MVC Championship: Day Two Preliminaries

    Sherry Zhang is in second place heading into tomorrow's three-meter dive final.

    Sherry Zhang is in second place heading into tomorrow's three-meter dive final.

    Feb. 15, 2013

    By John Lock


    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's swimming and diving team wrapped up the second day of preliminaries at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. For this evening's finals session, Southern will have six swimmers going in A Finals, and four divers qualified for tomorrow A Final in the three-meter dive.

    The session started with the 400-yard individual medley. After three heats, Hannah Pinion (4:28.15) posted the second-fastest time in the event. Pinion, the defending MVC Champion in the event, was the only Saluki to make the A Final. Kirsten Groome (4:37.52) will compete in the B Final.

    The next event was the 100-yard butterfly. Isabela Castro (56.68) and Charlotte Davies (56.98) posted the fourth and fifth best times, respectively, but no one could compete with Illinois State's Jeanette Nolte, who set a Championship record by .7 seconds in the prelims. Rachael Barry (57.23) narrowly missed the A Final and will hold the top seed heading into tonight's B Final. Shailey Brumley (58.32) and Luisa Silveira (59.98) will join Barry in the B Final.

    Pamela Benitez, who finished second in the 500-yard freestyle last night, will be the second seed in the 200-yard freestyle heading into tonight's final. Benitez (1:51.49) will be joined by Helena Amorim (1:52.68) in the A Final. Amorim, who joined the team in January, has qualified for the A Final in both of her individual events so far at the Championship. Morgan Timms (1:54.64) will swim in the B Final.



    The final two swimming events were the 100-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard backstroke. In the 100 breast, Southern landed three swimmers in the B Final. Melissa Larocque (1:06.04) and Holly Johnson (1:06.06) will be the second and third seeds, respectively, in the B Final. J Anderson swam a lifetime best time in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.96) and will score for Southern in the B Final.

    In the 100-yard backstroke, Katy Ovington (57.68) took the final spot in the A Final, and three Salukis will swim in the B Final. Ella Otto (57.97), Kristy Hinkle (58.82) and Mardi Buchanan (1:00.69) will all score in the B Final for SIU.

    In the three-meter diving preliminaries, all four Salukis made the A Final. Sherry Zhang (330.05) missed the top score by just .2 points. Teammate Esther Chen (324.15) finished third, while Brittany Weigel (277.45) and Anna Beeck (263.50) also finished in the top six. While all the other preliminaries will be concluded with the finals tonight, the final for the three-meter dive waits until Saturday night at 6 p.m. The consolation final for diving takes place tonight, instead.

    Today's finals session starts at 6 p.m. and will include seven swimming events and the three-meter dive consolation final.