Annya Gromm Breaks 2 Little Rock Records but SIU Sweeps the Day in Carbondale

Little Rock (Women Only) vs. Southern Illinois vs. Valparaiso

  • March 12, 2021
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
  • Short Course Yards (SCY swimming)
  • Full Meet Results
  • Team Scores:
    • Southern Illinois Men 218.50 – Valparaiso Men 43.50
    • Southern Illinois Women 223 – Valparaiso Women 47
    • Southern Illinois Women 185 – Little Rock 86
    • Little Rock Women 211 – Valparaiso 51

While most of the best-known swimmers and programs are preparing for the upcoming NCAA Championship meet, many mid-major teams are ramping up their regular season schedules this week in preparation for April conference championship events.

As part of the season delayed by mid-major programs, Southern Illinois swept their opponents from Valparaiso and Little Rock on Friday in their home pool.

While the Little Rock women were, overall, overmatched by the Salukis, Annya Grom was a highlight of the meet. The Trojan senior won the 50 free in 23.29 and was 2nd in the 100 free in 50.60, both of which broke school records. The 50 cleared Lindsey Butler’s 2019 record of 23.38, and the 100 free broke Lindsey Butler’s 100 free record of 50.72.

That was part of a team-wide effort that saw UALR swim 78% season best times a month out of the Missouri Valley Championships which begin in this same pool on April 14. Most of the Little Rock team appeared to be suited.

UALR weren’t the only swimmers posting best times at the meet. For the top-performing SIU Salukis, senior Sierra Forbord won the 200 free in a lifetime best of her own in 1:48.96.

That swim marks a second-and-a-half drop in just a week for her season best, improving upon the 1:50.60 that she swam at last week’s dual against Missouri State. Her previous lifetime best of 1:50.18 was done at the 2020 Missouri Valley Championships.

In last year’s conference meet, she finished in 2nd place – almost 3 seconds behind Missouri’s Libby Howell. Howell, who is also a senior this season, returns as well, but Forbord is quickly closing the gap.

“I think we raced really well today,” said SIU head coach Geoff Hanson. “Last week with a two-day format, we spread things out a bit. This was a one-session meet with almost just as much swimming, it showed us what we need to continue to work on. With the men being 3.5 weeks out and the women 4.5 weeks out [from conference championships], we are on the right track.”

The highlight for Valparaiso at the meet was junior Dominic May, who finished tied-for-2nd in the 100 free in 47.05, one of three top 5 finishes for him.

Press Releases

Courtesy: SIU Athletics

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Saluki Swimming and Diving program made a big splash inside Shea Natatorium on Friday afternoon, earning wins against Valparaiso and the women of Arkansas-Little Rock in tri-meet action. The men overtook the Brown and Gold, 218.5-43.5 by taking the first place spot in every event, while the women edged Valpo, 223-47. and slid past Little Rock, 185-86.

Cernek, Persson, Minano, Csuvarszki

  • 400-Medley Relay (3:19.62)

Austin Kinsler

  • 1000-Free (9:54.67)

Zheng Yang Yeap

  • 200-Free (1:38.63)
  • 200-IM (1:53.08)

John Cameron

  • 100-Back (52.81)

Gustav Persson

  • 100-Breast (57.37)
  • 200-Breast (2:04.45)

Max Ransom

  • 200-Fly (1:53.91)

Donat Csuvarszki

  • 50-Free (20.65)

Will Chavez

  • 100-Free (46.46)

Adam Cernek

  • 200-Back (1:49.93)

Sam Flessner

  • 500-Free (4:45.98)

Zander Minano

  • 100-Fly (49.98)

Cernek, Yang, Schlueter, Minano

  • 400-Free Relay (3:03.42)



Romero, Zaborska, Young, Jenkins

  • 400-Medley Relay (3:46.77)

Eden Girloanta

  • 1000-Free (10:25.01)

Sierra Forbord

  • 200-Free (1:48.96)
  • 100-Free (50.47)

Imogen Watson

  • 100-Back (56.11)

Mima Zaborska

  • 100-Breast (1:02.23)
  • 200-Breast (2:14.68)
  • 200-IM (2:06.64)

Abigail Young

  • 200-Fly (2:04.13)
  • 100-Fly (56.30)

Deven Speed

  • 200-Back (2:04.29)

Fernanda Sanchez

  • 500-Free (5:06.80)


Women’s Team:
Senior Sierra Forbord earned a lifetime best in the 200-freestyle, touching the wall at 1:48.96, surpassing last week’s event by 2 seconds.

