Swimmers close action at Purdue Invite and Phoenix Fall Classic

    Hannah Pinion set pool record in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley at the Phoenix Fall Classic.

    Hannah Pinion set pool record in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley at the Phoenix Fall Classic.

    Nov. 18, 2012

    Purdue Invitational Complete Results | Phoenix Fall Classic Complete Results

    By John Lock

    The Southern Illinois swimming and diving team wrapped up action at the Purdue Invitational and Phoenix Fall Classic on Sunday. At the Purdue Invitational, the Saluki men finished fifth and the women finished sixth. At the Phoenix Fall Classic, the men finished second and the women finished third.

    "I was extremely proud and encouraged at how we performed at both meets," head coach Rick Walker, who was with the swimmers in West Lafayette, Ind., said. "We started a little slow but showed remarkable resolve. We were getting close to some school records, and we weren't even shaved or rested. Everyone just stepped up."

    Freshman diver Cheri Zhang provided a signature performance from the weekend, posting a school-record 373.10 score in the three-meter dive preliminaries at the Purdue Invitational. At the Phoenix Fall Classic, Hannah Pinion set pool records in both the 200- and 400-yard individual medley.

    Purdue Invitational Recap
    Cheri Zhang wowed judges in the preliminaries for the three-meter dive, scoring a school-record 373.10. Zhang's score was more than 30 points higher than any other diver scored in either round. Zhang finished fifth in the event after posting a 282.90. Zhang also finished third in the one-meter dive, scoring a 284.95 in the finals. Head coach Rick Walker noted that the judges were even harder than a typical meet, with the panel including a former world champion.

    "This was a very high level for our divers, and they were up for the challenge," diving coach Joy Zhao said. "Kegan (Skelton), Brittany (Weigel) and Cheri did a wonderful job."



    Skelton finished seventh in the one-meter dive after scoring a 296.00 in the finals.

    Till Pallmann got the Salukis off to a good start, finishing third in the 500-yard freestyle (4:27.32) on the first day. Pallmann posted a sixth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley (1:50.99). Pallmann also finished sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:38.78).

    In other A Final appearances, Juan Arbelaez finished eighth in the 50-yard freestyle (20:45) and sixth in the 100-yard freestyle (45.54). Calvin Kolar finished seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.74). Oleg Rabota narrowly missed the A Final in the 100-yard backstroke and ended up winning the B Final with the third-fastest finals time in the event (49.40). Rabota also won the B Final in the 200-yard backstroke with the fourth-fastest finals time in the event (1:46.63).

    On the women's side, Pamela Benitez finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle (1:49.14). Benitez also posted a third-place finish in the mile (16:39.48). Isabela Castro finished sixth in the 200-yard butterfly (2:02.61).

    "Till (Pallmann), Pamela (Benitez), Oleg (Rabota), Juan (Arbelaez), Luisa (Silveira), and everyone had great swims," Walker said. "I could go right down the line and name everyone. Everyone here did great."

    Phoenix Fall Classic Recap
    The Salukis started the meet off on the right foot, with Holly Johnson, Rachael Barry, Shailey Brumley and Ella Otto teaming to win the first event of the meet, the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:37.14). Hannah Pinion kept the momentum going with a pool record and event win in the 200-yard individual medley (2:06.00). On the men's side, Thomas Defay won the same event (1:55.14).

    "The whole team stepped up and fought in every position," associate head coach Scott Olson, who is with the swimmers in Chicago, said. "As a result, they achieved either season- or career-best times. This is exactly what we wanted to see as we approach the second half of the season."

    Johnson won the 100-yard breaststroke by more than six-tenths of a second (1:05.55). Pinion narrowly missed a second event win with a second-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke (2:04.55). She picked up that second event win later in the meet with a win in the 400-yard individual medley (4:27.85), setting a second pool record in the process. Brumley won the 100-yard freestyle (52.52), with Johnson (53.21, 3rd) and Barry (53.65, 4th) giving SIU three swimmers in the top four in the event. Brumley made is a sweep of the 50- and 100-yard freestyle with a win in the 50-yard freestyle later in the meet (24.45).

    On the men's side, Esteavo Andrade (46.51) and Marco Madeira (46.75) finished second and third in the 100-yard freestyle, respectively. Andrade (1:42.67), Eddy Lynk (1:43.68) and George Minkel (1:44.13) finished 2-3-4 in the 200-yard freestyle. Brumley (58.15) and Barry (58.76) finished second and third, respectively, in the 100-yard butterfly.

    Defay finished second in the 100-yard butterfly (51.05). Otto posted a second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (59.01).

    The Salukis are back in action from Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 with the USA National Championships to close out the fall portion of the schedule.