MVC Championships Day Three: Prelims

    Feb. 18, 2012

    By John Lock

    Complete Results

    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.



    In the 100 freestyle, Pamela Benitez tied for the second-fastest time in preliminaries. Benitez and Evansville's Michelle Tipton tied, just two hundredths of a second behind the leader. The Salukis placed four swimmers--Holly Johnson, Jill Weckbach, Luisa Silveira and Rachael Barry--in the B Final, giving SIU more scoring swimmers in the event than any other school.

    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.