Nov. 19, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Missouri State swimming & diving team has made the most out of its trip to Evanston, Ill. for the TYR Invitational, producing top marks in every event on Friday and Saturday. Through 30 events, the men hold a slight edge over the Northwestern Wildcats for first place in the team standings, 624-619. The women remain in sixth place after two days of action.
"The team had another great day," associate head coach Dave Collins said. "We are going to have to bounce back tomorrow and have a big day, but we feel pretty confident in our `Day 3' events. It's going to be a fun atmosphere tomorrow."
Freshman Vitalii Baryshok scored the Bears first victory of the invitational in the 200 freestyle. Heading into the weekend, the Lugansk, Ukraine was ranked 10th in the country in the event, and did nothing to hurt that position. Baryshok dropped 1.5 seconds off his season-best with a time of 1:36.93. His new mark is an NCAA "B" cut and was just .4 seconds shy of the Missouri State varsity record.
In diving, freshmen Garrett Nevels and Elijah Swaim placed in the championship final. Nevels tallied 274.90 points for sixth place, while Swaim was eighth and recorded his best mark this season on the 3-meter board with 237.75 points.
Dropping time from the morning session, both Daan Jansen and Chris Carpenter scored valuable points in the 400 IM, placing second and fourth out of the collegiate swimmers.
Another loaded event for the Bears was the 100 fly where Michal Bulak, Matthew Wilson and Paul Le combined for 46 points in the finals heat. The trio finished first, third and fourth out of collegiate swimmers.
Northwestern closed the gap on the men's lead in the 100 backstroke when it supplied four swimmers in the championship final heat in addition to four in consolations. But, the Bears didn't go away empty-handed in the 100 back. The duo of Paul Le and Yuri Garanito finished second and third, respectively, with Matthew Wilson and Aaron Henry scoring eighth- and ninth-place points.
Closing out the night, the quartet of Schuermann, Sims, Baryshok and McKnight secured a second-place finish in the 800 free relay (6:42.69) behind Northwestern's A relay.
To begin the evening, the MSU women got off to a great start finishing third in the 200 medley relay (1:44.09). The group led by Anna Ahlin, Renata Sander, Roni Balzam and Ali Stauffer surpassed its season-best by three seconds and placed ahead of Iowa State, Illinois, Nebraska.
Reigning MVC Swimmer of the Week, Roni Balzam, landed a fourth-place finish in the 100 fly and continued to back up the accolades with her top times.
The women had one of their most productive events in the 100 breaststroke placing two swimmers in the top-eight. Melissa Oishi and Sander placed fifth and sixth, finishing within .07 seconds of each other.
Sophomore Anna Ahlin once again shined in the 100 backstroke, grabbing the women's highest finish in second place (56.03). Freshman Megan Holthoff also made her way into the championship finals heat, placing eighth.
"We were very happy with the way the women swam," Collins commented. "Our team is really rising to the occasion, especially in this meet with the BCS-level of competition. We take a lot of pride in our longer events, so if that holds true, we should finish pretty strong tomorrow."
The TYR Invitational will conclude on Sunday with another full day of swimming and diving action. The prelims will once again begin at 9 a.m. CT, while the finals session will commence at 3 p.m.
Women's Team Rankings through Event 30
1. Northwestern - 567
2. Illinois - 445
3. Iowa State - 407
4. Cleveland State - 350
5. Nebraska - 302
6. Missouri State - 277
7. Illinois-Chicago - 161
8. Kenyon - 140
Men's Team Rankings through Event 30
1. Missouri State - 624
2. Northwestern - 619
3. Cleveland State - 404
4. Kenyon - 324
5. Illinois-Chicago - 236