Salukis defeat Iowa in Big Ten weekend

By Gus Bode

Fall to Indiana, Purdue in meet

The SIU men’s swimming and diving team gave Big Ten powerhouses Indiana, Iowa and Purdue a reason to be worried this weekend at the Indiana University Natatorium.

After finishing fifth in the first event, the 200-yard relay, the Salukis took the next four individual events.


“I was impressed with that,” SIU swimming and diving head coach Rick Walker said. “Several of the coaches came up and said how impressed they were with the top end of our program.”

SIU showed it could go against some of the top teams in the nation by defeating Iowa 187-150. With a 2-4 record, the Salukis put up a hard fight against No. 13 Indiana with a score of 156-131 and No. 17 Purdue with 180.5-117.5.

Individually, senior Marcello Possato broke the school record in the 200 backstroke for the second time in two weeks with a time of 1:46.63.

Possato also won the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.08. Both are provisionally qualifying times for the NCAA Championships.

Those who qualify in the standard spot earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. A swimmer who qualifies provisionally will go to the NCAA Championships if not enough swimmers meet the standard qualifications.

Freshman Antonio Santoro won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:40.06, and also provisionally qualified in that event.

Junior Jason Sigler swam his personal best while taking a win in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:25.36. He also took second in the 500 freestyle timing in at 4:36.88.


“I think we gave them everything we could,” Walker said. “We competed a whole lot better against them than I had anticipated.”

Walker said the Big Ten has a lot going for it in terms of talent and the way it competes, but judging from its performance this weekend, Walker feels that the Salukis have a lot going for themselves as well.

“We competed very well against Indiana,” Walker said. “We were a lot closer to Purdue than I anticipated and winning against Iowa with the point spread that we did was pretty impressive.”

Walker said the Salukis have had their fair share of success against the Big Ten schools in the past.

“This is the first time that we have beaten a Big Ten school in a while with the exception of last year when we beat Ohio State,” Walker said.

The Salukis won’t compete again until January when they head to Fort Pierce, Fla., where they will swim against Texas Christian, Tampa and Indiana River Community College.