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Saturday, February 18, 2012 | Swimming & Diving
2012 State Farm MVC Swimming & Diving Championship
The 2012 State Farm MVC Swimming & Diving Championship has concluded with Missouri State being crowned for the fifth-consecutive year.
The final day started out with our longest event, the 1650-yard freestyle. Dimitra Drakopoulou of Missouri State claimed first-plce with her time of 16:46.50. Kirsten Groome of Southern Illinois came in second-place (16:47.89) with Missouri State's Suzanne Van Rensburg in third (16:58.98).
In the 200-yard Backstroke, Anna Ahlin of Missouri State broke the Championship record with her time of 1:58.17. Isabela Castro of Southern Illinois took second-place after finishing in 2:01.83. The freshman out of lane two, Megan Holthoff, earned 16 points for the Bears with her third-place finish (2:01.95).
Michelle Tipton won her second gold medal of the Championship in the 100-yard Freestyle when she touched in 51.15. Katherine Nelson of Illinois State took second-place out of lane seven (51.66) and Pamela Benitez of Southern Illinois came in third (51.86).
Missouri State took first and second-place in the 200-yard breaststroke. Renata Sander finished the race in 2:15.31 breaking the Championship and Pool record. Teammate Melissa Oishi came in right behind her at 2:17.12. Kristin Geppert of Southern Illinois claimed third-place (2:19.68).
The 200-yard Butterfly gold medal goes to Isabela Castro of Southern Illinois as she broke the Championship record with her time of 2:01.39. Roni Balzam of Missouri State came in second-place touching in 2:01.78 and third-place went to Jeanette Nolte of Illinois State (2:04.83).
Wenting Zhang took her second diving medal of the Championship winning the 3-meter diving with 313.15 points which is a new Championship record. Anna Beeck from Southern Illinois came in second-place (291.45 points) and Sadie Wells of Evansville in third (275.65).
The final race of the Championship was an exciting one that came down to the wire. Illinois State edged out Missouri State for first-place finishing in 3:26.68. The Bears were right behind them in 3:26.71. Southern Illinois took third with their time of 3:27.52.
It was a tight race to start off the night in the 200 Yard Medley Relay between Missouri State and Southern Illinois but the Bears came out on top. Megan Holthoff, Renata Sander, Roni Balzam and Ali Stauffer finished in 1:43.41 taking first-place. Southern Illinois was right behind them touching in 1:43.76 with Evansville finishing in third (1:44.17).
Even on day two the freshman are stealing the show. In her first MVC Championship, Missouri State's Roni Balzam took first-place with her time of 56.00 in the 100-yard Butterfly. Southern Illinois claimed second and third-place in Isabela Castro and Charlotte Davis who finished in 56.10 and 56.58, respectively.
Keeping the trend going, Evansville won their first race of the Championship with freshman Michelle Tipton in the 200-yard Freestyle. Tipton touched in 1:49.98, followed closely by Danielle Schumacher (ILS) who finished in 1:50.29 and Pamela Benitez of Southern Illinois (1:50.39).
Missouri State's Renata Sander claimed first-place in the 100-yard Breaststroke finishing in 1:02.35. Southern Illinois' Kristin Geppert took second with her time of 1:09.93 and Missouri State's Melissa Oishi came in third (1:04.44).
Missouri State kept the winning streak alive taking not only first-place but second-place as well. Anna Ahlin and Megan Holthoff finished in 55.24 and 55.93. Alexandra Howard of Evansville claimed the bronze (57.11).
The final event of the night was an exciting one as the 800-yard Freestyle Relay came down to the wire. Illinois State just edged out Missouri State to claim the gold. The Redbirds touched in 7:30.10 for a new Championship record. The Bears were right there finishing at 7:30.29. Southern Illinois came in third with their time of 7:34.89.
Reigning champions Missouri State won the first event of the 2012 State Farm MVC Swimming & Diving Championship. The team of Anna Ahlin, Andrea Uzcategui, Janke Engelbrecht and Ali Stauffer finished in 1:34.80 to take the gold. Evansville came in second-place (1:35.18) with Illinois State a very close third (1:35.19).
Danielle Schumacher of Illinois State took won the gold in the 500 yard freestyle in a time of 4:52.50. Two freshman are making their name known early as Pamela Benitez of Southern Illinois (4:52.50) and Michelle Tipton of Evansville (4:54.59) took second and third, respectively.
After breaking the 200 yard IM Championship record in prelims this morning, Hannah Pinion of Southern Illinois came from behind to win top honors in record timing. Pinion broke her earlier record touching in 2:03.32. The underclassmen really shined in this race as a Missouri State sophomore duo earned silver and bronze. Renata Sander finished in 2:03.49 followed closely by Anna Ahlin (2:03.83).
Another freshman came in first-place tonight as Katherine Nelson of Illinois State won the 50-yard freestyle in 24.09. Luisa Silveira of Southern Illinois came in second (24.11) and Missouri State's Janke Engelbrecht and Ali Stauffer tied for third-place (24.15).
For the 1-meter diving, Illinois State's Wenting Zhang was crowned champion with a score of 266.20. Southern Illinois took the next two spots with junior Anna Beeck (255.45) and sophomore Brittany Weigel (250.45).
Missouri State finished the night how they started it, winning races. The Bears took a commanding lead in the beginning of the 400 yard medley relay and never looked back. Anna Ahlin, Renata Sander, Roni Balzam and Ali Stauffer finished in a new championship record time of 3:44.24. Southern Illinois took second-place (3:48.42) with Evansville a close third (3:49.75).
ST. LOUIS – In a unanimous vote, Missouri State has been named as the pre-championship favorite at the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Swimming & Diving Championships, February 16-18 in Carbondale, Ill., hosted by Southern Illinois University.
MVC Pre-Championship Poll
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