Freshman Mima Zaborska had a day, winning three individual events (100 and 200-breaststroke, 200-IM), and starting off the meet with the winning 400-medley relay squad.

With her first individual win of the season, junior Deven Speed took the crown in the 200-backstroke (2:04.29), and settled down for third place in the 100-backstroke (57.63).

In showcasing young improvement, freshman Melanie Scheiblein battled out for two second-place finishes (200-breaststroke, 400-medley relay), a third place finish in the 100-breaststroke (1:05.85) and garnered points for the Salukis in the 200-IM with a sixth place finale (2:11.27).

Men’s Team:
Battling out for points, the Salukis took the top spot in every event, taking the top-three spots in nine events in the afternoon.

In a battle between teammates, freshman Donat Csuvarszki earns the seed in the 50-freestyle (20.65), surpassing Salukis Zander Minano (20.68), and Marc Avery (21.06).

Junior diver Kyle Campbell, although unscored with no divers from Valparaiso participating, earned his personal best on the three-meter board with 325.50.

Earning his first first-place title of the season, freshman Austin Kinsler swam the distance, clocking in at 9:54.67 in the 1000-freestyle, over passing teammate Ben Rutledge by 10 seconds (10:06.02).

Taking both relay events, the squad of Cernek, Persson, Minano, Csuvarszki timed at 3:19.62 in the 400-medley and the 400-free relay, swam by Cernek, Yang, Schlueter, Minano finished the after with the final event win for the Salukis at 3:03.42.

On today’s results…
“I think we raced really well today. Last week with a two-day format, we spread things out a bit. This was a one-session meet with almost just as much swimming, it showed us what we need to continue to work on. With the men being 3.5 weeks out and the women 4.5 weeks out [from conference championships], we are on the right track.”

On inner-team competition…
“We promote that healthy competition everyday. It’s not just what they see in the meets, they see it everyday. It’s a good problem to have, we will have some people that won’t make our A relays, as we have that depth [in roster skill]. They all know and realize to be in it for the team — if you are the fifth place guy and don’t make the relay, you played just as important of a role preparing everyone else during the season.”


The Salukis are back in the water for their final home meet of the season against Evansville and the women of Illinois State on Friday, March 19. Senior night inside Shea Natatorium will begin at 2pm.

Courtesy: Little Rock Athletics

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Not one, but two school records fell for Annya Grom at the Little Rock-SIU-Valparaiso tri-meet this afternoon, and it’s not even taper season yet for the Trojans. The Eilat, Israel native continues to make leaps and bounds in her sophomore year, breaking the 50 freestyle record with a first-place finishing time of 23.29 before claiming the 100 free record in 50.60.

The entire Little Rock squad showed up today, however. The word of the day is ‘season-best,’ as an striking 78% of the afternoon’s swims were the best marks of the year.

“The team stepped up in a big way today!” said proud head coach Amy Burgess. “The high energy was contagious and everyone worked hard for every race. Annya setting 2 school records and the winning 400 free relay were highlights of the day, and well deserved. Today was just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come from this team in four and a half weeks!”

Along with the new records, the day also concluded on a high note for Little Rock in the 400 freestyle relay, where the A team of Regan LawrenceFer MoussierGabriella O’Neil, and Grom brought home gold with a season-best 3:28.53. The first three stayed within range of SIU for Grom to anchor a blistering 50.14 and beat out the Salukis by just over two tenths.

In the 400 medley relay, the Trojan A and B relays finished third and fourth, right behind the top two Salukis but with a sizeable gap ahead of the Valparaiso teams. The A squad of Lawrence, Palmer Ristroph, Moussier, and Grom turned in a time of 3:53.88, a drop of over five seconds from the last time Little Rock raced in the event. Grom’s final leg of 52.52 was the fastest freestyle split in the pool. The B team of Fernanda GamezKarina HarrAsmalia Redzuan, and O’Neil were not far off, coming in at 3:54.86 in a nod to the Trojans’ growing depth.

