Bears On a Roll Heading Into Friday Finals in Carbondale
Feb. 15, 2013
2013 MVC Championships - Day 2 Prelims Results
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Picking up where it left off, the Missouri State women's swimming & diving team qualified 16 athletes for the championship finals and will hold the top seed in the 400 IM, 100 breast and 100 back.
Friday's finals session will begin at 6 p.m. CST and will be streamed online at Valley-Live.tv. In addition to this morning's events, the 200 medley relay, 3-meter diving consolation finals and 800 free relay will also take place. Remember to @MissouriStBears on Twitter for live updates from Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium.
Coming off her title performance in the 500 free on Thursday, Missouri State's Dora Kiss laid down the groundwork for another championship opportunity in the 400 IM. The freshman from Budapest, Hungary entered the meet with the league's second-fastest time, but staked claim as top seed for tonight's final with her time of 4:26.84.
Joining Kiss in the A-Final will be Suzanne Van Rensburg (4:30.42) and Kaylee Steffen (4:32.25) in fifth and sixth, respectively. Freshman Heather Snyder finished 10th in the morning and will represent the Bears in the B-Final.
While graduate assistant coach Chelsea Dirks-Ham's four-year-old 100 MVC record in the 100 fly fell, the silver lining in it all was that all three Bear swimmers qualified for the championship final. Illinois State senior Jeanette Nolte cranked out a 54.77 in the prelims to capture the record. Sophomore Roni Balzam led the way for Missouri State in third (56.62), followed closely behind by freshmen Rebecca Amparano (57.05) and Ibby Simcox (57.20) in sixth and eighth.
The Bears will also have three non-scoring swimmers in the C-Final, including Katie Brown, along with Brittany Winter and Merideth Swain, who both recorded career bests on Friday.
Missouri State upperclassmen Andrea Uzcategui and Hannah Molden stepped up to the plate and are seeded fourth and fifth for tonight's A-Final in a tight 200 free field. Both Uzcategui (1:52.08) and Molden (1:52.15) dropped significant time from their season bests to pace the Bears.
Just missing out on the championship final was 50 free champion Kate Gately (1:53.22), who entered Thursday with a seed time of 1:57.19. Freshman Carly Wright will also swim in the B-Final after touching the wall in 1:54.09.
The Bears set the stage for an exciting race this evening in the 100 breast. Missouri State will head into finals with the No. 1 (Renata Sander), No. 2 (Melissa Oishi) and No. 3 seed (Alyssa Powers). Sander, the MSU record holder in the event, coasted in the morning session with a 1:02.78, and right behind her was Oishi at 1:02.82. Powers vaulted into the Bears' all-time top-five at No. 3 with her time of 1:04.33.
Dropping significant time, freshman Olivia Gean was .20 seconds shy of an A-Final appearance, finishing ninth overall with a time of 1:05.47.
Following suit and building momentum, the Bears' 100 backstroke swimmers registered four of the top five times on Friday morning. Last year's champion and runner-up, Anna Ahlin (55.91) and Megan Holthoff (56.65), will once again enter finals as the top contenders. Additionally, freshman Emily Chesser (57.21) and junior Janke Engelbrecht (57.41) will be in the hunt for a top-three finish as the No. 4 and 5 seed.
Junior diver Lindsey Conway was in the zone on the 3-meter springboard, qualifying seventh for the championship final and setting a new career best (261.85). Highlighting Conway's performance was her inward 2-1/2 summersault (tuck) that went for 52.65 points and her reverse 2-1/2 summersault (tuck) for an impressive 60.20 points. The 60.20 points was the second-highest total for a single dive during Friday's prelims.