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Mateo Moore
Mateo Moore

18 : I'll Walk! I'll Swim! Laura's First Day Of...

Welcome to the 2012 MVC Swimming and Diving Championship Central. For complete results from every event in the 2012 MVC Championships, click HERE.Live UpdatesSATURDAY, FEB. 18 -- DAY THREE8:30 p.m. - Here is a complete list of awards that were handed out after the meet:FIRST-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCEEvansville - Alex Howard, Michelle Tipton, and Sadie WellsIllinois State - Tori Alland, Cecilia Holmes, Valerie Jones, Katherine Nelson, Danielle Schumacher, Wenting Zhang, Jeanette Holte, and Erica HalleyMissouri State - Anna Ahlin, Roni Balzam, Janke Engelbrecht, Megan Holthoff, Melissa Oishi, Renata Sander, Ali Stauffer, Andrea Uzcategui, Brianna Willoughby, Dimitra Drakopoulou, and Suzanna Van RensburgSouthern Illinois - Anna Beeck, Pamela Benitez, Isabela Castro, Charlotte Davies, Kristin Geppert, Kirsten Groome, Hannah Pinion, Luisa Silveira, Brittany WeigelSECOND-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCEEvansville - Samantha Montgomery and Caroline LeeIllinois State - Morgan Buechele, Maureen Doyle, April Livingston, Sarah Rendek, Samantha Schuckles, Brittany Tazzioli, Arica Woolbright, Lauren Pojman, and Polly HirtMissouri State - Lindsey Conway, Hannah Molden, Marta Nogueroles, Laura Peterson, Dawn Richerson, Kaylee Steffen, Brynne Bvell, Katie Lindeman, and Paige KoebbeNorthern Iowa - Natalie Johnson, Bethany Olson and Chelsea HartmanSouthern Illinois - Rachael Barry, Melissa Larocque, Marcella Otto and Jessica EnglandSwimming Coach of the Year - Rickey Perkins, EvansvilleDiving Coach of the Year - Phil Hoffmann, Illinois StateSwimmer of the Year - Renata Sander, Missouri StateDiver of the Year - Wenting Zhang, Illinois StateElite 18 Award - Danielle Schumacher7:05 p.m. - For complete results from every event in the 2012 MVC Championships, click HERE. If you just want results from Saturday's final session, click HERE.6:30 p.m. - Limited updates from here in the next hour as I work on my release and content, but I'll post All-Conference members, Swimmer of the Year, Diver of the Year and Coach of the Year when I get the chance. Thanks for following along. 6:15 p.m. - Illinois State won the 400 free relay, as well. Congratulations to the Missouri State Bears, who have won their fifth consecutive MVC Championship, tying Southern Illinois' record for most consecutive MVC titles. The Bears have won nine of the last 10 MVC Championships. Illinois State finished second for the fourth consecutive year.FINAL TEAM STANDINGSMissouri State - 977Illinois State - 725Southern Illinois - 705Evansville - 440Northern Iowa - 298 6:10 p.m. - Wenting Zhang set a Championship record in the three-meter dive and put Illinois State in second, enough points ahead that SIU can't catch them. Zhang scored a 313.15, which she needed to beat Anna Beeck's (SIU) score of 291.45, which would have been a Championship record if she had won.5:40 p.m. - We're in the three-meter dive right now. Team scores getting interesting. Southern Illinois is in second place by only four points over Illinois State. But ILS has three divers to Southern's two. Basically, second place is likely to be decided by the final event of the Championship, the 400 freestyle relay. As if relays needed any extra gusto.5:30 p.m. - Isabela Castro defends her title in the 200 butterfly and breaks the MVC Championship record in the process. She broke her own record that she set this morning in preliminaries, and she needed to. MSU's Roni Balzam also broke the previous record, but Castro beat her in the final by about a half second. 5:10 p.m. - Another MVC Championship record falls. Missouri State's Renata Sander just won the 200 breaststroke and broke the Championship and pool records in the process. 4:55 p.m. - Michelle Tipton (UE) won the 100 freestyle, taking her second event of the Championships. Should be a close vote for MVC Swimmer of the Year. So far, three girls, representing three different schools, have all won two individual events. Two of those, Anna Ahlin (MSU) and Hannah Pinion (SIU), set MVC records in one of their wins. 4:40 p.m. - Anna Ahlin (MSU) led the backstroke start to finish and earned her second win the these Championships. Ahlin broke the MVC record set in 2009. 4:20 p.m. - Missouri State swimmer Dimi Drakopoulou led the mile start to finish. Two-time defending champion Kirsten Groome held with her for a while and made a run at the end, but Drakopoulou's lead was too much. 4 p.m. - SIU Assistant Coach Scott Olson surprised head coach Rick Walker and honored him before we got underway. Each of the current athletes came out in a custom shirt and gave him a diet Coke. So he got about 50 Cokes. That should last him until about Tuesday. They also presented him with a banner signed by the current team and a framed picture with the name of every athlete he's coached. And there have been a lot of them. This is Coach Walker's 25th year at Southern Illinois. Under his watch, SIU has had 52 All-America selections, 162 All-Conference selections, three MVC Swimmers of the Year, eight conference championships, and five Olympians.3:50 p.m. - We're 10 minutes away from getting the final session underway. They're honoring all the senior on all five teams before we get started. 