Bears enter Saturday with 12.5 point advantage over Buffalo; 25 points ahead of defending champion EMU
March 8, 2013
CARBDONALE, Ill. – Missouri State made up ground on the second day of the 2013 Mid-American Conference Swimming & Diving Championships and will take a 12.5-point lead into the final day of competition. Missouri State leads Buffalo by 12.5 points and hold a 25-point advantage over Eastern Michigan.
The Bears’ highest finish at a MAC conference meet is third place (2010) during their first year of membership with the league.
For the third straight relay this week, Missouri State finished second to the speedy University at Buffalo squad. The Bulls (1:27.92) kept their nasty streak of winning relays alive, taking home 12 out of the possible 13 relays over a three-year span. For the Bears, the quartet of Paul Le, Isaac Springer, Matthew Wilson and Uvis Kalnins secured silver with a time of 1:29.37.
Eastern Michigan’s Mike Swain and Andrew Henry stayed true to their seeds finishing 1-2 for the Eagles, while both Bears in the championship finals moved up a spot from their respective seeds. Freshman Miguel Davila took off .05 seconds from his prelims time to finish fifth, while junior Colin Hill had a .13 second drop to pick up seventh place. Cleaning up in the consolation heat was senior Daan Jansen, who dropped 1.5 seconds to score nine points for the Bears.
In the 100 butterfly, Missouri State’s Matthew Wilson (49.17) and Michal Bulak (50.01) stayed put in their respective spots, earning fifth- and 10th-place finishes. Buffalo picked up a wealth of points sweeping the top three places, along with seventh. On the eve of Missouri State’s three big events, the Bulls pulled ahead in the team race with 364.5 points, compared to Eastern Michigan’s 358 and the Bears’ 316.
Missouri State capitalized on having four swimmers in the 200 free, totaling 53 points to close the gap on the Bulls and Eagles. The top-five finishers in the event recorded NCAA consideration times, while a furious comeback from Brian Moore (EMU) and Matt Hogan (UB) saw the two lock up gold and silver ahead of SIU’s Till Pallmann and the Bears. Kalnins dropped .43 seconds to finish fourth overall (1:36.82), followed by last year’s 200 free champion Vitalii Baryshok (1:37.17). Sophomores Caleb Schuermann (1:38.75) and Isaac McKnight stayed put in sixth and eighth to round out the MSU contingent.
The Bears took three of the top four seeds into the 100 breast championship finals, but the night session wasn’t as generous. Freshman Isaac Springer was out-touched by EMU’s Mike Fisher, who had an outside lane on the deep-end of the pool. Springer shaved off three hundredths to finish at 54.89. Sophomores Chris Carpenter (55.48) and Aaron Dennis (55.67) fell to fifth and sixth place.
In the 100 backstroke, the Bears grabbed ahold of the team race with three A-Finalists and one B-Finalist. Sophomore Paul Le (47.41) was yet again runner-up to Eastern Michigan senior Jacob Hanson (46.66), who won his second individual event of the meet and the 10th in four seasons. Bears’ junior Yuri Garanito took over fourth place by breaking the 49-second barrier for the first time in his career (48.95). MSU’s third A-Finalist, freshman Jack Snow, fell a few spots to seventh with a 49.86, just .29 seconds off his prelims time.
Swimming his third event of the evening, sophomore Matthew Wilson followed the 200 medley relay and 100 fly with an 11th-place finish in the 100 back consolation finals (50.20).
In the 3-meter diving consolation finals, sophomore Elijah Swaim moved up a spot to 13th overall and tallied a career best 278.95.
Friday’s last event included an exciting battle between the top three schools in the team standings. Missouri State came out victorious in the 800 free relay over EMU (2nd) and Buffalo (3rd) to capture its first relay win since the 2010 season. The Bears’ team of Baryshok, Schuermann, McKnight and Kalnins (6:31.23) shattered the previous school record by four seconds and were less than three tenths away from the MAC Championship record. Kalnins sealed the deal for MSU anchoring the relay with the fastest split of any team (1:35.60).
To conclude the 2013 MAC Championships, Saturday will include the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, 400 free relay and the finals of 3-meter diving.
Team Standings – After Day 2
1. Missouri State - 503
2. Buffalo – 490.5
3. Eastern Michigan – 478
4. Southern Illinois – 278
5. Miami (Ohio) – 258.5
6. Ball State – 127
7. Evansville – 116