by Missouri State Athletics
Standouts Artur Osvath and Libby Howell each collected three individual titles as the Missouri State swimming and diving team notched its second straight sweep in a two-day period at Southern Illinois Saturday morning.
Both sides improved upon yesterday’s performance with the men winning 148-92, while the women pulled away, tallying a 73-point differential, nabbing the 158-85 victory.
“Today we competed much better than yesterday, and I feel like we made major strides,” said head coach Dave Collins. “Picking up two wins on both sides was the goal, but I also feel that today was critical for the growth of the program.”
Howell opened the individual portion, capturing the first-place position in the 1000 freestyle, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of her competition at 10:35.04. The Bixby, Okla. native continued her impressive efforts with two more wins in the 200 (1:54.32) and 500 freestyle (5:12.74), respectively.
“I thought the team came together well and competed,” said Libby Howell. “We all supported each other and I thought that was really encouraging.”
Osvath found the wall first in the 200 IM (1:50.55), 200 butterfly (1:48.79), and the 200 breaststroke (2:00.10). Each of his times beat the Salukis by three or more seconds.
“We came into these meets after a tough week of training and I thought we did a great job,” said Osvath. “This upcoming month of training is very important, and I am excited to see what we can do the rest of the season.”
A key contributor in both meets, Josie Pearson logged another pair of individual wins, in the 200 IM (2:07.12) and 200 butterfly (2:07.20), respectively. She also swam a leg in the Bears’ 400 medley relay win to open the day.
“All the girls dug deep today and I think that’s extremely important,” said Pearson. “That kind of toughness speaks volumes to our character as team.”
Rounding out the individual winners for the meet is Samuel Senn, Loretta Stelnicki, Pawel Krawczyk, Sarah Allegri, and Bryce Blattner.
Senn and Krawczyk each landed the top spot in a pair of events, with Senn winning the 50 (20.93) and 100 freestyle (46.12), and Krawczyk picking up long distance victories in the 1000 (9:35.44) and 500 freestyle (4:34.76).
Not to be outdone, Stelnicki and Allegri earned individual titles. Stelnicki claimed the 50 (24.24) and 100 freestyle (52.75) and participated in the 400 medley win. Allegri clocked in at 2:06.98 to win the 200 backstroke. She was also part of two medley wins.
Blattner landed first-place in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:53.48. His day also consisted of a team win in the 400 medley relay and a runner-up spot in the 200 IM (1:54.95), finishing behind teammate Osvath.
Missouri State swept the medley races to bookend the meet.
Freshmen divers John David Spence, Trevor Fischer, and Adriana Avila had a successful meet with each placing in the top-five.
“The Southern Illinois meet once again showed our strength in diving,” said diving coach James Huelskamp. “Our freshman divers had a tremendous showing today.”
Missouri State swimming and diving will resume in 2019 with senior day against Lindenwood at Hammons Student Center on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m.