Missouri State Freshmen Enter Thursday Finals as No. 1 Seeds
Dora Kiss (500 free), Kate Gately (50 free) recorded the fastest prelims times; Five other swimmers qualified for A-Final
Feb. 14, 2013
2013 MVC Championships - Day 1 Prelims Results
CARBONDALE, Ill. – A pair of Missouri State freshmen kicked off the 2013 MVC Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships on Thursday (Feb. 14) with top times in their respective events. Newcomer Dora Kiss cruised to a first-place finish in the 500 free prelims, while sprinter Kate Gately registered the fastest time in the 50 free.
In all, the Bears qualified seven swimmers for the championship finals and another nine swims in the scoring consolation heats. Along with the individual events, the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay finals will also take place this evening at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium.
Leading off the morning session, Dora Kiss recorded the fifth-fastest time (4:54.33) in MVC Championship history and finished more than two seconds ahead of No. 2 seed Tori Alland of Illinois State. Also joining Kiss in the top heat is junior Hannah Molden (4:59.67), who placed top eight in all three of her individual events at the 2012 conference meet.
Last year’s 500 free champion, Danielle Schumacher (ILST) edged sophomore Suzanne Van Rensburg by .41 seconds to snag the final spot in the championship final. This marked the first of three events that the Bears would be on the outside looking in with the ninth-place position. Rounding out the Bears’ consolation finalists in the 500 free were freshmen Heather Snyder (5:04.36) in 12th and Carly Wright (5:07.96) in 15th.
Traditionally, a strong event for the Missouri State women, the 200 IM was no different on Thursday morning. Reigning MVC Swimmer of the Year Renata Sander clocked in at 2:04.96 for the second-fastest time. The other two Bears to make the championship final were freshmen Emily Chesser (5th) and Ibby Simcox (7th). Both Chesser (2:06.03) and Simcox (2:07.12) shaved three seconds off their season bests to make the top group.
Missouri State will also have a large contingent of swimmers in the B-Final, a group that includes Anna Ahlin, Rebecca Amparano, Roni Balzam and Kaylee Steffen who finished 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively.
The 50 free turned out to be an event that experienced a drastic overhaul from last year’s top times. At the 2012 MVC Championships, the first-place finisher won with a 24.09. Fast forward to this year and 15 athletes swam under the 24-second mark.
Leading the charge was Bears’ freshman Kate Gately. By nearly dropping a second in the event, the St. Louis, Mo. product registered a 23.39 and was just outside of cracking the top-5 in MVC history. In addition to Gately, Missouri State senior Andrea Uzcategui will swim in the A-Final after posting a 23.71 for seventh place.
Only two hundredths behind the eighth-place finisher, sophomore Megan Holthoff (23.79) will enter the consolation final as the top seed. Also breaking the 24-second barrier was junior Janke Engelbrecht (23.97), who finished with the 14th fastest time.
Engaged in a back-and-forth battle with SIU’s Anna Beeck during all six rounds, junior diver Lindsey Conway scored 241.85 points, but missed out on a spot in the A-Final by .20 points. Junior Paige Koebbe finished with 211.75 points and 13th place after prelims. Also diving in this after’s consolation finals is freshman Darya Wodetzki (134.45).
Finals will begin at 6 p.m. CST and will be streamed online at Valley-Live.tv. Although there are no official live results, check @MissouriStBears on Twitter for live updates as well as SIU's live blog.