Pamela Benitez tied the third-best time in school history and finished second in the 200-yard freestyle.
Feb. 15, 2013
By John Lock
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's swimming and diving team sits in third place after two days of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. Southern has accumulated 440 points, trailing Missouri State and Illinois State and leading Evansville and Northern Iowa.
"I'm proud of our girls agin for the effort today," head coach Rick Walker said. "Tomorrow is the day with our strongest events, and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do and finishing strong."
The meet was highlighted by three top-three individual finishes by Saluki swimmers and started with a second-place relay finish. In the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the session, Southern was in nearly a dead heat for second place going into the final leg, and Luisa Silveira posted an impressive 22.91 split to take the second spot for SIU. The team of Isabela Castro, Holly Johnson, Charlotte Davies and Silveira posted a time (1:44.16) that was good for fourth-best in school history.
Hannah Pinion posted SIU's first top-three individual finish of the night in the night's first individual event. Pinion finished third in the 400-yard individual medley (4:27.79). Kirsten Groome (4:36.31) finished third in the B Final.
Southern placed two in the top six in the 100-yard butterfly. Isabela Castro finished fourth (56.80) and Charlotte Davies (56.95) finished in sixth. Rachel Barry (57.35) led a trio of Salukis in the B Final. Shailey Brumley (58.32) and Silveira (59.98) also scored for SIU in the B Final.
Morgan Timms was the second Saluki of the night to post a second-place finish with her time (56.33) in the 100-yard backstroke. Katy Ovington, who joined the team in January along with Timms, also swam in the A Final, finishing sixth (57.56). Ella Otto (57.65) won the B Final, while Kristy Hinkle (59.20) and Mardi Buchanan (1:01.61) finished fourth and eight, respectively, in the B Final.
The day wrapped up with the 800-yard freestyle relay, with the Salukis finishing in third. The Salukis swam an impressive relay, with Walker saying he was "in awe" of how his team stayed in the top group, which included an Illinois State relay team that set an MVC Championship record in the event.
The Championship wraps up tomorrow with a 10 a.m. preliminary and 4 p.m. final session at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium in the SIU Rec Center.
1. Missouri State - 593
2. Illinois State - 505
3. Southern Illinois - 440
4. Evansville - 318
5. Northern Iowa - 185