Salukis control first spring meet

By Aaron Graff

The Saluki swimming and diving teams started their spring season nearly perfect, even after a lot of training in a short amount of time.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock faced the Salukis for the first time as a conference opponent Saturday in Little Rock, Ark. The meet also featured Ouachita Baptist University.

SIU claimed 22 events including all four diving events. The women beat Ouachita Baptist with a score of 192-43 and UALR 177-60. UALR does not have a men’s team, but SIU beat Ouachita with a score of 158-62.


Coach Rick Walker said he was proud of the results. He said coming back from winter break is usually tough, but the team looked good for the most part. Walker said the pool temperature was too high so results might have suffered a little, but no one on the team complained about the conditions.

“We rose to the occasion,” Walker said. “I’m proud of them for that.”

Walker said the UALR Trojans have one short distance freestyle swimmer who could place high at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

“They’ve got a girl who is in the 50 and the 100 who is very good,” Walker said. “She’s got a real good shot at being right at the top.”

Junior diver, Kegan Skelton won both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, but was the only competitor for the 3-meter. Skelton said he does not think the Trojans will do well at conference for diving.

“They only had one girl, and they don’t have a guy’s team,” Skelton said. “Our girls placed one, two, three so I don’t have high hopes for UALR.”

Skelton said he hoped to do well at the meet Monday at the University of Illinois. Skelton is from Champaign and wants to do well in front of his supporters.

Walker said the Monday meet would be challenging since the swimmers will probably be tired, but they are going to have to figure out how to rise to the challenge.

Senior Isabela Castro won two individual events and was the third leg of the winning 200-yard medley relay.

Castro said everyone was tired from the trip to Puerto Rico because they trained harder than they usually do.

“We just train so much, “ Castro said. “The couple of weeks we have left we will just focus on the little things like speed and pace just so we can get ready and race our best at conference.”

Sophomore Till Pallmann also won two individual events and was the final leg of the winning 200-yard freestyle. Pallmann said he was satisfied with his results and is really confident about the rest of the season. He said he is ready for the last two regular season meets at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and against the University of Evansville.

“These two meets are pretty much our last chance to try things out before conference,” Pallmann said. “They’re really important.”

The Salukis will host their last regular season meet against Evansville on Feb. 1 and will also host the women’s conference championships starting Feb. 13.

Aaron Graff can be contacted at [email protected]@AaronGraff_DE, or 536-3311 ext. 269.