Feb. 3, 2007
By Matt Crouch
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Despite winning seven of the 11 swimming events, the Southern Illinois University men's swimming and diving team fell 137-106 Saturday against visiting Western Kentucky.
The meet is the final regular-season meet for the Salukis, giving SIU a final dual-meet record of 7-3.
The Salukis knew the meet against fellow Sun Belt Conference member WKU would be a tough one just by looking at the team's rosters. Southern has 16 swimmers on its roster, compared to 33 on the Hilltoppers'.
But, even with the disadvantage in the numbers, SIU head coach Rick Walker still felt like the Salukis had a shot at the win.
"We would have liked to have won. It was an uphill battle, but we thought we had it under control. It is just something where you have to do everything right in order to pull it off and we didn't do everything right," said Walker.
Leading the way for the Salukis was sophomore Dennis Hedo. The Stockholm, Sweden native won the 100 Free with a time of 44.69. The time is the fastest in the Sun Belt this season and also fifth all-time at SIU. His mark is also four-hundredths of a second off of the NCAA Provisional time.
Hedo also swam as part of SIU's two winning relay teams. He swam along with Alexandre Marrucho, Stephan Ackermann and Gareth McGee on the 400 Medley Relay team that won with a time of 3:21.98. The time takes over as the fastest in the conference this season.
Hedo then swam anchor on SIU's winning 400 Free Relay team with Ackermann, Silkaitis and Vinicius Waked. The team finished in a time of 3:04.17.
Waked also had a good day for Southern, picking up two individual victories in the meet. The sophomore from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil won the 200 Free with a time of 1:38.76 and then came in with a winning time of 4:33.91 in the 500 Free.
Also picking up an individual victory was junior Antonio Santoro as he won the 200 Fly with a time of 1:51.76. Santoro also left his place on two other events as he finished second in the 1000 Free (9:26.52) and third in the 500 Free (4:44.66).
Santoro's time in the 1000 Free is the second-fastest time at SIU this season, second only to his own best time.
In the diving events, SIU was able to take second and third place on both boards.
Flor took the top spot for SIU on the 3-Meter, coming in second with a score of 255.57. Palacios followed in third with a score of 242.40.
With the regular season complete, the Salukis now look ahead to the Sun Belt Conference Championship, Feb. 15-17, 2007 in Nashville, Tenn. The women's team is scheduled to compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship, Feb. 8-10, 2007 in Carbondale, Ill.