Juan Arbelaez set school and MAC Championship records in the 50 freestyle. He became the first person in school history to break the 20-second barrier in the event.
March 1, 2012
OXFORD, Ohio - The Southern Illinois men's swimming and diving team is in second place after the first day of the MAC Championships and has 216 points. The Salukis set one Championship record and two school records on Day One. Eastern Michigan leads the Championships with 236 points.
"On a day when there was an elevated level of performance from the entire field, our athletes stepped up to play," head coach Rick Walker said. "We set a Championship record and two school records in the first day. We're doing things right."
The 200 freestyle relay team set a Championship and school record and won the event with a 1:19.61. The team missed a pool record by three hundredths of a second. Brothers Justin and Shaun Wolfe paced the Salukis in the first two legs before Shaun Wolfe handed it to Jared Bradd. Juan Arbelaez - who became the first swimmer in SIU history to break 20 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle during the prelims - anchored the relay and touched six tenths of a second before second-place Buffalo.
Arbelaez continued his strong meet and gave the Salukis two wins in the first four events. Arbelaez won the 50-yard freestyle, swimming a 20.02 in the finals. He led a trio of Salukis in the top eight in the event. Justin Wolfe (20.41) and Jared Bradd (20.48) finished sixth and eighth, respectively. Shaun Wolfe (20.54) finished second in the B Final, giving the Salukis four of the top 10 times in the event.
Csaba Gercsak (4:29.11) and Matt Kruse (4:29.87) finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 500 freestyle, the first individual event of the night. El Badrawi (4:29.90) and Matt Parsons (4:30.48) finished in top half of the B Final to add 11 additional points for the Salukis.
Steve Wood (1:49.43) finished sixth in the 200-yard individual medley. Thomas Defay (1:50.09) and Calvin Kolar (1:51.20) finished first and third, respectively, in the B Final to score for SIU. Justin Ruszkowski finished third in the one-meter dive.
The 400 medley relay team finished fourth to close out the first day of competition. The relay's time, 3:17.17, was the fastest Southern time in the event since a 1983 crew swam 3:16.57 to place eighth nationally.
The 400 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay and Juan Arbelaez in the 50 free all bettered the NCAA B Standard.
The meet continues tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the second day of preliminaries. The 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and three-meter dive preliminaries will take up the morning session. The meet is being streamed for free on the MAC website, MAC-Sports.com.
1.) Eastern Michigan - 236
2.) Southern Illinois - 216
3.) Buffalo - 171
4.) Miami (OH) - 154
5.) Missouri State - 149
6.) Ball State - 72
7.) Evansville - 26