MAC Championships: Day One Finals

    Till Pallmann set a MAC, MAC Championship and pool record on his way to dominating the 500-yard freestyle.

    Till Pallmann set a MAC, MAC Championship and pool record on his way to dominating the 500-yard freestyle.

    March 7, 2013

    By John Lock


    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois men's swimming and diving team finished the first day of the Mid-American Conference Championship in fifth place. The meet continues each of the next two days with preliminary sessions at 11 a.m. each day and finals sessions at 7 p.m. The meet takes place in the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium in the SIU Rec Center.

    "We're a young team, and we're figuring out who we are," head coach Rick Walker said. "We're also figuring out that, even though we're young, we can be very competitive with these teams."

    One of those youngsters, Till Pallmann, put on a show in the 500-yard freestyle, dominating the event from start to finish. The freshman set new pool, MAC and MAC Championship records in the event after swimming the event in 4:21.80 in the finals, besting his closest competitor by more than three seconds. With the record, Pallmann becomes the only Saluki with a MAC record. The SIU men are in their fourth year in the conference.

    "What a great swim," Walker said. "What can you say about it to do it justice? The only better time in school history came from an Olympian. He just dominated that race."

    Pallmann's record fell short of a Saluki record but was the fastest time for SIU since 1986. Csaba Gercsak also swam the event for SIU, finishing seventh in the B Final and tacking on two more points for the Salukis.

    The meet's second individual event was the 200-yard individual medley. In the preliminaries, Thomas Defay became the first Saluki to break the 1:50.00 barrier in 14 years. Defay ended up finishing eighth in the A Final, getting 11 points for Southern. Defay's prelim time was the fifth-fastest in school history. Calvin Kolar finished second in the B Final and posted the eighth-fastest time in the finals.



    The final individual event of the evening was the 50-yard freestyle. Shaun Wolfe and Esteavo Andrade both qualified for the B Final, with Wolfe coming in second in the heat and Andrade finishing eighth.

    Kegan Skelton, sophomore, finished fifth in the one-meter dive. Skelton surpassed the 330-point mark in both the prelims and the finals and finished just two points away from a third-place finish.

    The evening also featured two relays bookending the meet. In the meet-opening 200-yard freestyle relay, Southern finished fourth behind three school who all broke a pool record. In the nightcap event, Southern finished fourth in the 400-yard medley relay (3:17.94)

    The theme of the first day was broken records. Pool records fell in every event except the 50-yard freestyle. Championship records were broken in every event except the 200-yard freestyle relay and 50-yard free.

    The meet resumes Friday with an 11 a.m. preliminary session and 7 p.m. finals session. For a list of tomorrow's events, click HERE.