3:35 p.m. - Awards will be handed out after the finals tonight. Individuals who place in the top three in an individual event or are part of a winning relay team earn first-team All-Conference honors. Those who place fourth through eighth in an individual event or finish second on a relay team earn honorable mention All-Conference honors. Swimmer and Diver of the Year and Coach of the Year will be voted on by the head coaches.3:30 p.m. - SIU head coach Rick Walker just told me a few facts, which explain why he's smiling. Even before these last seven events, SIU swimmers have set one school record, two MVC Championship records and have swimmers among the five fastest in school history in five events. Not bad. 3:20 p.m. - Swimmers are in the pool warming up. About 40 minutes to the start of the final session. We have seven events for the session: Mile, 200 back, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, three-meter dive and 400 freestyle. SIU coaches are smiling and loose. Everyone is excited to get this underway. 1 p.m. - Three hours away from the final seven events. Should be a great last session. I'll be back with updates and results then. Complete results from the preliminaries this morning are posted below.12:05 p.m. - We're halfway through the first heat of the mile. In the meantime, you can check out a PDF of tonight's heat sheet HERE. 11:35 p.m. - There will be two mile heats now, starting at Noon. The final heat--based on the fastest 1000-yard times from the season--will swim tonight. Kirsten Groome (SIU) has won the event each of the last two years, and her 1000 free time from the season is more than 10 seconds better than the next fastest time, which is held by teammate Jennifer Kwok.11:30 a.m. - Castro will be going for her second straight MVC crown in the 200 fly tonight in the final. She's the second Saluki swimmer to set an MVC record during the Championships, joining Hannah Pinion. Now we're in a half-hour break until the mile starts.11:25 a.m. - Saluki Isabela Castro just broke the MVC record in the 200 fly by a full second. She swam a 2:02.40, breaking last year's mark of 2:03.38 set by Illinois State's Sarah Rendek. Fourth and final heat is going on now.11:15 a.m. - Renata Sander posted the top time in the 200 breaststroke by more than three seconds. SIU placed two women in the top four, including last year's champ in the event, Kristin Geppert, who finished with the second-best time. Melissa Larocque continued her great Championship run for SIU with a fourth-best time in the preliminary. Now we're on to the 200-yard butterfly. After the fly, we'll have a half hour break before running the 1650-yard freestyle--the mile--which concludes the prelims.10:50 a.m. - Missouri State's Andrea Uzcategui posted the top time in the 100 freestyle prelims, but not by much. Michelle Tipton (UE), who won the 200 freestyle yesterday, and Pamela Benitez (SIU) tied for second place, just two hundredths of a second behind Uzcategui. There were three ties among the top eight. Tipton and Benitez tied for second, Katherine Nelson (ILS) and Ali Stauffer (MSU) tied for fifth, and Janke Engelbrecht (MSU) and Hannah Molden (MSU) tied for seventh. Now we have five heats of the 200 breaststroke.10:35 a.m. - MSU's Anna Ahlin posted the top time by more than three seconds (1:59.36). Ahlin won the event last year. She was followed by a pair of SIU swimmers, who were followed by four more MSU swimmers in the A Final. Evansville's Alexandra Howard will round out the top eight. Results posted below.10:20 a.m. - We had a false start in the fourth heat, so we're taking a 10-minute break before we run the heat again. We should have results by about 10:30. Then we're going to run right into the 100 freestyle instead of having the usual a five-minute break.9:55 a.m. - Today, we have five swimming preliminaries. The events are the 200 backstroke (5 heats), 100 freestyle (7 heats), 200 breaststroke (5 heats), 200 butterfly (4 heats) and the mile (3 heats), in that order. 