Feb. 18, 2012
By John Lock
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Isabela Castro broke the MVC Championship record in the 200 butterfly by a full second and Southern Illinois placed 12 swimmers and divers in tonight's A Finals. Heading into the final session of the Championships, the Salukis are nine points behind second-place Illinois State.
Castro's record-setting time led a group of three Salukis who placed in the top eight in the 200 butterfly. Jessica England and Charlotte Davies also made the A Final cut, tying the Salukis with Missouri State for the most swimmers in the A Final.
The Salukis have at least two swimmers in five of the six individual events that will be held tonight. Eight-time MVC Swimmer of the Week Kirsten Groome will lead a group of milers that will open tonight's final session. Groome's seed time, based on 1000-yard freestyle times from the regular season, is more than 10 seconds faster than anyone else. Jennifer Kwok has the second-fastest seed time of anyone in the Valley.
A pair of women who have set MVC Championship records this year, Hannah Pinion and Isabela Castro, posted the second and third-fastest time in the 200-yard backstroke. Marcella Otto, Kristy Hinkle and Jessica England all made the cut for the B Final.
Kristin Geppert will try to defend her conference title in the 200-yard breaststroke. Geppert posted the second-fastest time in the prelims. Geppert will be joined by Melissa Larocque, who will be appearing in her second A Final of the Championship.
Anna Beeck and Brittany Weigel will be competing in the three-meter dive finals. Weigel is the defending MVC chamion in the event, and Beeck posted the fifth-best score in the prelims. The meet will end with the 400 freestyle relay.
The final session starts at 4 p.m. at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium.