Southern drops matchups vs. Air Force, Missouri State

    Luisa Silveira won the 50-yard freestyle and anchored the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team.

    Luisa Silveira won the 50-yard freestyle and anchored the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team.

    Nov. 3, 2012

    By John Lock

    Event ResultsGet Acrobat Reader | Team ScoresGet Acrobat Reader

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois men's and women's teams dropped their matchups on Saturday. The men fell to Air Force, 126-115, and Missouri State, 169-71. The women's team lost by a single point to five-time defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Missouri State in its only dual meet of the day.

    "With a couple key athletes out due to injuries, our women can be proud of the fight they brought to MSU," head coach Rick Walker said. "The men were on a simlar path with injuries but held their own with great heart in their races. After a great win against Air Force last night, we came up a little short today."

    A day after the men's team beat Air Force by one point, 121-120, the women's team fell to the Bears by the slimmest of margins. After dropping the opening event, the women dominated the 1000-yard freestyle. Kirsten Groome (10:17.75) won the event, and Pamela Benitez (1:22.89) finished second. The closest Missouri State swimmer finished 15 seconds after Benitez.

    Benitez (1:53.73) then turned around and cruised to a win in the very next event, winning the 200-yard freestyle by nearly four seconds. Luisa Silveira (23.94) made it three straight event wins for the Salukis by winning the 50-yard freestyle. Holly Johnson (24.91) finished second.

    Sherry Zhang, a freshman, won both the one- (284.75) and three-meter (346.05) dives for the women. Her score in the three-meter dive (346.05) broke a pool record for the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium. Anna Beeck also had a strong showing, finishing second in both diving events.

    Benitez and Groome again finished first and second, this time in the 500-yard freestyle. In the event, it was Benitez who took the first-place finish and Groome who finished second. Both finished more than 10 seconds ahead of the nearest Missouri State competitor.

    The women were down six points heading into the final event of the day, the 200-yard freestyle relay. Down by a second and a half heading into the final leg of the relay, Luisa Silveira swam a 22.91 split--a full second faster than her winning time in the 50-yard freestyle--to catch Missouri State and win the relay for Southern Illinois. The Saluki women dropped the final tally, 122-121.

    The men's team swam against both Air Force and Missouri State, dropping duals to both teams. The Salukis only swimming win of the day came from Till Pallmann in the 500-yard freestyle. Pallmann (4:37.27) won the event by nearly three seconds. Pallmann also posted a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.73) and anchored the second-place 200-yard freestyle relay team (1:24.91).

    The Salukis are back in action Nov. 15-17, when the team will split up to go to the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind., and the Drury Invitational in Springfield, Mo.