Southern sweeps Evansville in dual opener

    Junior Kegan Skelton swept the one- (284.40) and three-meter dives (256.75) for the Salukis.

    Junior Kegan Skelton swept the one- (284.40) and three-meter dives (256.75) for the Salukis.

    Oct. 12, 2013

    By Tim McCaughan

    Results Get Acrobat Reader

    EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The Southern Illinois men's and women's swimming and diving teams swept Evansville Saturday to start the regular season 1-0. The Salukis won 15 of the 26 events on the day. The women defeated UE 138-105 and the men cruised to a 150-87 victory over the Aces.

    The Salukis had competed in the Saluki Miler and Open Water 5K, but this was the first competition of the year with a traditional format against a full opponent.

    The women started the meet out rough, dropping the 400-yard medley relay to Evansville by less than a two-second. But senior Pamela Benitez got the Salukis back on track with a solid performance in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Benitez won the event by six seconds over teammate Helena Amorim.

    Benitez then cruised to a win in the 200-yard freestyle (1:52.77), while Luis Silveira (24.40) and Shailey Brumley (24.96) finished first and third, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle.

    Hannah Pinion finished second in the 200-yard IM (2:12.72) while Isabela Castro (2:12.83) finished just 11 tenths of a second behind Pinion for third place. Cheri Zhang (308.80), Esther Chen (278.85) and Brittany Weigel (232.65) took the top three spots in the one-meter dive.

    Castro won the 200-yard butterfly (2:07.63) for the second straight year.

    "I was really pleased with Pamela (Benitez) sweeping the 1000-, 500-, and 200-yard freestyles," said head coach Rick Walker.

    Till Pallmann, Andrew Spencer, Dusan Vukobrat and Eric Sparks teamed up to take the 400-yard medley with a time of 3:30.25 to start off the day for the Saluki men. Freshman Kristian Troxelm (10:06.87) and Caleb Coots (10:12.77) finished second and third in the 1000-yard freestyle, respectively. The Saluki men won eight of 13 events in their opener.

    "Our freshman guys continue to impress," said Walker. "A 1-2 finish in breaststroke with two freshman is outstanding."

    Oleg Rabota won the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.77) and Andres Saavedra (21.81) finished second in the 50-yard freestyle. Pallmann won the 200-yard individual medley (1:53.39). Kegan Skelton swept the one- (284.40) and three-meter dives (256.75).

    "I was really pleased with some of our performances this early in the season," Walker said. "Everyone pulled their weight today, and you have to take your hat off to our divers who swept their events."

    The Salukis are back in action in two weeks when the squad takes on Missouri and Kentucky at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium on Oct. 24-25.