Oct. 27, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State swimming & diving team is looking to reverse momentum in the MSU-Drury rivalry as the Bears host the Panthers on Homecoming Weekend at the Hammons Student Center pool on Friday. The diving events will kick off the evening at 5 p.m. with swimming scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Year in, year out, the two squads continue to provide excitement to the sport of swimming and diving and down-to-the-wire races that determine the final outcomes of the meet.
“Some people don’t realize the caliber of swimming in this town,” head swimming coach Jack Steck said. “If I had my way, I’d swim Drury about four times a year because you can’t ask for any better competition that is just eight blocks away.”
Last season, Missouri State opened up its 2010-11 schedule at home with the Panthers and both the men and women suffered losses. The Drury men won in a narrow 125-119 finish, while the MSU women lost 137-102. In January, the two rivals met for a second time in dual meet action and the Panthers were once again victorious. This time, the women’s team race came down to the final relay as the Drury women out-touched Missouri State by .07 seconds and won 121-118.
However, Missouri State is on track to establish itself as the team to beat in the city of Springfield this season after getting off to a great start at the Show-Me Showdown in Columbia, Mo. on Oct. 1. The Bears defeated the Panther men soundly, outscoring them 590-453 in the team standings. On the women’s side, Missouri State finished second behind Missouri and edged Drury 576-525.
“It sets up for quite the battle,” Steck said. “In swimming, times are times and it doesn’t matter what division you’re in. Drury is one of the best small-college teams in the country.”
On Saturday, the Bears will shift gears and continue to celebrate homecoming festivities with their Alumni/Intrasquad meet set to start at 6 p.m. Swimming & diving alum from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s will be in attendance for the meet.
Drury-MSU All-Time Series
-Drury holds a 13-9 advantage in men’s dual meet action.
-The Missouri State women have only defeated Drury twice, sporting a 2-8 all-time dual meet record against the Panthers.
Plenty of Drury-MSU Connections
-MSU head swimming coach Jack Steck began his coaching career at Drury in 1968 and coached there for 15 seasons.
-Current Drury head coach Brian Reynolds was a former swimmer and fifth-year student assistant of Steck. Reynolds, now in his 29th season at Drury, took over the Panthers’ program as soon as Steck moved crosstown to Southwest Missouri State in 1983.
-Missouri State associate head coach Dave Collins swam under Reynolds at Drury from 2002-05.
Across the Globe
-On Friday, student-athletes from 17 different countries will be competing at Hammons Student Center.
-The countries represented will include: Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United States and Venezuela.