Saint Louis Finishes Sixth at Tiger Invitational
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics
COLUMBIA - The final day of the 2011 Tiger Invitational is in the books. The Bills competed well, and held on for a sixth-place finish in the nine-team field. Several school records were broken during the meet, and many other swimmers rose to the occasion and turned in some of the top times in the A-10.

The first event of the day was the tough 1650-yard freestyle. None of the women scored in the event, but freshman Madeline Hanson managed to turn in a time of 18:11.28, the best time for SLU this season and currently 11th in the A-10.  For the men, senior Mike Kelly came in at 16:31.96, finishing 11th. This time is the third-fastest in the conference this season. Sophomore Patrick Merlihan also scored in the event with a time of 16:44.30, finishing 16th.

Next up was the 200-yard backstroke. In this event, junior Taylor Streid touched the wall at 2:12.17, scoring valuable points in 16th. The men’s pairing of freshman Patrick MacArt (1:57.22) and senior Jimmy Brabbins (1:58.07) raced to 14th and 15th place, respectively.

In the 100-yard freestyle, sophomore Lizzy Osterman touched first for the Bills with a time of 52.03 (18th), which bests her own time in the SLU record books at second all-time in the event. She is now second in the A-10. Freshman Patrick May was also impressive, finishing tenth with a time of 46.03, third all-time at SLU. He is also the second-fastest swimmer in the event in the conference.

The 200-yard breaststroke was next at the Tiger Invitational. The men’s team competed well in the event, with three swimmers scoring for the Bills. Freshman Stephen Hansen was the first to finish for Saint Louis with a time of 2:10.21, good enough for 12th place at the meet and fifth in the A-10. Senior Brian Brasser (2:15.34, 15th) and freshman James Davis (2:18.49, 16th) were the other Bills to score for the men. Freshman Keevyn Scholl was the top swimmer for the women in the event, coming in 32nd with a time of 2:31.70.

Senior Will Butzke had perhaps the swim of the day in the 200-yard butterfly. He touched at 1:56.17 in the prelims, and earned a spot in the championship heat. He then swam at 1:56.23 to finish eighth in the event. Freshman Gavin Hagar (2:00.59, 15th) also scored in the event. Freshman Jalynn Gieseke swam her way into the consolation finals for the women. Her final time of 2:05.96 put her in 12th place.

The final individual event was platform diving. The women did not compete in the event, but the men faired well. Seniors Chad Carmichael (212.95) and Billy Hrabovsky (178.15) scored big points for Saint Louis, finishing third and fourth, respectively.

To put a cap on the Tiger Inviational, the Bills took on the 400-yard freestyle relay. The men once again showed their prowess on the relays, breaking their third SLU relay record of the meet. Freshman Dustin Anderson, May, MacArt and Billingsley already broke the school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, but came out firing with a time of 3:05.97 in the 400-yard. The women’s team of Gieseke, Osterman, junior Emily Kopec and Streid just missed out on a new school record. Their time of 3:33.96 was only .07 seconds off the SLU record set last season. They finished 14th.

The swimming and diving squads will return to action in on Dec. 17 when they will travel to Chicago to take on Illinois-Chicago and Western Illinois at 1 p.m. For more information, visit the swimming and diving page at

The second day of competition began in style with the 200-yard medley relay. The men's team fared well with a sixth-place finish in their 15-team field. The Billiken quad of fresman Patrick May, senior Brian Brasser, junior Will Butzke and freshman Zack Billingsley finished with a time of 1:32.31, a new SLU record in the event. The women's team finished 18th in the 27 team field.

Freshman Whitney Gould led the Bills in the 400-yard IM with her time of 4:43.63, good enough for 38th place. Freshman Patrick MacArt touched the wall at 4:20.62 for the men, finishing 13th. Freshman Ryan Clark was close behind MacArt in 16th with a time of 4:28.48.

In the 200-yard freestyle, sophomore Lizzy Osterman made it into the "D" finals with a time of 1:52.38. Though she finished 28th in the talented field, her time is good enough to set a new SLU record. Sophomore Patrick Merlihan had a nice showing for the men, tying for 25th with his time of 1:45.10. Freshman Justin Pasquesi also competed in the finals, touching the wall at 1:46.84 for 31st.

