SPRINGFIELD – The Missouri State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hit the road for the final time together as the Bears get set to face Truman State at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Truman Natatorium in Kirksville, Missouri.
MSU and Truman State meet as part of the Bulldogs’ senior day festivities. It will be the Bears’ final true road dual of the season, with the MSU men’s and women’s teams swimming in Springfield at Drury on Jan. 21 and against Missouri at Hammons Student Center on Jan. 23, while the men’s squad closes out the regular season at the Shamrock Invitational from Jan. 29-30.
The Bears are undefeated against the Bulldogs in 28 all-time meetings in men’s swimming, while the MSU women’s team holds an 11-9 edge. Truman State’s women’s team was ranked 11th in the most recent CSCAA/TYR Division II Top 25 Poll released Wednesday.
Last Meet Overview
MSU men’s swimming opened the New Year against Texas A&M in College Station on Jan. 7. Despite a 125-80 loss to the Southeastern Conference member, the Bears kept up with the Aggies and only trailed 50-43 after the first break.
The Bears opened the meet with a strong performance from their ‘A’ 400-yard medley relay team as Bryce Blattner, Uldis Tazans, Artur Osvath and Uvis Kalnins finished runner-up in a time of 3 minutes, 21.48 seconds.
The first individual event of the dual proved to be one of MSU’s most successful with the squad posting three of the top four finishes. Minki Kang placed first in the 1000 freestyle for the Bears by finishing in a personal-best time of 9:21.19, while Miguel Davila (9:27.28) and Brandon Weissman (9:38.61) completed top marks this season for second and fourth, respectively.
MSU’s Kalnins had the remaining two victories for the Bears. He finished first in a time of 1:49.33 in the 200 IM and also touched the wall first in the 100 free in 45.05.
Missouri State as a team found its most success in the 200 free, 500 free, 200 individual medley and 200 breaststroke. The Bears had at least three swimmers score points in each event before closing out the dual.
Bears Highlighting NCAA Division I Top 100 Times
The Missouri State swimming and diving teams have multiple performers that currently hold top 100 times among Division I swimmers. Four men’s swimmers have at least one top 100 time while two MSU women’s swimmers join them.
Uvis Kalnins (100 breast/26th, 200 breast/84th, 200 IM/4th)
Minki Kang (1000 free/64th, 1650 free/51st)
Artur Osvath (200 breast/18th, 200 IM/72nd, 100 breast/61st, 100 fly/84th)
Isaac Springer (100 breast/86th)
Dora Kiss (500 free/39th, 200 fly/19th)
Josie Pearson (400 IM/74th)
MSU Record Updates
Four school records and one pool record have already been set by Bears swimmers during the 2015-16 season.
Men’s senior Uvis Kalnins broke the only Hammons Student Center pool record of the season to this point in the first dual of the year against Evansville in the 100 breast. Kalnins’s 55.78 finish onOct. 9 took down fellow MSU swimmer Isaac Springer’s previous record of 55.89, which was set a season prior.
All four MSU team records set this year occurred during the Purdue Invitational from Nov. 20-22.
Women’s senior Dora Kiss set both the 100 fly (54.82) and the 200 fly (1:57.18) school records over the three-day meet. Kiss topped her own 200 fly mark of 1:59.13 she had set at last season’s MVC Championship, but also took down current Bears assistant coach Chelsea Dirks-Ham’s 55.34 record that had stood since the 2009 MVC Championship.
Freshmen Artur Osvath and Josie Pearson also achieved new school records at the November meet. Osvath’s 200 breast time of 1:56.39 took another record away from Springer (1:58.22), while Pearson’s time (4:18.08) in the 400 IM became an MSU best over current Bears swimmer Briana Horozewski’s previous record (4:20.58) achieved at the 2014 MVC Championships.
Swimmer of the Week Round-up
The Missouri State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have combined to be honored with nine swimmer of the week awards between the two squads.
