MSU Swimming & Diving Ups Lead at MAC Championships
Sophomore Uvis Kalnins helped Missouri State win the 400 IM and 200-medley relay Friday.
Sophomore Uvis Kalnins helped Missouri State win the 400 IM and 200-medley relay Friday.

March 7, 2014

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BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Missouri State men's swimming & diving team extended its lead in the 2014 MAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships to 118 points on the strength of four championship final wins Friday at Alumni Arena Natatorium.

The Bears lead second-place Buffalo (431 points) going into the final day. Eastern Michigan is third with 430 points followed by Miami (335), Southern Illinois (276), Ball State (117) and Evansville (113).

MSU won the 200-medley relay as Paul Le, Isaac Springer, Vitalii Baryshok and Uvis Kalnins set MAC championships and school records in 1:26.93. Kalnins also claimed the 400 IM in another meet-, pool- and school-record 3:47.38, while Le was victorious in the 100 back in 46.73. The Bears closed the day winning the 800-free relay in a meet and school-record time of 6:30.68 with Barshok, Isaac McKnight, Caleb Schuermann and Miguel Davila doing the trick.

"We had another great session tonight," said MSU head coach Dave Collins. "Like last night, we set the tone by winning the 200-medley relay. From that point on, the guys fed off of the energy and finished with a win the 800-free relay."

The 200-medley relay time bested the previous school record of 1:27.55, set by Nicolas Villarroel, Cajun Skinner, Victor Serra and Ciro Sauaia at the 2009 Sun Belt championships and is a NCAA consideration time.

Kalnins swam the 400 IM over three seconds faster than his last school record in the event, set at Northwestern on Nov. 23. Davila was fifth in the championship final in 3:56.09 and Colin Hill placed eighth in 3:58.69.

The Bears scored 59 points in the 100 back as all four of their entrants in the race qualified for the A-final. Le lowered his own school record that he set in the morning prelims to 46.91, leading the pack. Yuri Garanito finished third in 48.35, a `B' cut time, as well. Jack Snow (49.67) and Matthew Wilson (50.62) were seventh and eighth overall.

MSU went 3-4 in the 100 butterfly finals with Baryshok and Wilson doing the honors. Baryshok vaulted himself to the top time on team in the event with a NCAA-consideration 48.15, while Wilson swam a 48.44 after qualifying first in prelims.

Schuermann turned in a `B' cut time in the 200-freestyle final, going 1:37.08 to finish third. He lowered his `B' time from prelims of 1:37.98, which helped the Omaha, Neb., native qualify third for the championship final. McKnight swam a 1:38.97 in the A-final to place seventh.

After posting a meet record of 54.19 in the 100 breaststroke prelims, Springer was second in the A-final in 54.24, pacing four Bears in the championship consolation finals. Aaron Dennis was right behind him with the second of three MSU `B' cuts in the race in a time of 54.79. Freshman Uldis Tazans collected the other in 55.05, to place fourth overall. Chris Carpenter finished second in the consolation final in 55.97.

In 3-meter diving, Garrett Nevels and Zach Wheeler qualified for the championship finals in the event with scores of 334.40 and 324.75, respectively, with Wheeler's mark good for a zone cut.

The 800-free relay time topped the previous school record of 6:31.23 from last year's MAC meet.

"Tomorrow has the potential to be a very special day for the program," Collins said. "The guys know that and are extremely motivated."



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