IOWA CITY, IOWA
– The Missouri State swimming and diving team each recorded fifth-place team finishes among a host of big-time programs, with Artur Osvath
and Libby Howell
providing key efforts in the final day of the Iowa Hawkeye Invitational Saturday night.
"Overall I feel we learned a lot this week," said head coach Dave Collins
. "This meet is important for our athletes to race a similar format as the conference championships, and it also is valuable for the staff to evaluate what additions need to be made. I loved our energy and willingness of our group to apply feedback as the meet progressed."
The men scored 356 points in the three-day invitational, locking up fifth in a field consisting of nine teams. Purdue took the top spot with 875.5 points, followed by Minnesota (813), host Iowa (797.5), and Grand Canyon (754) rounding out the top four. The Bears outpaced South Dakota (158), South Dakota State (92), Wisconsin (58), and Michigan State (9).
On the women's side, Missouri State finished in the middle of the pack, this time taking fifth in a 12-team spread. Minnesota placed first with 1136 points, with Nebraska (931) and host Iowa (632.5) on their heels for the second and third spot, respectively. Southern Methodist collected 414.5 points followed by the Bears, who outscored Grand Canyon (307), South Dakota (132), Michigan State (29), Wisconsin (25), Iowa State (24), Kansas (9), and Omaha (6).
Osvath spotlighted the Bears' final day efforts claiming first in the 200 breaststroke, touching the wall at 1:55.88 in a tight swim. The time is a season-high for Osvath, passing the 1:59.60 mark he set against South Dakota in October.
Howell continued to break MSU records for the second day, dislodging her own best in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:28.04. The sophomore standout completed her swim nearly five seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.
Captain Bryce Blattner
concluded his invitational performance with a 15th
place finish in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:51.44. The time is a season-high for Blattner, who had a 1:52.92 swim against Drury.
"This week was a great opportunity to race some great teams," said Blattner. "As a whole, we did a good job of swimming fast in the morning in order to get second swims in the finals, which is key in meets such as the conference championships."
and Anna Miller
continued their exceptional efforts, each tallying a fifth- place finish in the last night of finals. Pearson swam 2:00.43 in the 200 fly while Miller clocked a 50.56 time in the 100 freestyle, respectively.
, Loretta Stelnicki
, and Lucas Paloschi
all pulled in key points for the Bears, finishing just outside the top-ten in their respective events.
"I'm really pleased with the team's performance this weekend," said women's team captain Brianna McCullough
. "There were many talented teams at the meet, but our energy was high, we competed well, and continued to improve throughout the meet. I am looking forward to seeing the team build as we head into the next half of the season."
In the team events, the group of Miller, Stelnicki, Alex Thorson
, and Allee Armitage
claimed ninth in the 400 free relay.
The Bears will take a two-week intermission before returning to the pool against Evansville on Saturday, Nov. 30 starting at 4 p.m.
MEN FINAL TEAM SCORES
- Purdue – 875.5
- Minnesota – 813
- Iowa – 797.5
- Grand Canyon – 754
- Missouri State – 356
- South Dakota – 158
- South Dakota State – 92
- Wisconsin – 58
- Michigan State – 9
WOMEN FINAL TEAM SCORES
- Minnesota – 1136
- Nebraska – 931
- Iowa – 632.5
- Southern Methodist – 414.5
- Missouri State – 332
- Grand Canyon – 307
- South Dakota – 132
- Michigan State – 29
- Wisconsin – 25
- Iowa State – 24
- Kansas – 9
- Omaha -- 6