene Monday. The Saluki women split their matches on the day, defeating Olivet Nazarene 198-94 and falling to the Illini, 199.5-96.5. The SIU men picked up a win over Olivet, 149-131.

    "There are meets where you come out flat and you just lose control," said head coach Rick Walker. "Today we found a way to dig ourselves out of a hole and turn a dismal performance into a great team effort."

    Till Pallmann led the way for the men, picking up two individual wins on the day. The sophomore won the 200 freestyle in 1:43.17 and went on to take the 500 freestyle over Olivet's Andrew Fischer by nearly 15 seconds with a time of 4:39.62.

    Senior Pamela Benitez recorded two individual wins on the day. The El Salvador native posted a time of 10:19.04 in the 1000 freestyle before taking the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:52.60. Benitez finished second in the 500 freestyle (5:04.33).

    "Pamela is the kind of athlete that you can throw whatever you want at and she will continue to perform. She is a stud," Walker said.

    Junior Calvin Kolar won the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:10.01 and freshman Bobby Wood finished a close second (2:11.97). Brandon Vuong took second in the 200 fly (1:58.43). Oleg Rabota (1:56.43) and Olaf Meller (1:58.41) took first and second in the 200 backstroke while junior Shaun Wolfe finished second in the 50 freestyle (21.80).

    Isabela Castro finished third in the 200 IM with a time of 2:11.74 and Riley Schroedter finished the 50 freestyle in 24.99.

    Wolfe, Pallmann, Dusan Vukobrat, and Andres Saavedra teamed up to take the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:25.25. Benitez, Luisa Silveira, Shailey Brumley, and Holly Johnson finished second with a time of 1:37.99.

    Kaixuan Zhang won the 1-meter dive for the second time this weekend. She outscored her SIU teammate Esther Chen by 13 points to take the event with a final score of 342.37. Zhang also won the 3-meter dive with a score of 379.05. Chen followed with a score of 348.15.

    SIU will be back in action against Evansville Feb. 1 for its last home match before the MVC Championships.