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Salukis attempt to qualify for Missouri Invitational

By Aaron Graff

 

The SIU swimmers who had not already qualified for the Missouri Invitational from Nov. 22-24 traveled to the Henderson Invite in Arkadelphia, Ark. to attempt just that.

Coach Rick Walker said the coaching staff sets a time the swimmers must complete the race by to qualify for the Missouri Invitational. There was a priority one meet for several swimmers to meet their qualifying times, and this meet was a second chance for those who did not.

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The Salukis won a total of 13 events during the two-day tournament, but no additional swimmers qualified for the Missouri Invitational.

Freshman Sarah James won four events including two individual races and two relays. Both the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays were close, and James praised her teammate, senior Shailey Brumley, for racing the last leg of the races to the very end.

James also won both the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:07.13, and 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.70. She said it is hard to keep your time consistent during the whole season.

“I was pretty excited,” James said. “It was around the same time I have been going all season, and just to hold onto that time, since training has been intense the past couple of weeks, I was very happy with it.”

The men’s side did not have many swimmers attend, but they still found success. Junior Calvin Kolar won a total of three events. Kolar was a part of two relays and also won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.50. He said he was pleased with himself and the whole meet was a good experience.

“Racing never ever hurts us,” Kolar said. “The more I can do, the better.”

The Salukis challenged conference rival Missouri State last, and Walker said he was impressed with the team competing as soon as they arrived at the Henderson Invite.

“I don’t know that I saw so much improvement,” Walker said. “We traveled six hours to Springfield and had a good night’s rest before we competed the next day, at this meet we traveled about six hours and competed as soon as we got here.”

Walker said the team is always ready to compete when they need to and does not care or complain when they have to swim.

Since none of the swimmers qualified for the Missouri Invitational at this meet, the athletes competing at the meet will be the other half of the roster.

Walker said it is no different coaching different athletes, and it is the same feeling no matter who is racing.

“They are all Salukis, and they all matter the same as the next,” he said.

The Salukis will next swim at the Missouri Invitational Nov. 22-24 in Colombia, Missouri.

Aaron Graff can be contacted at [email protected] or (618)-536-3311 ext. 282

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