Bears to Collide with Ranked Arkansas, Penn State Squads Saturday
Jack Snow
Jack Snow

Jan. 11, 2013

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The Missouri State swimming & diving program is ready for its return to the dual-meet circuit with a trip to Fayetteville, Ark. on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 10 a.m. Competing for the first time since the UIW Christmas Invitational in mid-December, the Bears will have a tough task ahead of them with a ranked Arkansas women’s team and Top 25 men’s and women’s squads from Penn State.

“We’re going to have our hands full and we’re going to be swimming some really fast competition, but I look for our group to really respond well,” said head coach Dave Collins on Friday. “It’s important that we really establish some good times early in the second semester as we approach the conference meets.”

This will be the second trip to the University of Arkansas Natatorium for the Missouri State women. Following the Show-Me Showdown on Oct. 5, the Bears placed fourth at the Razorback Relays, which featured Arkansas, North Texas, SMU and Vanderbilt. On Saturday, MSU will encounter some its toughest competition yet, with No. 12 Penn State and No. 25 Arkansas on the docket. While it is the first-ever dual meet with Penn State, the MSU women are 0-7 all-time against the Razorbacks.

On the men’s side, Saturday will mark the first meeting between Missouri State and Penn State. The Bears will take on a 20th-ranked Nittany Lion squad, which is 2-2 in dual meet action this year. Penn State recorded victories over West Virginia and Villanova, white its two losses came to then-No. 7 Indiana, 170.5-182.5, and then-No. 8 Virginia, 155-198.

Collins added, “This is a good time to have a meet. We’ve gone through two weeks of pretty rigorous training during the holiday break and now it’s time to see what improvements we’ve made. We’re pretty fatigued, but most teams are at this point of the year.”

The University of Arkansas is providing live coverage of the meet, including live results, free of charge, as well as a live video stream for a one-time “monthly” fee of $12.95.

Conference Leaders
The Missouri State women have had early success in the stroke events and rank at the top of the Valley in five different events. Junior Renata Sander has the MVC’s top time in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM. Furthermore, Sander is the only swimmer in the Valley who has recorded a NCAA consideration time. Junior Anna Ahlin registered the fastest 100 and 200 back times at the Purdue Invitational.

Missouri State’s Vitalii Baryshok holds the MAC’s top time in both the 100 and 200 free. Joining Baryshok at the top of the conference rankings is junior Jared Roberts in the 1650 free and freshman Isaac Springer in the 100 breast.

Swimmer of the Week Success
Following the UIW Christmas Invitational, the Bears added to their abundance of Swimmer of the Week honors as sophomore Matthew Wilson and senior Andrea Uzcategui captured Mid-American and Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer of the Week awards. Wilson’s MAC accolade brought the men’s count to five (Le, Baryshok, Hill, Springer), while the women have now totaled four Valley honors (Ahlin, Van Rensburg, Sander).

On the Horizon
With the “Duel in the Pool” contest between Missouri State and Drury moving to Jan. 23, the next dual meet for the Bears is slated for Saturday, January 19 as they welcome Truman State to Hammons Student Center Pool for Senior Day. Six MSU seniors will be recognized during the meet.



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