Kegan Skelton finished second overall in the three-meter dive, posting a 383.83, placing him fifth in school history.
March 8, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Southern Illinois men's swimming and diving program finished the 2014 MAC Championship in fifth place. Till Pallmann earned first-team All-MAC honors for SIU, while Kegan Skelton, Dusan Vukobrat and Calvin Kolar earned second-team All-Conference recognition.
Pallmann, just a sophomore topped the list of notable Saluki performances with three top-three finishes in individual events. Both Salukis who earned All-Conference recognition are underclassmen.
"Till really led the way for us with two conference titles along with breaking several records," said head coach Rick Walker. "With him being just a sophomore, he is indicative of the quality of what we are bringing along."
Pallmann was the lone Saluki to win an individual event; he cruised to the 500-yard freestyle title, setting MAC Championship, school and pool records along the way. Pallmann's 500 free time was the second fastest in school history. He also swam the fastest time in school history on Friday in the 200-yard freestyle, picking up his second title of the meet. His third top-three finish came in the 200-butterfly on Saturday night.
Another underclassman, freshman Dusan Vukobrat finished the 50-freestyle in second place with a time of 20.34, just missing a top-five school record time. Calvin Kolar and Kristian Troxel each were battling the flu over the Championship. Kolar pushed himslef to take sixth in the A Final of the 200-breastroke while Troxel finished tenth in the mile.
"With three-quarters of our team battling the stomach flu, it has been a very tiring competition," Walker said. "But these guys should be proud of making a potential disaster into an amazing challenge."
In diving, Skelton posted a lifetime best in both the one and three-meter dives over the Championship. Just a junior, Skelton finished second overall in the three-meter dive, posting a 383.83, placing him fifth in school history. Skelton earned second-team All-Conference recognition for his performances on the springboards. He finished third in the one-meter dive and scored 33 points for SIU in his two events.
Missouri State won its first MAC Championship by a large margin over last year's champion, Eastern Michigan. Host school Buffalo finished third while Miami University (Ohio) finished fourth. The Salukis came out ahead of both Ball State and Evansville.
The swimming season ends with the Championship, but Saluki divers are set to compete in the Zone Diving Championships from March 14-16.
1. Missouri State - 833
2. Eastern Michigan - 682
3. Buffalo - 657
4. Miami (OH) - 527
5. Southern Illinois - 383
6. Ball State - 160
7. Evansville - 153