Oct. 28, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- In a night that recognized Missouri State head swimming coach Jack Steck with a banner unveiling, the Bears swimming and diving teams swept Drury in the first of two dual meets between the crosstown rivals on Friday at Hammons Student Center.
After losing both dual meets to the NCAA Division II national champions during the 2010-11 season, Missouri State looked to reclaim bragging rights in the city of Springfield and did just that with excitement all around.
In a similar situation to the contest at Drury in January, the women's team race came down to the final relay. Despite surrendering first place to the Panthers on Friday night in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Bears secured second and third in a thrilling finish to hold off Drury for a 119-115 victory. Roni Balzam, Anna Ahlin and Renata Sander all recorded first-place finishes for Missouri State.
The men capped off the evening with just as much excitement by breaking a five-year-old pool record in the 400 freestyle relay. The team that consisted of freshmen Vitalii Baryshok, Paul Le, Caleb Schuermann and junior Jacob Sims clocked in at 3:03.98, which was .32 seconds faster than the previous mark. Missouri State handily defeated the Panthers, 169-74. It also marked one of the biggest margins of victory over the Drury men in the storied rivalry.
The men's team race was far from close after the Bears turned in 1-2 finishes in the 400 medley relay, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay. In fact, the MSU men's team swept the top three spots in the 200 IM, 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke.
Six different Bears recorded individual victories on the men's side including Schuermann, Baryshok, Daan Jansen, Le, and Colin Hill.
On Saturday, the Bears will shift gears and continue to celebrate homecoming festivities with their Alumni/Intrasquad meet set to start at 6 p.m. Swimming & diving alum from the `60s, `70s, `80s, `90s and 2000s will be in attendance for the meet.