The Missouri Valley Conference Swimmers of the Week are Renata Sander of Missouri State and Hannah Pinion of Southern Illinois.
Cheri Zhang earned The Missouri Valley Conference Diver of the Week honor.
Missouri Valley Conference Swimmers of the Week:
Renata Sander, Missouri State, jr., Belo Horizonte, Brazil
200-Yard Individual Medley (2:05.78) 13th
100-Yard Breast Stroke (1:02.34) 1st (MSU Record)
200-Yard Breast Stroke (1:45.33) 3rd (MVC Best)
Missouri State traveled to West Lafayette, Ind. for the Purdue Invitational this weekend to face some of the top teams in the country. The Bears went up against the likes of No. 17 Louisville and No. 20 Purdue, along with Utah, Southern Illinois and Cincinnati.
Junior Renata Sander started the meet off with a 13th-place finish in the 200 IM (2:05.78). She shaved more than three seconds off to make the B-Final and overtakes SIU’s Hannah Pinion for the top spot in the MVC rankings.
To cap off the first day, the junior helped the Bears’ 400 medley relay (3:48.85) drop nearly four seconds from its previous season best and furthered the Bears top time in the conference. Missouri State’s time is 7.21 seconds faster than Illinois State in second.
As the No. 2 seed in the 100 breast championship finals, Sander jumped out to an early lead in Saturday’s evening finals and didn’t look back. The Belo Horizonte, Brazil native raced to an individual title and broke her own MSU record by one hundredth (1:02.34) . In addition, she achieved the NCAA ‘B’ standard in the event and moved up to 41st in the national rankings.
Again boosting the Bears’ relays, Sander had the third-fastest breaststroke split in the 200 medley to help guide MSU to a third-place finish and an MVC-best time of 1:45.33.
The 2012 MVC Swimmer of the Year concluded the Purdue Invitational with another top-three finish in the 200 breast. She placed third in the event with a time of 2:16.19 and was just two-tenths of a second away from picking up her second NCAA ‘B’ cut in as many days. Sander holds the MVC top time by more than five seconds.
Hannah Pinion, Southern Illinois, so., Knoxville, Tenn.
200-Yard Individual Medley (2:06.00) 1st
400-Yard Individual Medley (2:27.85) 1st
200-Yard Backstroke (2:04.55) 2nd
Hannah Pinion set pool records in both the 200- and 400-yard individual medley at the Phoenix Fall Classic Nov. 16-18. In both cases, Pinion overcame pool records that had been set by another woman in the preliminary round. Pinion won the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:06.00 at the Myers-McLoraine Pool in the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center. She went on to dominate the 400-yard individual medley (2:27.85), setting another pool record and winning by six seconds. Pinion narrowly missed a third event win, finishing second in the 200-yard backstroke (2:04.55). In relays, Pinion anchored SIU's third-place 800-yard freestyle relay team (8:03.46) and led off Southern's sixth-place 400-yard medley relay team.
Missouri Valley Conference Diver of the Week:
Cheri Zhang, Southern Illinois, fr., Hu Bei, China
1-Meter (284.95) 3rd
3-Meter (373.10) 5th (SIU Record)
SIU freshman diver Cheri Zhang set a school record in the three-meter dive in the preliminary round at the Purdue Invitational, scoring a 373.10. Zhang broke the 17-year-old school record by 60 points. Zhang went on to place fifth in the event and third in the one-meter dive (284.95). She was the only diver for SIU to make the finals in either diving event.