9:50 a.m. - We're back for the final day of the MVC Championships. First up: the preliminaries get under way in about 10 minutes. I'll be updating this live blog section with winners and notes, and results from each event will be posted below as soon as I get them. If you have any questions or comments, email me (John Lock) at, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.FRIDAY, FEB. 17 -- DAY TWO8:35 p.m. - That's a wrap from Day Two at the MVC Championship. Tomorrow prelims start at 10 a.m., and the finals start at 4 p.m. I'll be back with updated results and notes. Missouri State is in first place with 635 points. Illinois State and Southern Illinois continue to go back and forth; Illinois State holds a nine-point advantage over the Salukis for second place. Evansville has 304 points and Northern Iowa has 203. 8:25 p.m. - After seven and a half minutes in the pool, Illinois State won by less than two tenths of a second. The Redbirds broke last year's MVC record that Missouri State set--and Missouri State beat last year's mark, too. Great swims for both schools.8:10 p.m. - And we're back. Only event left: the 800 freestyle relay. Southern Illinois won the event five straight years between 2006 and 2010, but Missouri State ended that streak at set an MVC record last year to take the title.7:40 p.m. - We're now in the diving for the evening. It's the consolation final for the three-meter dive. The finals for the event will be held tomorrow night. After the diving is over, we'll have only one more event to go, the 800 freestyle relay.7:35 p.m. - Anna Ahlin takes the 100 backstroke for the second consecutive year. In the battle between Illinois State and Southern Illinois, the Redbirds have taken a one-point lead. 7:20 p.m. - Starting the 100 backstroke finals now. As for team scores, Missouri State has put some distance between itself and the rest of the field. Southern Illinois and Illinois State have been back and forth for each of the last two days. For now, it's SIU in second place with 399 points. Illinois State is just 12 points behind. 7:15 p.m. - Renata Sander knocks off the two-time defending MVC Champ and nearly set a conference record in the process. Sander finished a hundredth of a second away from breaking the conference record. Geppert finished second.7:10 p.m. - Coming up on the 100 breaststroke final. Saluki senior Kristin Geppert is a two-time defending MVC Champion in the event.7 p.m. - Evansville's Michelle Tipton won the 200 freestyle with a 1:49.98. She edged out Illinois State's Danielle Schumacher (1:50.29) and SIU's Pamela Benitez (1:50.30) to take the crown. Schumacher beat Benitez by one hundredth of a second.6:40 p.m. - We're through the 100 butterfly and moving on to the 200-yard freestyle. Roni Balzam won the 100 fly. SIU swimmers Isabela Castro and Charlotte Davies finished 2-3, respectively. 6:30 p.m. - Hannah Pinion wins easily in the 400 IM. She flew out to a lead after the breaststroke and won by 10 or 15 yards. SIU has won the event three years in a row now. Pinion beat the swimmer who had won each of the last two years: Kirsten Groome. Groome still holds the MVC record in the event, which she set two years ago. But Pinion's time (1:21.41) was the second-fastest time in MVC Championship history, behind Groome.6:25 p.m. - We're about to start the A Final here. They're walking out. In the meantime, here's a Photo Gallery of some SIU swimmers. We'll add a bunch more pictures tomorrow.6:15 p.m. - Just finished up presenting the awards for the 400 medley relay and the one-meter dive. Now we're set for the 400-yard individual medley. Hannah Pinion, who set the Championship record for the 200 IM yesterday, was more than three seconds faster than everyone else in prelims.6:05 p.m. - Missouri State takes the first event, the 200 medley relay. The atmosphere was just as crazy and loud as it was yesterday, if not more so. It's a circus in here. In a good way.5:50 p.m. - Just finished up with my favorite pre-meet routine; the UNI athletes and parents jump and dance around for about three minutes, then scream in joy. Evansville joined in today. We'll try to get a photo to you sometime. In a wrinkle that's new today, eight UNI dads ripped off their shirts to reveal PANTHERS painted on their chests. (Probably won't share a picture of that, though.) Not to be outdone, four Evansville dads ripped off shirts and had ACES spelled out on undershirts. "This is why the Missouri Valley Conference is the best conference in America!" one UNI parent yelled afterwards.5:45 p.m. - Back for the finals tonight. Should be an exciting bunch of swims. Fifteen minutes away from getting things started. 3:20 p.m. - Just posted the complete results below. Check back at 6 p.m. for live updates from tonight's finals.2:10 p.m. - Diving just got over. Wenting Zhang, from Illinois State, took the top spot and will be the favorite going into tomorrow night's finals. Remember, the finals for this event aren't held until tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Every other event held today will have its finals tonight. Brittany Weigel (SIU) posted the second-best score. The other finalists are as follows: Bethany Olson (UNI), Sadie Wells (UE), Anna Beeck (SIU), Paige Koebbe (MSU), Maureen Doyle (ILS) and Polly Hirt (ILS). I'll post results as soon as I get them.12:35 p.m. - That's it from me for a while. I'll post diving results as soon as I get them. Every other prelim result is posted below. I'll try to get a few photos posted before we start the finals tonight. 