An afternoon of impressive individual swimming kicked off with a strong distance event in the 1000. Freshmen Lexie Shelton and Clare Sprinkle both recorded season best times, taking second and third place respectively. Shelton’s 10:38.59 was a 20 second drop from her previous time this year, while Sprinkle shaved off nearly 15 for a 10:47.17, only five seconds away from her lifetime best. Senior Ashley Hornbuckle also had a great race, posting a personal best 10:56.07 by 40 seconds.

Next up was the 200 free, where O’Neil went out quick and hung on for a gutsy second place finishing time of 1:53.46, two tenths ahead of a Saluki. Her performance was a season-best by over three seconds and the freshman was also just half a second off her personal best. Sophomore Ashleigh Green did notch a lifetime best by over two seconds, stopping the clock at 1:56.49.

Five additional Trojans also posted impressive season-bests in the 200: Lea Zengerling touched at 1:54.33 for a three-second drop. Redzuan took off four seconds for a 1:55.47 while freshman Maci McCullough crushed her earlier swim this season by almost six seconds to finish at 1:57.13. Classmate Cheryl Poulsen recorded a 1:58.45 and Gamez touched the wall at 1:58.53.

Along with the school records, several sprinters posted quick season bests in the pool. In the 50, Lawrence took fifth with a time of 24.52 to score points while Poulsen’s 25.23, Katelyn White’s 26.07, and Gibson’s 26.73 were new top marks for them this year. O’Neil returned in the 100 to place fourth in 53.30, while fellow freshmen Kasey Dunn and Rylie Discenza collected season-bests of 55.11 and 58.38, respectively.

Finally, the 500 wrapped up a successful meet for freestyle, led by McCullough’s second-place finish at 5:08.72, a season best by nearly 20 seconds. Sprinkle touched fifth at 5:13.44, taking off nine seconds over the past month to also score. Redzuan’s 5:19.49, senior Lily Kerr’s 5:19.56, and Hornbuckle’s 5:27.27 were all strong season-bests as well.

Zengerling was the highest-finishing backstroker today, earning third in the 200 backstroke in 2:07.72 with a season-best by over two seconds. Freshman Taylor Floyd was not far off, taking fourth at 2:08.29 thanks to a six-second drop of her own. Gamez and Mia Gibson also notched season-bests, as the sophomore posted a 2:09.96 and the senior touched the wall at 2:14.14.

In the 100 back, Lawrence took fourth place with a time of 59.06, going under a minute for the third time this season. Earlier in the meet, she split a 58.51 leading off the medley relay. Floyd joined her under a minute at 59.92 for a season-best, while Discenza also took home a season-best at 1:03.24.

Ristroph dominated the breaststroke races for the Trojans today. The senior finished second in the 100 breast at 1:05.40, her fastest in-season time ever by a second and a half. Later, she took third in the 200 in 2:23.11, dropping over four seconds to put her in a great position ahead of the conference championships.

Ristroph was joined by a fourth-place, 1:06.33 finish from Harr in the 100, the freshman’s first time swimming the race this year. Junior White also claimed a nice two-second drop in the race to post a 1:09.49. Meanwhile, sophomore Nicole Burek made season-best marks in both breaststroke races.

Moussier came away with two second-place finishes in the fly events. Her time of 2:04.33 in the 200 was just four tenths away from her own school record as a freshman last year. Later, she made another drop in the 100 fly to post a 56.75.

Sophomore Brianna Ridings touched the wall at 2:13.45 in the 200 butterfly for fourth place and valuable team points. In the shorter fly race, Harr showed her short axis skills by taking off two and a half seconds to finish third at 57.58. White and Floyd also had nice drops, as the junior touched at 1:00.41 and the freshman finished at 1:00.55.

200 IM
Ristroph led the way in the individual medley with a well-rounded repertoire to bring home bronze in 2:10.23. The Trojans finished one after the other, as Green placed fourth at 2:10.53 and Shelton took fifth just six one-hundredths behind. Additional season-bests included Harr’s 2:13.93, a time of 2:15.02 for Ridings, and Dunn’s 2:15.46.

