Feb. 18, 2012
MVC Championships - Saturday Prelims Results
CARBONDALE, Ill. - In the final day of competition at Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium, the Missouri State swimming & diving team left everything in the pool as it cleaned up shop in the preliminaries. The Bears saved their best for last and are poised to win their ninth Missouri Valley Conference title in the past 10 years.
They began the day by moving all five 200 backstroke swimmers into the championship finals heat. Sophomore Anna Ahlin, who is the defending champion in the event, cruised in the prelims to a season-best 1:59.36 and finished more than three seconds ahead of the closest competitor. With her victory in the 100 back on Friday, it makes her the only swimmer this weekend to have successfully defended her title from last year.
Brynne Buell, Megan Holthoff Brianna Willoughby and Kaylee Steffen finished fourth through seventh in the 200 back, respectively.
The Bears then made it 2-for-2 on the day as they qualified all four 100 freestyler for the A-Final. Junior Andrea Uzcategui snagged the top seed by .02 seconds, while Ali Stauffer tied for fifth, and the duo of Janke Engelbrecht and Hannah Molden rounded out the heat tied for seventh.
Sophomore Renata Sander continued the trend for the Bears and was the third Bear of the day to secure a top seed for the evening session. She coasted into first place finishing more three seconds faster than Southern Illinois' Kristin Geppert. Junior Melissa Oishi, who has the MVC's fastest time of the season, is currently fifth.
In the 200 fly, SIU's Isabela Castro surpassed freshman Roni Balzam's MVC best time of 2:03.12 to take the top seed. However, the Bears secured two of the top three spots with Balzam in second and Marta Nogueroles in third. Senior Katie Lindeman was MSU's other A-Final qualifier in eighth.
In between sessions, two heats of the 1650 free will be swam, while the top-eight seeds in the event will swim during finals this evening.
The final session of the Championships is set to start at 4 p.m.