Watch: SIU’s Inspiring .5 Point Missouri Valley Champs Victory Video


  • Wednesday, February 17 – Saturday, February 20
  • Shea Natatorium, SIU, Carbondale, IL (Central Time Zone)
  • Wednesday Timed Finals 6PM, Prelims 11AM / Finals 6PM (Thurs-Fri), Prelims 11AM / Finals 4pm (Sat.)
  • Defending Champion: Missouri State (8x) (2015 results and recaps here.)
  • Live Results
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central
  • MVC Teams: Missouri State Bears, Southern Illinois Salukis, Illinois State Redbirds, Evansville Purple Aces, Northern Iowa Panthers, Arkansas – Little Rock Trojans

Video courtesy Andrew Spencer

The women of Southern Illinois University pulled off a colossal Missouri Valley Championships upset last weekend over 8-time defending champions Missouri State, outscoring them in the team standings by a mere half point.

The video  above documents the meet, from the silent pool on the first day, all the way through the final event, the 400 free relay, which solidified the Saluki win. The songs in the video include Runaway- Gioni Remix and Big Red Machine-Bon Iver, and it was shot using a Blackmagic Pocket Camera, a DJI Osmo, a Nikon d750, and a DJI Phantom 3.

You can check out our recaps here:

And here’s a recap of the final 400 free relay, courtesy Shawn Klosterman:


  1. Northern Iowa Panthers, 3:23.56
  2. Southern Illinois Salukis, 3:23.70
  3. Missouri State University, 3:24.35

Northern Iowa added a cherry to the top of their fantastic sprint performance in this breakout MVC meet, with a close victory in the final event.  Florman (51.12,) Phyfe (51.05,) Roepsch (51.86,) and Lembezeder (49.53) held off a Southern Illinois squad that had a lot more on the line than just this race.  SIU did what they needed– they beat the Bears.  Illinois State was 4th with 3:29.09, UALR was 5th at 3:30.03 and Evansville was 6th with 3:33.43.

The Saluki freestylers have been an incredible force all weekend, so one can only imagine that they felt they could win it all.  Defeating the Bears in this relay, no matter what place they finished, would have won them the MVC Championship for the first time in nine years.  The Bears team of Stelnicki, Kiss, Zupan and Amparano turned in a team record 3:24.35 but it was not enough to win the day.  The Salukis squad of Okaj, Avery, Walker and Handley, by taking second place over Missouri State’s 3rd, pulled off the upset by unseating the 8-time defending champion Bears for the team title by half of a point.  After all of the back and forth between the two teams over this four day grudge match, Rick Walker’s girls held strong and came through in the clutch to bring the title back to Carbondale.


  1. Southern Illinois 799.5
  2. Missouri State 799
  3. Northern Iowa 627
  4. Illinois State 454.50
  5. Arkansas, Little Rock 305
  6. Evansville 263

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6 years ago

Wow, you really get a feeling for how much this win meant to the Southern Illinois team from this wonderful video! It just goes to show that swimming is an exciting, enjoyable sport at all levels; it creates “champions” who know what it takes to succeed in life while at the same time enjoying the process! Congrat’s to the Salukis (what a great nickname!), and thanks for sharing your experience with us by posting this video!

6 years ago

Fantastic video. Congrats to the Saluki women!

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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