Nov. 9, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State swimming & diving team will conclude its fall slate of dual meets with the University of Missouri on Thursday at the Hammons Student Center Pool. The meet is set to begin at 5 p.m.
"This is probably the biggest dual meet in the history of the program here," said head coach Jack Steck. "The main thing that I'm stressing to our athletes is that the win would be nice, but I just want to see some fight and some pride and go after them. Win or lose, I want the University of Missouri to realize this is a heck of a program here."
Both of Missouri's squads will come into Springfield nationally ranked as the men entered the initial 2011-12 CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Top 25 Poll at No. 24. The Tiger women debuted at No. 15 in the dual-meet rankings.
In October, the Bears kicked off their season by traveling to the Show-Me Showdown in Columbia, Mo. to compete against the state's top swimming & diving programs. The MSU men showed great depth sweeping all four relay events and capturing five individual first-place finishes. The Bears won the meet and topped the Tigers by 62 points.
On the women's side, the Bears came in second with 576 points behind MU (743 points) in the team race. Roni Balzam opened up the invitational with a win in the 150 butterfly, while Renata Sander was the only other Bear to register an individual victory.
Associate head coach Dave Collins said the Bears are looking forward to renewing the dual-meet setup with Missouri after being on a hiatus for a couple of years.
"It is important that we get to swim each other and we are looking for our team to step up and raise the level of competition," associate head coach Dave Collins said. "You can't ask for a better opportunity for our swimmers to show what they can do."
Following the dual meet, the Bears will begin the invitational season with a weekend trip to Evanston, Ill., for Northwestern's TYR Invitational, Nov. 18-20.