For the 15th time in program history, the Missouri State women’s swimming and diving team brought home the trophy from the Missouri Valley Conference Championships.
In the past 12 years, MSU has won 11 titles.
“These girls have put in a lot of time and effort to put themselves in this position to hold that trophy,” head coach Dave Collins said in a statement.
Sophomore Libby Howell left with a sore neck, bringing home three individual gold medals in the 200, 500 and 1,650-yard freestyle.
She also competed in the 800-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard medley relay.
Sophomore Leticia Rodrigues finished behind Howell in the 500 free.
Alex Thorson, winner of the MVC Swimmer of the Year accolade, placed third in the 200 free.
The Bears swept the freestyle relay events.
The 800 relay of Thorson, senior Brianna McCullough, senior Loretta Stelnicki and Howell clocked in at 7:23.78 for a gold medal. Howell, Stelnicki, McCullough and sophomore Anna Miller defeated Northern Iowa’s relay team by .03 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle relay for another relay gold.
Thorson, Miller, Howell and Stelnicki secured the final freestyle relay gold for the Bears in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Senior Josie Pearson left with two individual golds in the 200-meter butterfly and 400-yard individual medley.
Pearson came from behind in the 400 IM to defeat reigning champion Katie Taylor from Northern Iowa. She also won a silver medal in the 200 IM.
“It was awesome to end my Missouri State career with another individual title,” Pearson said in a statement. “I was proud to go out on top surrounded by my teammates.”
Miller placed second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.12.
Junior Sarah Allegri, Pearson, Miller and Stelnicki finished in second of the 200-yard medley relay.
Junior Haley Allen took over the third leg of the 400-yard medley relay, but Allegri, Pearson and Stelnicki stayed in their spots to nab a silver.
Stelnicki not only took home five relay medals, she also placed first in the 100-yard backstroke and second in the 100-yard freestyle.
Diving coach James Huelskamp won MVC Diving Coach of the Year.
The NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships are set for March 20-23 in Austin, Texas.