March 7, 2013
2013 MAC Championships Website
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Following the first day of competition at the 2013 MAC Championships, the Missouri State men's swimming & diving team is right in the team race as expected. The Bears, who finished fourth at last year's conference meet, held a lead for most of the evening, but were overtaken by defending champion Eastern Michigan with a 58-point showing in 1-meter diving for the Eagles. While Missouri State trails EMU by 16 points, Buffalo has also positioned itself in the lead pack.
In a back-and-forth race, the 200 free relay ultimately came down to the final swimmers for Buffalo and Missouri State (Le, Snow, Kalnins, Baryshok). Leading off with sophomore standout Paul Le, the Bears jumped out to a slight lead, but found themselves behind by one hundredth after the second leg. MSU freshman Uvis Kalnins posted the second-fastest relay split (19.63) to give the Bears a .22 second cushion, however UB's Mike Dugan cranked out a 19.38 to close out the victory.
Although Southern Illinois' Till Pallmann jumped ahead of the Bears' top two seeds from the morning, the quartet of Caleb Schuermann, Kalnins, Miguel Davila and Jared Roberts combined for 51 points to vault Missouri State into first after two events. For the second year in a row, sophomore Caleb Schuermann finished as runner-up in the 500 free with a time of 4:24.84. Kalnins, who entered the evening as the No. 1 seed, had little rest after his impressive 200 free relay performance, yet still finished fourth overall (4:27.38). With a one-spot improvement, freshman distance swimmer Miguel Davila (4:27.46) was just a hair behind Kalnins, giving the Bears three swimmers in the top five.
In the 500 free consolation final, upperclassmen Jared Roberts shaved off another .80 seconds and stayed put in 12th place (4:31.85).
The three pool records in the 200 IM on Thursday morning were a precursor for the shootout that transpired in the championship finals. Eastern Michigan's Jacob Hanson, the MAC record holder in the event, jumped out to an early lead over MSU's Paul Le and held off a late push by the Moore, Okla. product. Hanson took home the 200 IM crown for the fourth time in as many seasons as Le finished .78 seconds behind the 2012 NCAA qualifier.
Joining Le in the championship finals was fellow sophomore Chris Carpenter, who stayed put in sixth place (1:49.29) and was right on his prelims time. Moving up the ranks in the B-Final was second-year Springfield product Aaron Dennis with another career best (1:50.56) and the fastest time in the consoles. Also teaming up for 12th- and 13th-place points were junior Colin Hill and senior captain Daan Jansen, respectively.
Starting off the 50 free finals with a punch, junior captain Jacob Sims dropped another .11 seconds off his career best to pick up another consolation heat win (20.87). Sophomore Isaac McKnight scored another six points for the Bears in 11th place. In the championship finals, freshman Jack Snow was unable to dodge the wave off his turn, but still managed a fourth-place finish (20.60). Also grabbing key points in the championship finals was Baryshok, who finished seventh (20.75).
In the 1-meter diving finals, sophomore Garrett Nevels became the first Missouri State diver to medal at a MAC Championship meet. The Lee's Summit, Mo., native outlasted Miami's (Ohio) Michael Grainger and Salukis' Kegan Skelton, scoring 333.85 points to collect the bronze medal. Eastern Michigan swept the top two places and also finished 8th, 11th and 13th.
Buffalo, who won four of the five relays at the 2012 MAC Championships in Oxford, Ohio, continued the trend by edging the Bears in the 400 medley relay by .54 seconds for its second relay victory of the day. With his lead-off split in the relay, sophomore Paul Le became the MSU varsity record holder in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 47.38. Springer (53.97), Wilson (48.44) and Baryshok (43.93) recorded fast splits in their respective strokes to finish with a time of 3:13.72.
Friday's action will continue at 11 a.m. (CST) with the prelims for the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back. The 3-meter diving preliminaries will take place at 2 p.m. Follow @MissouriStBears on Twitter for live updates on Friday.
Team Standings - After Day 1
1. Eastern Michigan - 242
2. Missouri State - 226
3. Buffalo - 215.5
4. Miami (Ohio) - 130.5
5. Southern Illinois - 122
6. Ball State - 58
7. Evansville - 54