Bears Swimming and Diving Falls Short to Finish Second at Sun Belt Championship
The Missouri State men finished second at the Sun Belt Conference Championship with 1172.5 points. The squad was 53.5 points shy of Denver with 1226 points. The four day meet was comprised of seven men’s teams and was held in Nashville, Tenn.
Highlighting the last day of competition was senior Victor Serra. At the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Championship, Serra finished first in the 200 IM, 100 fly and 200 fly. Again this year, Serra was the medalist in all three of his individual events, repeating each win and setting new Sun Belt records.
Serra’s win on Saturday came in the 200 fly where he set a new Sun Belt Conference record with a time of 1:45.08. He time also qualified as a NCAA Division I “B” cut time. Finishing sixth in the event was senior teammate Eduardo Pajares. Pajares finished with a time of 1:48.06.
In the 1650 free, the Bears were led by Vic Riffel. Riffel was the top finisher for the Bears’ men clocking a time of 15:34.43 to finish fifth. Thomas Bullock was 12th in the event with at time of 15:55.52.
Placing fifth in the 200 back was Nicolas Villarroel with a time of 1:48.00. Closely behind Villarroel was teammate Pat Bergin. Bergin clocked a time of 1:49.13 to finish seventh. The Bears placed fourth, fifth and seventh in the 100 free. Leading was Roko Simunic who finished with a time of 44.76 to capture fourth place. Ciro Sauaia was next for the Bears with a time of 44.89 and was followed closely by Dillon Burns at 45.29.
Also for the Bears was Cajun Skinner who placed second in the 200 breaststroke. He finished with a time of 1:58.67. In seventh was Chris Novak clocking a time of 2:02.73.
Day Three Recap (Friday)
The men claimed first place in three of five individual swimming events for the third day of competition and won the only relay event of the night.
Leading off the winning 400 medley relay was Roko Simunic swimming the backstroke leg. He was followed by Cajun Skinner and Victor Serra. Anchoring the relay was Ciro Sauaia. The men finished with a time of 3:12.48, setting a new Sun Belt Conference record. The team’s time was also qualified as a NCAA Division I “B” cut.
In the first individual race of the evening, Vic Riffel finished second, clocking 3:52.92 in the 400 IM, which qualified as a NCAA Division I B-standard time. Also swimming in the event was Eduardo Pajares who finished fourth with a time of 3:53.26.
Serra won his second individual event of the 2009 Sun Belt Conference Championship in the 100 fly. His time qualified as a NCAA Division I B-standard time and also set a new SBC record. Serra finished with at time of 47.45. Closely behind was Sauaia who came in third in the event with a time of 48.37.
In the 100 breaststroke, Skinner captured first place and set a new Sun Belt Conference record, clocking 54.18 and registering a NCAA Division I “B” cut time. Also placing first in an event was Simunic. He recorded a NCAA Division I B-standard time of 47.40 in the 100 backstroke to earn medalist honors. Nicolas Villarroel finished third in the event with a time of 48.06. His time also qualified as a NCAA Division I “B” cut.
In men’s one-meter diving, Eric Ducourneau was the top finisher for the Bears’ men. He scored 263.35 points to finish eighth in the event.
Day Two Recap (Thursday)
Senior Victor Serra led the men’s squad, finishing first for the second consecutive year in the 200 IM. His time of 147.38 qualified as a NCAA Division I B-standard time and also set a new Sun Belt Conference record.
Also clocking a NCAA Division I B-standard time was senior co-captain Eduardo Pajares in the 500 free. He finished fourth in the event with a time of 4:24.13. Senior Vic Riffel finished seventh with a time of 4:29.76.
Sophomore Dillon Burns was the top finisher for the Bears’ men in the 50 free. He finished with a time of 20.25.
In the final event of the night the Bears captured medalist honors in the 200 free relay. The team was comprised of junior Ciro Sauaia, senior Victor Serra and sophomores Dillon Burns and Roko Simunic. The men finished with a time of 119.40, setting a new Missouri State record as well as a Sun Belt Conference record. The team also registered a NCAA Division I B-standard time in the event.
Day 1 Recap (Wednesday)
In the men’s 200 yard medley relay, Missouri State registered a NCAA Division I B-standard time of 1:27.55, which also eclipsed, by nearly two seconds, the Bears’ previous Sun Belt record set last season.
Swimming the lead-off leg of the relay was backstroke specialist, junior Nicolas Villarroel. Sophomore Cajun Skinner swam the second leg and senior Victor Serra was third for the Bears, swimming the butterfly. Swimming the anchor position was junior Ciro Sauaia.
The four-man relay team of comprised of two seniors, Eduardo Pajares and Vic Riffel, and sophomore Dillon Burns and freshman Bryson Cramer finished fifth in the 800 yard freestyle relay. The team swam a time of 6:38.22.
In men’s three meter diving, sophomore Eric Ducourneau finished fifth for the Bears with 335.30 points.