Missouri State with the most finalists (13) of any team for tonight's championship and consolation finals
March 7, 2013
2013 MAC Championships - Day 1 Prelims Results | 2013 MAC Championships Website
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Powered by two new school records, the Missouri State men's swimming & diving team will take seven swims into the championship finals and an additional six performances into Thursday's consolation finals. In comparison, defending MAC champion Eastern Michigan has seven A-Finalists and four B-Finalists and last year's runner-up (Buffalo) has six A-Finals and four B-Finalists.
Missouri State couldn't have asked for a better start as three Bears qualified for tonight's championship finals. In the second-to-last heat, MSU freshman Uvis Kalnins raced to a new school record in the 500 free (4:23.28), breaking Eric Bintner's previous mark (4:23.37) set in 2003.
Shortly after, sophomore Caleb Schuermann, the 2012 MAC Championships runner-up in the event, nearly broke Kalnins' new varsity record. Schuermann clocked in at 4:23.60 and secured the No. 2 seed. The MSU duo recorded NCAA consideration times that were both under the cut by more than a second.
Also, writing his ticket for the championship finals was Colombia freshman Miguel Davila with the morning's sixth-fastest time (4:27.27).
Less than a second separates 10th through 13th place in the consolation heat and junior Jared Roberts is in the middle of that pack. The two-time defending champion in the 1650 free went 4:32.68 to finish 12th during the morning session.
In three straight heats of the 200 IM, the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium record fell. In the first circle-seeded heat, Buffalo's Matt Hogan went a 1:47.05. Missouri State sophomore Paul Le was next in line with a time of 1:45.76 as he shattered the Bears' school record by 1.5 seconds and registered his first NCAA `B' cut of the season. Eastern Michigan's Jacob Hanson was the third swimmer to re-set the pool record, finishing just .08 seconds ahead of Le. Hanson has won the event three years in a row and will be the No. 1 seed for tonight's final.
Sophomore Chris Carpenter was .13 seconds off an NCAA consideration time in the event and swam a career best 1:49.22 to put him in sixth place.
The Bears will be heavily represented in the consolation heat as well with the top two B-Final seeds. Both junior Colin Hill (1:50.73) and sophomore Aaron Dennis (1:50.77) registered personal bests for the ninth- and 10th-fastest times. Senior captain Daan Jansen also made the consolation final with a season-best time of 1:51.49.
Freshman Jack Snow turned up the speed in the 50 free as he sprinted to a second-place finish (20.41) during the prelims. The Springfield, Mo. product knocked .86 seconds off his previous best and etched his name onto the MSU all-time top-five performers list at No. 5.
Joining Snow in the championship finals will be Bears' sprinter Vitalii Baryshok, who went 20.25 at last year's conference meet. The sophomore from Lugansk, Ukraine enters Thursday evening as the No. 4 seed (20.59).
The Bears will have two swimmers in the 50 free B-Finals, a race in which .08 seconds separates 10th through 16th place. Missouri State sophomore Isaac McKnight registered a season best in prelims (20.95) and is seeded 10th overall. Junior captain Jacob Sims also made the consolation heat after breaking the 21-second barrier for the first time in his career (20.98).
To conclude the first session of prelims, the Bears' trio of divers competed in the 1-meter diving competition. Sophomore Garrett Nevels got out to a great start and led the way for the Bears with a fifth-place finish (325.25). Elijah Swaim was the only Missouri State diver to qualify for the consolation finals with his score of 232.60.
The 2013 MAC Championships continue with the 1-meter diving prelims, immediately followed by the 1-meter diving consolation final. Thursday's finals will commence at 7 p.m. (CST) with the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 1-meter diving and 400 medley relay. Follow @MissouriStBears on Twitter for live updates of tonight's finals.