Slow Start for Bears on Day 1 of UIW Christmas Invitational
Sophomore diver Garrett Nevels placed second in 3-meter diving and registered a season best.
Sophomore diver Garrett Nevels placed second in 3-meter diving and registered a season best.

Dec. 15, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Coming off a hard month of training following the Purdue Invitational, the Missouri State swimming & diving got off to a slow start at the UIW Christmas Invitational on Saturday (Dec. 15). However, a few of the bright spots included men’s divers Garrett Nevels and Zach Wheeler, along with A-Final performances from Paul Le and Vitalii Baryshok.

Earlier in the afternoon, sophomore Garrett Nevels registered a season-best 299.30 points in the men’s 3-meter diving competition, but narrowly missed the victory as TCU’s Ricky Bradley topped Nevels by .25 points. Bear sophomore Zach Wheeler also placed in the top five, finishing fourth overall with a score of 263.80. Junior Lindsey Conway secured an eighth-place finish for the MSU women.

To kick off the evening’s finals session, Missouri State had its highest relay finish of the day as Paul Le, Vitalii Baryshok, Uvis Kalnins and Caleb Schuermann turned in a third-place performance in the 200 free relay (1:23.10).

In the women’s 500 free, distance specialist Suzanne Van Rensburg was the only Bear to qualify for a night swim. The sophomore scored two points and finished 23rd overall.

The MSU men had four representatives in the B-Final of the 500 free with freshman Uvis Kalnins leading the way in 10th (4:36.62). Schuermann dropped five seconds from his prelims swim to finish 12th overall (4:41.78), and was followed by Baryshok and Roberts in 13th and 16th, respectively. Four other Bears swam in the C-Final to contribute points in the team standings.

The junior duo of Anna Ahlin and Renata Sander were the only Bears to score in the 200 IM finals. Ahlin placed 19th with her time of 2:09.40, while Sander was 22nd (2:10.55).

In the first of back-to-back events for Paul Le, the sophomore standout had the Bears’ best individual swimming finish of the day in the men’s 200 IM. Le was less than a second off his top time this season and was fourth overall at 1:51.06. MSU had five additional scoring swimmers in the event, including a trio of Bears in the B-Final: Jansen (13th), Hill (14th) and Carpenter (16th).

The scoring swims were once again hard to come by for the MSU women in the 50 free. Leading the way for the Bears were senior Andrea Uzcategui (20th) and freshman Kate Gately (23rd).

As for the men, Baryshok and Le posted a pair of A-Final swims in the 50 free. Baryshok finished seventh (21.28) and Le was right behind him in eighth (21.44) after his 200 IM swim moments before.

To conclude the first day of competition, the Missouri State ‘A’ group that consisted of Le, Isaac Springer, Baryshok and Kalnins, brought home a fourth-place finish in the 400 medley relay (3:21.75).

The Bears continue the UIW Christmas Invitational tomorrow (Dec. 16) at The Aquatic Center on the campus of Palo Alto College. Preliminaries will begin at 10 a.m. CST, with finals beginning at 5 p.m.

While there are no official results, a link has been provided by the UIW Sports Information staff for live results.

Listed below are the unofficial team standings. Please note that Incarnate Word only provided a combined team score after the first day.

Combined Team Scores – Through Event 12
1. TCU – 1101
2. Incarnate Word – 937.5
3. North Texas – 553.5
4. Missouri State – 550
5. Rice - 417



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