Benitez and Zhang repeat as MVC Swimmer and Diver of the Week

    Benitez has earned the award three times this season.

    Benitez has earned the award three times this season.

    Nov. 5, 2013
    By Tim McCaughan

    ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Southern Illinois got the nod once again for the weekly Missouri Valley Conference swimming and diving awards, the conference announced Tuesday. Pamela Benitez earned MVC Swimmer of the Week for the third time this year, while Sherry Zhang earned MVC Diver of the Week for the second-consecutive week.

    Benitez won all three events she competed in at Missouri State on Saturday including the 1000-, 500-, and 200-yard freestyles as the Salukis fell to Missouri State, 121.50-119.50.

    The San Salvador, El Salvador native posted a time of 1:53.81 in the 200- freestyle, while winning the 1000 freestyle (10:16.29) by nearly 15 seconds over teammate Helena Amorim. Benitez took the 500 freestyle over Naresh Naik of MSU with a time of 5:02.62.

    Zhang won the 1-meter dive with a score of 329.40, setting an MSU pool record while doing so. Zhang took the 3-meter dive by four points over teammate Esther Chen with a score of 341.25.

    Zhang, a sophomore, has won 5-of-6 diving events in which she has participated this year, the first being at Evansville, where she swept the 1 and 3-meter events.

    The nod is the fourth of her career and the second MVC Diver of the Week honor for a Saluki diver this year.