Seniors Uvis Kalnins and Dora Kiss, junior Lauren Pavel, and freshmen Artur Osvath and Josie Pearson have all earned weekly honors from their respective conferences.
Kalnins was the most recent award honoree following the Bears’ dual against Texas A&M on Jan. 7. He earned the achievement for the third time this season by winning both individual events he competed in and swimming the fastest anchor leg in the 400 medley relay.
Kalnins was previously recognized as the MAC award winner on Oct. 27 and Oct. 8. The senior’s first honor came after the Show-Me Showdown, where he won the 200 IM and finished runner-up in both an individual and relay event. He was rewarded with his second honor after two first-place finishes and two runner-up showings at the Kansas Double Dual from Oct. 23-24.
Both Kiss and Osvath were named Swimmer of the Week by the Missouri Valley and Mid-American Conference, respectively, for the second time this season for their efforts in the Purdue Invitational from Nov. 20-22.
Kiss shattered two school records and helped lead the Bears to a sixth-place team finish at Purdue behind a first-place showing in the 200 fly, fifth place in the 500 free and seventh place in the 100 fly. Along with her MVC award on Nov. 24, Kiss also earned Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 20 for winning all three events she took part in the ‘Duel in the Pool’ against Drury at Hammons Student Center. She won the 1000 free (10:24.34), 200 free (1:54.46) and the 500 free (4:59.09). All three of those finishes were among top-three times in the MVC, including her season-best times she set in the 200 and 500 free.
Osvath earned four NCAA consideration times and broke a school record in the men’s team’s appearance at Purdue. He earned the MAC Swimmer of the Week selection on Nov. 24 behind top-four showings in all four of his individual events. He earned his first career weekly honor onOct. 12 after he gathered five first-place finishes and had a runner-up showing in conference duals against Evansville and Southern Illinois from Oct. 9-10. He won his first collegiate race in the 200 free (1:43.12) and his 2:03.44 finish in the 200 breast gave him the fastest time in the event among all MAC swimmers.
Pavel was named the MVC Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 27 after her performance at the Kansas Double Dual. The junior was involved with two season-best times and placed an individual high third in the 200 breast. Her 2:21.89 finish in the event took over the top time in the MVC.
Pearson was recognized as the MVC Swimmer of the Week by finishing with two top-10 finishes at the Show-Me Showdown on Oct. 2. The freshman had one of the top showings for Missouri State at the meet by earning runner-up in the 100 fly (57.49). She earned seventh out of 50 swimmers in the 200 IM (2:07.94), placing behind five members of the host Tigers and a member of the NCAA Division II 2014-15 runner-up Drury squad.
Glancing at the Rankings
After beginning the season at No. 18 in the opening CollegeSwimming.com Rankings, the Bears’ men’s team has been in and out of the top 50 list. Currently, MSU is ranked 46th among all Division I schools with 758.35 points. The rankings utilize a point system based on NCAA time standards, predicted qualifying times and percentile rankings from the past four seasons.
Both MSU teams also appear in the Division I Mid-Major Rankings.
The men’s squad currently sits in 13th with its 758.35 points captured at the Purdue Invitational in November. The women’s squad currently sits at 35th with 727.48 points after its performance at the Purdue Invite.
Truman State’s men’s and women’s teams also hold top-50 point totals in the Division II rankings. The Bulldogs’ women’s squad is ranked 12th with 673.17 points and the Truman State men’s squad ranks 30th with 659.72.
Men’s Swimming and Diving Second in Preseason Poll
The Missouri State men’s swimming and diving team was selected to finish second in the Mid-American Conference preseason coaches’ poll, announced Thursday, Oct. 1.
Behind a roster that returned 13 letterwinners and six all-conference performers with the addition of seven newcomers, the Bears received two first-place votes and were picked ahead of MAC members Buffalo, Southern Illinois, Miami, Ball State and Evansville. Eastern Michigan received five first-place votes and was selected as the preseason favorite to win the MAC Championship.
Swimming news courtesy of Missouri State Swimming & Diving.