The University of Northern Iowa swim and dive team are set to begin the Missouri Valley Conference Championships on Thursday in Carbondale, Illinois. The meet will take place February 14-16 at the Dr. Edward Shea Natataorium on the campus of Southern Illinois University. Preliminaries will begin at 11:00 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday and will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Finals are slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and will start at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. For diving, 1-meter preliminaries will start at 1:00 p.m. at Thursday and the finals for that event will be held Thursday night at 7:05. 3-meter preliminaries will begin at 1:00 on Friday. First half finals for the 3-meter dive will begin at 7:00 on Friday night, and the second half will be held Saturday night at 6:00.
Last year, the Panthers placed fifth at the MVC Championships. Bethany Hovland took fourth in the 1-meter dive and 6th in the 3-meter dive. Natalie Johnson placed seventh in the 100 backstroke with a season best time of 58.07. Lindsey Phelps took 10th place in the 200 freestyle with a season best time of 1:55.38. Stephanie Paape placed 11th in the 200 breaststroke and 13th in the 100 breaststroke.
UNI fell in their final meet of the 2012-13 regular season. The Panthers were defeated by the Iowa State Cyclones 195-103 on January 26th. Freshman Taylor Ostrowski continued dominance in the 200 butterfly, narrowly defeating Tiana Wollin of ISU. Ostrowski finished with a time of 2:10.27 and Wollin of ISU finished at 2:10.44. Stephanie Frederick took first in the 100 freestyle for the Panthers. She finished with a time of 54.45 in the event. Frederick also took the runner up spot in the 50 freestyle, finishing with a time of 24.87. Bethany Hovland took second place in both dive events. She finished with 256.42 points in the 1-meter dive and 262.27 points in the 3-meter dive. Natalie Johnson took a pair of third place finishes home for the Panthers as well. Johnson finished with a time of 1:00.07 in the 100 backstroke and had a time of 2:11.91 in the 200 backstroke.
"We're looking forward to culminating a year of hard work and growth for this team and to put together everything that we can for a great competition starting on Thursday and running through Saturday," said head coach Doug Humphrey. "It's an exciting time for this program. We have a young squad going down to Carbondale to show off what they have worked so hard for. It's also a time for us to hopefully wipe out some records. That's my expectation that we are going to rewrite that record board, starting this weekend hopefully with multiple people adding their name to the list of the all-time greats here at UNI."