Isabela Castro won two events and set a pool record in the 200 fly.
Jan. 26, 2013
By John Lock
ST. LOUIS - The Southern Illinois women's swimming and diving team turned in a dominating performance this afternoon against Washington (Mo.) and Rhodes College. The team set seven pool records on its way to winning against both schools. Southern beat Washington (Mo.), 228-71, and Rhodes College, 269-31.
"I was blown away by our performances tonight," head coach Rick Walker said. "We're three weeks away from the MVC Championships, and this should give us great confidence heading into the home stretch of the season."
The Salukis won 13 of 16 women's events and both men's diving events. Along the way, Saluki swimmers set pool records in the 500-yard freestyle, 1000-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle relay, one-meter dive and three-meter dive. Men's diver Kegan Skelton, who accompanied the team, won both diving events and set a pool record in the men's three-meter dive.
Southern kicked off the meet by taking the top two spots in the 200-yard medley relay. Katy Ovington, Holly Johnson, Charlotte Davies and Luisa Silveira won the event by three seconds over their teammates and four seconds over the nearest opposing school.
The Salukis kept things rolling, taking the top three spots in the 1000-yard freestyle. Second-semester addition Helena Amorim dominated the event, winning in a pool-record time of 10:28.82, which was 35 seconds faster than the closest finisher from an opposing school.
Amorium was one of three newcomers to the squad competing in their first event of their Saluki career. Katy Ovington (200-yard medley relay) and Esther Chen (one- and three-meter dive) also were part of winning events for SIU, with Chen setting pool records in both diving events. A fourth newcomer, Morgan Timms, finished second in the 200-yard backstroke.
"We were very encouraged by our mid-year additions," Walker said. "They have proven that they give our team not only depth, but also top-end competitors that will prove valuable for the last two meets of the year."
Pamela Benitez led another trio of Salukis sweeping the top three spots in an event, this time the 200-yard freestyle. Benitez went on to win the 500-yard freestyle (4:58.75) with a pool-record time in the meet's 12th event. Holly Johnson (1:08.72) and Melissa Larocque (1:09.39) took the top two spots in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Isabela Castro (2:05.72) became the second individual Saluki of the meet to set a pool record, with hers coming in the 200-yard butterfly. Castro also won the 100-yard butterfly (58.54) later in the meet. Luisa Silveira also swept two events for SIU, the 50- (24.15) and 100-yard (54.00) freestyle.
Esther Chen won and set pool records in both the one- (285.10) and three-meter (305.75) dives. The Saluki quartet of Chen, Sherry Zhang, Brittany Weigel and Anna Beeck swept the top four spots in both events.
SIU continued its dominance with the top three places in the 200-yard backstroke, this time with Hannah Pinion (2:07.97) taking the top spot. The Salukis closed the meet out with yet another pool record, this time in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Luisa Silveira, Holly Johnson, Shaily Brumley and Pamela Benitez teamed up to win the event and set the record with a time of 1:36.58.
The Salukis are back in action with a home dual meet with Evansville on Feb. 2 at Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium in the SIU Rec Center.
Recap of Pool Records
Athlete, Event (Time)
Helena Amorim, 1000 Free (10:28.82)
Isabela Castro, 200 Fly (2:05.72)
Esther Chen, 1m Dive (285.10)
Esther Chen, 3m Dive (305.75)
Kegan Skelton, 3m Dive (350.85)
Pamela Benitez, 500 Free (4:58.75)
Luisa Silveira, Holly Johnson, Shailey Brumley, Pamela Benitez, 200 Free Relay (1:36.58)