Nov. 20, 2004
By Shalae Schulte
EVANSTON, Ill. - Through two days of competition at the Northwestern Invitational, the Southern Illinois men's and women's swimming and diving teams sit in fourth place of the five-team competition. The women have produced four top-three performances, while the men have placed six swimmers in the top four, including two provisional qualifying performances and a new school record.
"Our focus this meet was to get some great swims in some specific events," said head coach Rick Walker. "Had we loaded up on events, the score might tell a different story. We were hoping for the best that we could get out of each race and that's exactly what we got."
On the men's side, the Salukis have scored 452.5 points. Freshman Antonio Santoro won the 200-freestyle in at time of 1:38.46 and placed second in the 500-freestyle (4:27.29). Both performances are provisional qualifying times.
Christian Tinajero finished third in the 400 IM (1:38.46) and Jason Sigler finished fourth in the 500-freestyle (4:34.01). Both performances were season bests for the juniors. Sigler, McGee and Santoro also teamed up with Ivan Sanchez to finish second in the 800-freestyle relay in a time of 6:45.07.
On the women's side, SIU has scored 388.5 points. Sophomore Nora Bunford won the 50-breaststroke in a time of 29.28 and her time in the 100-breaststroke (1:04.10) moved her to second all-time in SIU history. Senior Nadine Shawah finished fifth in a tough field in the three-meter dive with a score of 374.45.
Freshman Katie Lowry and senior Natalie Kenny each picked up a third place individual finish and swam on the second-place 800-freestyle relay (7:38.12) with junior Kelsey Kinsella and senior Ashley MacCurdy. Lowry placed third in the 500-freestyle (501.11) and Kenny, the 200-freestyle (1:52.43).
"We need to just keep doing what we're doing," Walker said. "We're looking really good. Going into the last day we're looking to finish off a very strong meet with some great individual races."
Northwestern is leading both the men's and women's competition.
The Northwestern men have 702 points followed by Pittsburgh with 608. Missouri is in fourth with 550.5 points followed by SIU and Kenyon College (309) rounding out the field.
The Northwestern women (746) lead Missouri (645) by 101 points with Pittsburgh in third with 591 points, followed by SIU and Kenyon College with 227.5.
The teams will wrap up competition Sunday with prelims beginning at 9 a.m., finals at 3 p.m.