Freshman Keevyn Scholl (1:07.72) and junior Taylor Streid (1:07.91) were neck-and-neck in the 100-yard breaststroke, placing 28th and 30th, respectively. Brasser was impressive in his heat, placing eighth with his time of 57.12. Freshman Stephen Hansen (58.88, 13th) and junior Chris Mandli (1:00.42, 15th) also competed in the event.

Next up was the 100-yard backstroke. Sophomore Ellie Lorenzi was the top SLU swimmer with a time of 1:01.07, just missing the finals cutline of 59.70. The men's side sent senior Jimmy Brabbins (53.24) and freshman Dustin Anderson (53.73) to the finals, where they were 12th and 15th.

On the diving boards, sophomore Christiana Eltiste was the top Bill on the one-meter board with a score of 202.90 for 16th overall. The men's senior tandem of Billy Hrabovsky and Chad Carmichael were stellar off the three-meter boards. Hrabovsky turned in a score of 316.95, to medal in the event with a third-place finish. Carmichael was right there with him, with his score of 282.75 for fifth.

The day finished with the 800-yard freestyle relay. Saint Louis women managed a time of 7:49.49 to place 13th. The men came in at 7:12.92, finishing 8th.


Day one opened up with the 200-yard freestyle relay. The women's team sent out freshman Jalynn Gieseke, sophomore Lizzy Osterman, junior Taylor Streid and sophomore Ellie Lorenzi. This squad turned in a time of 1:37.07 to finish 12th in the event. The men's team sent out an entire freshman squad of Zack Billingsley, Patrick May, Patrick MacArt and Dustin Anderson touched the wall at 1:23.57 to finish sixth, setting a new SLU record.

In a loaded 500-yard freestyle field, SLU's top female finisher was Osterman with a time of 5:09.69. Her time is good enough for 11th in the Atlantic 10 this season, but she finished 37th in the 53 person Tiger Invitational field. On the men's side, Anderson was the top Billiken finisher. His time of 4:44.98 put him in 14th in the event. Senior Mike Kelley (4:48.55), MacArt (4:49.17) and sophomore Patick Merlihan (5:03.19) also fared well, finishing 20th, 21st and 23rd, respectively. 

Next on the heat sheet was the 100-yard fly. Junior Will Butze turned in a great time of 50.68 during the preliminary round. This time is currently the third-fastest time in the A-10 this season and a mere .05 seconds off of the current school record.  In the final heat, he touched the wall at 51.04, finishing eighth. For the women, Gieseke came in at 57.19 for 19th place, while teammate Streid was right behind her in 20th place with a time of 57.45.

Freshman Stephen Hansen was the top finisher for the men in the 200-yard IM, with a time of 2:01.52 placing 13th. Freshman Ryan Clark and sophomore Hunter Stevenson were close behind him with times of 2:04.98 (15th) and 2:06.30 (16th), respectively. The women's team could not get a swimmer into a final heat, but freshmen Whitney Gould turned in the top team time of 2:13.49.

Billingsly had a great swim in the 50-yard freestyle. His time of 20.76 was ninth in the invitational, but is second in the SLU all-time record book. May was also in the event came in 18th with a time 21.17. Senior Blake Kocian was the last Billiken to qualify for the final heats, and turned in a time of 22.42. Gieseke just missed out on the scoring heats for the women, but still turned in an impressive 24.12, finishing 19th. She is now the sixth-best swimmer in the event in the A-10.

On the diving boards, the women competed on the three-meter, while the men took on the one-meter board. Though no women made the scoring round, defending A-10 champion sophomore Christiana Eltiste was the top diver for the Bills on the three-meter board, scoring 202.40 and finishing 14th of 30. For the men, the senior duo of Chad Carmichael (297.80) and Billy Hrabovsky (258.95) were impressive, finishing fourth and sixth on the one-meter.

To wrap things up, the teams competed in the 400-yard medley relay. The women's relay team of Streid, freshman Kristin Massey, Gieseke and Osterman finished 17th with a time of 3:56.25. The men sent out May, senior Brian Brasser, Butzke and Billingsley finished sixth with a time of 3:25.91.