Saluki swimming and diving finishes strong in home meet

By Brooke Buerck and Tamar Mosby

This weekend, Saluki Swimming and Diving dominated in the three-day meet they hosted at Shea Natatorium.

The competition started and ended with a bang as records were broken on the first and last days of the competition. 

Senior Laura Carver on the women’s side and freshman Adam Cernek on the men’s both shattered SIU records this weekend with Carver’s being on day one and Cernek’s being on Day Three. 

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Besides these record-breaking performances, both the Southern men and women took home wins in a vast majority of the events against competitors from University of Evansville and University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

Carver got the ball rolling after she shattered the school record in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:02.13, beating the original time of 2:02.68 set by senior Samantha Parsons.

In this same event, Carver’s teammates, sophomore Deven Speed, freshman Sarah Vogt and senior Payton Parman, finished after her in the remaining positions of second, third and fourth. 

Carver came back for another win in the 400-individual medley on the second day of competition and was only .90 seconds away from breaking another school record.

Speed and Vogt also earned individual wins on day two with Speed’s coming in the 100-yard backstroke and Vogt’s coming in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Vogt’s win in the breaststroke was her first win as a collegiate athlete. 

Parmon also took home an individual win this weekend in the 200-yard butterfly, which was held on the final day of competition. 

There were three other first place finishes on day one for the women, which included senior Sierra Forbord’s win in the 50-yard freestyle. Taking the second place spot in the 50-free was Saluki senior swimmer Rita Naude.

On day two, both Forbord and Naude earned individual wins for themselves. Forbord’s win was in the 200-yard freestyle, while Naude earned her’s in the 100-yard butterfly.

Forbord would go on to sweep all of the freestyle events in the invite as she took first in the 100-yard freestyle on the final day of competition. 

Another notable finish for the women on day one came from senior Juliana Carvalho in the 500-yard freestyle. The Brazil native swam a career-best time of 4:57.89 in this event. She earned her second win of the invite on Saturday in the 200-backstroke. 

The 500-free was another event that featured a one-two Southern finish as sophomore Eden Girloanta finished the race in second place. 

Girloanta later earned an individual win on day three in the 1650 freestyle. 

To round out the first place finishes of the invite, Parsons took home a win in the 200-yard breaststroke. 

As for the women’s diving competition on the first day of the invite, senior Baobao Ji earned a first place finish in the one meter dive. 

Her sister, BeiBei Ji, took home another diving win on Saturday in the three-meter dive, while she finished in second. 

The women finished the first day with two relay wins in the 200-free relay and the 400-medley relay. 

On day two, the Salukis women added two more relay wins to their score with first place finishes in the 200-medley relay and the 800-free relay. 

The women defeated both Evansville and Wisconsin Whitewater after sweeping the individual events on day three to win the Invitational. 

For the men’s team, day one saw a win from Cernek in the 200-individual medley with a time of 1:48:68, while sophomore Drake Manuello and senior Chris Phillips followed in second and third places.

Senior Tamas Hijitman grabbed a win in the 50-free as well with a 21.00 time.

Phillips had first-place finishes on both days two and three in the 100-and-200-breast with times of 57.17 and 2:01.34 respectfully. 

Sophomore Uriel Tajeda Barajas swam for his first first-place finish as a Saluki on day three with a 1:51.08 finish in the 200-fly.

Junior Zhen Yang Yeap took first on day one in the 500-free with a time of 4:31:34 and on day two in the 200-free at 1:39.43.

Southern’s relay teams finished strong on days one and two of the invitational.

A team of Hajtman, Yeap, Cernek and senior Matt Ciezczak took first in the 200-free with a time of 1:24.10, while Cernek, Dooley, Yeap and Hajtman took first in the 400-medley finishing at 3:20.01 on day one.

The 400-medley relay winners also grabbed the win in the 200-medley at 1:30.94 on day two.

day two also saw senior Kevin Kluge, freshman Max Ransom, Cernek and Yeap take first in the 800-free relay with a time of 6:41.11.

The meet marked the last team event of the 2019 season. Jan. 18 kicks-off of the Salukis’ 2020 season as they compete against Little Rock and Henderson State. 

Sports reporter Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25.

Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

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