12:30 p.m. - And that's it for the swimming prelims today. The 100 backstroke is over. Missouri State's Anna Ahlin, the defending champion in the event, posted the time to beat. The Bears placed three swimmers on the top eight; Megan Holthoff and Janke Engelbrecht will join Ahlin in the A Final tonight. 12:25 p.m. - The 100 backstroke prelim will be the final swimming preliminary today. The three-meter diving prelims will start at 1 p.m. Then we're back tonight at 6 p.m. for the finals of all these events, plus the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay. 12:20 p.m. - Renata Sander posted the top time in the 100 breaststroke prelims. She'll be trying to knock off two-time defending MVC champion Kristin Geppert, who posted the second-fastest time in the event. 12:05 p.m. - Illinois State's Danielle Schumacher posted the top time in the 200-yard freestyle, swimming more than a second faster than Pamela Benitez (SIU), who finished second. Tori Alland posted the third-fastest time, giving ILS two of the top three times. Missouri State got four swimmers in the A Final. Michelle Tipton (UE) posted the fourth-best time in the prelim. We're on to four heats of the 100 breaststroke. 11:40 a.m. - MSU swimmer Roni Balzam will lead the A Final in the 100 fly tonight. She had the fastest time coming in, and she swam even faster to claim the top spot. She'll be joined by teammate Ali Stauffer. SIU placed three swimmers in the top eight, led by Isabela Castro and Charlotte Davies, who posted the second and third fastest times, respectively. Sarah Rendek (ILS), Samantha Montgomery (UE), Jeanette Nolte (ILS), Rachael Barry (SIU) and Stauffer (MSU) round out the top eight. On to the 200 freestyle prelims.11:35 a.m. - Results are posted below. I'll post results of every prelim as I receive them. After the morning session is over, I'll remove all those individual links and post a link to results from the whole morning session. Halfway through the 100 fly now. After that, we have the 200-yard freestyle.11:30 a.m. - Hannah Pinion posted the fastest time in the prelims convincingly in the 400 IM. She swam more than three seconds faster than Brianna Willoughby, who won this event when she was a freshman.11:12 a.m. - We have our second tie of the Championship, and this one was for first place. Southern Illinois' Kirsten Groome came from behind to tie Missouri State's Suzanne Van Rensburg for first place in the second heat of the 400 IM prelims. Both swam 4:29.79, just ahead of Illinois State's Valerie Jones. Groome set the Championship record in this event two years ago.11:10 a.m. - There will be four heats for the 400 IM, six heats for the 100 fly, six heats for the 200 free, four heats for the 100 breast and four heats for the 100 back. We're in the middle of the second heat of the 400 IM. Rhennetta Bork of Northern Iowa won the first heat.10:50 a.m. - Anticipating another exciting day today. Two records fell yesterday in six events. SIU's Hannah Pinion broke the Championship record in the prelim--and she needed to re-break her own record just to win the final. The top four swimmers in the 200 IM would have broken last year's record time. And Missouri State's 400 medley relay team won the MVCs for the fourth consecutive year, setting a record in the process. Today, we have five swimming events in prelims and one diving event. The three-meter diving prelims will start at 1 p.m. The swimming events are the 400 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke. Tonight, we'll have the finals of all those events and add in the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay. 10:45 a.m. - We're 15 minutes away from getting the second day of preliminaries started. Once again, this is John Lock, an SIU media services graduate assistant, live blogging you through the action here at the MVC Championship if you're not able to be here in person. We'll have results for each event as soon as possible after each event. If you have questions or comments, email me at and I'll do my best to get back to you as quickly as I can. THURDAY, FEB. 16 -- DAY ONE8:30 p.m. - That's a wrap here from the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium for tonight. Missouri State is leading with 293 points. Illinois State and Southern Illinois are tight, with 225 and 213 points, respectively. Evansville and Northern Iowa round out the field. Come back tomorrow, and we'll be doing the same thing. Or come to the Natatorium and cheer on the women. The atmo


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