Missouri State, TCU Start Splash Bash with Quality Racing
Missouri State and TCU signed posters for kids after the free swim clinic that followed the first day of the dual meet Saturday
Missouri State and TCU signed posters for kids after the free swim clinic that followed the first day of the dual meet Saturday

Dec. 14, 2013

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JENKS, Okla. - The Missouri State swimming team opened the 2013 Oklahoma Splash Bash at the Trojan Aquatic Center Saturday with several solid swims as the men won all 10 events contested and the women received victories from sophomore Dora Kiss and seniors Anna Ahlin and Renata Sander.

Through the first day of the meet, the MSU men lead TCU 133-53, while the women trail, 131-55.

Kiss claimed the 200-yard butterfly in a career-best and pool-record 1:51.31. Ahlin and Sander took the 100 backstroke in 57.47 and Sander the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.61 to lead the MSU women. Junior Roni Balzam was third in the 200 fly and also achieved a career-best 1:53.61.

Junior Paul Le paced the men, winning the 100 back in a pool-record and NCAA-`B'- time of 47.91, exciting a large crowd seeing the Moore, Okla., native compete collegiately in his home state for the first time.

In all, the Bears set pool three pool records in individual events on the day, which stated with a combined practice session with the student-athletes and coaching staffs of both schools, and ended with a free swim clinic that drew 125 area children from third to eighth grades.

"Today was a special day for our program," said head coach Dave Collins. "To have the opportunity to train in a combined setting with TCU created a very unique and beneficial experience. Then, to watch both teams compete in many close races, helps our season development.

"Finally, having the chance to provide a great free swim clinic for 125 young area swimmers, was just awesome," Collins said. "To see the smiles on their faces as they received advice from our athletes was very neat to see."

Le also set the pool record in the 50 freestyle in 20.33, led the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay squads to victory in pool-record times of 1:22.57 and 3:19.36, respectively.

Sophomore Uvis Kalnins was the only other Missouri State swimmer to win multiple events as he took the 200 free (1:40.64) and 200 IM (1:50.72).

Other event victories came from Isaac Springer in the 100 breast (56.32), Vitalli Baryshok in the 50 fly (22.72), Matthew Wilson in the 200 fly (1:51.31) and Miguel Davila in the 1,000 free (9:27.01).

The Bears benefitted from the unique chance to train with TCU prior to the meet.

"I felt the training set went great," said senior Jared Roberts. "It was completely different than anything we had done before. Since we intermixed the teams, it took the normal practice aspect out of the set and made it a two-hour, non-stop race."

Sophomore Kate Gately agreed. "I thought we got a lot out of the set and training with a good team like TCU this morning. Even though the main set was tough, we all pushed each other and everyone was going really fast. It was cool mixing up the lanes and getting the chance to get to know some of the TCU swimmers."

The schools will conclude the meet Sunday beginning at 4 p.m.



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