Little Rock will have another two weeks to train before their final racing of the regular season. The Trojans will have a virtual meet against conference opponents Illinois State on March 27, with each team competing at their home pools and comparing times after in a final preparation for the Missouri Valley Conference Championships next month.

For the latest information on Little Rock Swimming and Diving, make sure to check out You can also find the team on social media at @LittleRockSwim on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Courtesy: Valparaiso Athletics

The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s swim teams competed in a tri-meet at Southern Illinois with Arkansas Little Rock on Friday. Valpo had an abundance of top-10 finishes with junior Dominic May (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) boasting the best individual showing with three top-five swims.

How It Happened

  • May had the most impressive finish on the day, tying for second place in the 100 free, stopping the clock at 47.05. His strong day continued when the junior placed fifth in the 100 back with a time of 56.69. May also anchored the team in the 400-medley relay alongside Derek Eidson (Ventura, Calif./Ventura), Billy Bennett (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) and Brett Strongman (Wolverine Lake, Mich./Wolverine Lake Central). That group finished third overall in the event, clocking a 3:34.90.
  • Owen Bockman (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) had the highest finish in the 1000 free at fourth with a time of 10:20.25. Teammate Drew Wilson (Sugar Grove, Ill./Aurora Central Catholic) placed fifth, touching the wall at 10:46.37, followed by Kennan Burgess (Charlotte, N.C./Christ The King) placing sixth with a time of 10:49.42.
  • Bennett continued Valpo’s solid showing as the junior placed third in the 100 breaststroke, touching the wall in 58.86. Rick Renner (Chantilly, Va./Lake Braddock) followed with a fifth-place finish in 1:01.74.
  • Gus Rytting (Houston, Texas/Lamar) also had a third-place finish in the 200-breaststroke with the sophomore clocking a 2:08.62. Rytting recorded a fifth-place finish in the 100 IM with a time of 2:02.08 for his second top-five performance on the day.
  • Bockman also recorded a fourth-place finish in the 200-back, clocking a 2:05.70.
  • Daniels had impressive day that featured a fourth-place individual finish in the 500 free with a time of 4:53.96 and fifth-place finish in the 200 free in 1:47.50.
  • Noah Zapolski (Davenport, Iowa/Bettendorf) notched a fifth-place finish in the 500 free with a time of 22.11.  
  • Strongman had a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 100 fly (54.63) and 200 fly (2:03.45).
  • The team of Ian Jaegars (Los Alamos, N.M.), Bennett, Daniels and Strongman ended the day with a third-place finish in the 400-free relay, clocking a 3:24.42.
  • The women started of the day strong as Kenzie Conn (Celine, Ohio/Celina), MiKayla DePover (Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island), Lucy Gascho (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) and Mariah Sturdivant (Chicago, Ill/George Washington Prep.) placed fifth in the 400-medley relay clocking a team time of 4:10.15.
  • DePover had the highest individual finish on the day, placing fifth in the 100 breastroke in 1:06.65. The sophomore also had a sixth-place finish in the 200 back (2:31.01) and a ninth-place finish in the 200-IM (2:18.79).
  • Morgan Markley (Bluffton, Ind./Norwell) had multiple top-10 finishes on the day as the sophomore placed seventh in the 1000 free in 11:32.12 and ninth in the 100-free in 57.03. The sophomore finished with a 10th-place finish in the 500 free, clocking a 5:36.51.
  • Gascho had three top-10 finish of her own, placing seventh in the 200 fly (2:28.05), ninth in the 100 fly (1:04.50) and 10th in the 200-IM (2:27.52).
  • Trinity Springer (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township) continued the trend as the freshman placed eighth in the 100 free (56.21) and eighth in the 50 free (25.25).
  • The team of Conn, Markley, Springer and Sturdivant completed the day with a fourth-place finish in the 400-free relay, clocking a team time of 3:46.37.
  • The men fell to Southern Illinois, while the women fell to both Southern Illinois and Little Rock.

Up Next

Saturday’s scheduled meet at Eastern Illinois has been canceled due to COVID-19 contract tracing associated with the Eastern Illinois program. Valpo will return to the pool for its Senior Day meet on March 27.


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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