Bears Sitting Uncharacteristically in Fifth at MAC Championships
Paul Le had an impressive backstroke split of 47.91 on the 400 medley relay.
Paul Le had an impressive backstroke split of 47.91 on the 400 medley relay.

March 1, 2012


OXFORD, Ohio -- Significant time drops continued at the 60th annual Mid-American Conference Men's Swimming & Diving Championships on Thursday. After the first day of competition, the Missouri State swimming & diving squad is sitting in fifth place, needing to make a move on Friday. Eastern Michigan took the lead after day one, powered by wins in the 500 free, 200 IM and 1-meter diving.

The Bears, who had the third-fastest seed time in the 200 free relay, dropped a second off their season best, but were not able to overcome SIU and Buffalo's record-setting relays. The quartet of Paul Le, Vitalii Baryshok, Jeff Bentz and Isaac McKnight registered a time of 1:21.40 for fifth place.

Freshman Caleb Schuermann dropped nearly another second off of his 500 free time to inch closer to Eric Bintner's varsity record of 4:23.37. Schuermann, who had the lead heading into the final 100 yards, was unable to fend off Eastern Michigan's Franco Petrone for the victory. Sophomore Jared Roberts shaved off another second from his prelims time to swim a career best 4:28.77 and move up four spots to fourth.

In the 200 IM, Paul Le was Missouri State's highest finisher, collecting bronze with a time of 1:48.74. Chris Carpenter was just .01 seconds off his prelims mark and scored seventh-place points for the Bears. In the consolation heats, Daan Jansen and Aaron Dennis placed 12th and 14th, respectively.

Like the morning session, the 50 free came down to hundredths as .03 seconds separated the fourth- and seventh-place swimmers. Bears' sprinter Vitalii Baryshok was on the unlucky end of things, taking seventh with a 20.42. Isaac McKnight and Jeff Bentz finished 15th and 16th in the B-Final.

To close out the first day of action, the Missouri State 400 medley relay logged an impressive time of 3:16.28. The NCAA "B" cut was five seconds under the Bears' top time for the season as Paul Le led off the relay with a season best backstroke split (47.91), followed by Chris Carpenter's 55.54 breaststroke leg. Baryshok anchored the relay with the second-fastest freestyle split of 43.31.

Friday preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m. (ET). The finals session starts at 7 p.m. (ET).

To keep up with the Bears at the 2012 MAC Swimming & Diving Championships, you can watch the free video stream at and also follow live results at Check for photos, recaps and video interviews.

Team Standings (After Day 1)
1. Eastern Michigan - 236
2. Southern Illinois - 216
3. Buffalo - 171
4. Miami (Ohio) - 154
5. Missouri State - 149
6. Ball State - 72
7. Evansville - 26



Official Store

    Watch Video