SIU swim and dive team holds social meet with Lindenwood Lions


Dylan Nelson

Freshman Sam Drew checks the scoreboard Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 during the Salukis’ first meet of the season against Lindenwood University at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium. (Dylan Nelson | Dylan_Nelson99)

By Ryan Demer

SIU swim and dive teams competed in a friendly scrimmage Friday night at Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium in Carbondale against the Lindenwood Lions.

Last season, the Lindenwood women’s swimming and diving team finished a program-best fifth at the NCAA Division II Winter Festival. The men’s team finished seventh after two consecutive runner-up finishes the years before.

“It was a great opportunity to swim a team that we haven’t seen,” assistant coach Elise Knoche said. “I loved all of the cheering and support that the freestylers gave the stroke swimmers and vice versa.”


The Salukis won the first event, the women’s 100-yard medley relay, with a team led by sophomore Juliana Carvalho, junior Jess Peck, junior Emma Brazeau and senior Chandler Ott.

Sophomore Rita Naude stood out at today’s meet, finishing first in the women’s 50-yard butterfly and 50-yard backstroke. She also placed second in the 50-yard freestyle.

Peck placed first in the women’s 50-yard breaststroke while senior Alex Crawford earned a first-place finish in the men’s 50-yard backstroke.

Dylan Nelson
Sophomore Rita Naude celebrates a first place win with her teammate during the Saluki’s first meet of the season against Lindenwood University on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at the Dr. Edward Shea Natatorium. The Salukis ranked low times in six races against the Lions. (Dylan Nelson | Dylan_Nelson99)

The final events of the night consisted of 1-meter and 3-meter dives for both the men’s and women’s squad.

The SIU women’s diving team sent out four women to compete. Sophomore Beibei Ji placed first in the women’s 1-meter diving competition, with her twin sister sophomore Baobao Ji earning a second-place finish. Senior Rachel Williams finished third.

In the 3-meter diving competition, Baobao Ji earned a first-place finish, with her sister placing second. Williams also placed third in the event.

The Salukis have two divers representing the men’s team this year, sophomores Kai Hoffmann-Dussome and Eli Mercado. Only Mercado competed on Friday, earning a first-place finish in the men’s 1-meter dive while placing second in the 3-meter dive.


“It was a really fun and exciting way to start off the season,” Knoche said. “We’ve never done a meet like this before, and it’s definitely going to help us moving forward.”

The SIU swim and dive teams will be competing tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. for the women, and 10:30 a.m. for the men at the CSCAA Open Water National Championship held in Lawrence, Kansas.

The Salukis first meet will be next week against the Evansville University Purple Aces, beginning at 4 p.m. Friday in Evansville, Indiana with the diving competitions.

Sports writer Ryan Demer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RyanDemer_DE 

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