The Missouri Valley Conference recognizes Southern Illinois' Pamela Benitez as Swimmer of the Week and Illinois State's Wenting Zhang as Diver of the Week.
Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer of the Week
Pamela Benitez, Jr., Southern Illinois, San Salvador, El Salvador
Saturday, Jan. 26 - at Washington (Mo.) and Rhodes
200-yard freestyle – 1:51.61 – 1st place
500-yard freestyle – 4:58.75 – 1st place
200-yard freestyle relay – 1:36.58 – 1st place
Pamela Benitez won both of her individual events and was a part of two pool-record setting performances, leading Southern Illinois to dominating dual wins over Washington (Mo.) and Rhodes College in St. Louis. Benitez won the 200- (1:51.61) and 500-yard (4:58.75) freestyle, setting a pool record in the 500-yard free. She also anchored the 200-yard freestyle relay team that set a pool record in the event, with a time of 1:36.58. Benitez led a crew of Salukis that won 13 of 16 events and set seven pool records on the day. SIU beat Rhodes College 269-31 and Washington (Mo.) 228-71.
Missouri Valley Conference Diver of the Week
Wenting Zhang, So., Illinois State, Shenzhen, China
Saturday, Jan. 26 – UIC Diving Invitational
1-meter board- 319.80 – 1st place – Flames Natatorium record
3-meter board- 351.15 - 1st place – Illinois State record
Sunday, Jan. 27 – Butler Invitational
1-meter board- 316.75 – 1st place
3-meter board- 342.20 – 1st place
Sophomore diver Wenting Zhang had a weekend full of record-breaking scores and first-place finishes. On Saturday, Zhang competed in the UIC Diving Invitational. She took first-place on both boards. She earned a score of 319.80 on the 1-meter board and a score of 351.15 on the 3-meter board. Her score on the 1-meter board broke the Flames Natatorium record that was previously held by former Olympian Nancilea Underwood. Zhang’s score on the 3-meter board broke the Illinois State record, which the diver previously held. On Sunday, Zhang competed in the Butler Invitational. She earned two more first-place finishes on the 1-meter and 3-meter board. She earned a score of 316.75 on the 1-meter board and 342.20 on the 3-meter board. Both of Zhang’s performances helped lead the Redbirds to their first-place finish at the Butler Invitational.