Panther swim teams lose at Saint Louis


Sean Hastings

Sophomore Julia Martin swims the women’s 100-yard butterfly against Valparaiso Jan. 20 at the Padovan Pool. Martin took third in the event. Eastern’s men and women lost to Saint Louis Saturday.

Adam Shay, Swim Reporter

The Eastern men’s and women’s swim team finished out their regular season against the Saint Louis Billikens and University Missouri-St. Louis as the Panther swim teams both took losses.

The Billikens’ men’s swim team defeated Eastern 204.50-59.50, as well as defeating Missouri-St. Louis 171.50-93.50. For the Billikens, they finished with eight first place finishes. For the women teams, the Billikens defeated Eastern 227-44 and beat UMSL 234-42 and won 14-of-15 events.

With next weekend being the last meet of the season, the Panthers’ training will be put to the test at the Summit League Championship. Until then, the swimmers are just as focused on their health as they are practicing.

“Right now, we’re resting up to be ready for our big meet, so taking care of myself in and out of the pool is really all we have left to do,” junior Martee Grainger said.

Grainger finished third in two individual events Saturday: the 50-freestyle with a 25.81 time and the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 2.53. She also swam first in the 200-yard medley relay as the four Panthers finished fifth in the event with a 1:56.34 time.

Other notable women Panther swimmers were senior Dani DiMatteo as she earned first place in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 28.71. Also, she finished with a top five time in the 50-yard freestyle (25.82) and finished fifth in the 100-yard backstroke (1:12.88).

With this meet being the last of the season, for those senior swimmers, it is the last regular meet of their swim careers. Specifically, for those swimmers, there is a lot to think about regarding Saturday’s meet.

“It was bittersweet for sure,” Robbins said. “I’m going to miss competing at meets, but at the same time, it’ll be nice to be done.”

As for the men swimmers, senior Matt Jacobs continued his success from last weekend as he ended the meet with two more first place finishes. He finished the 50-yard breaststroke with a 26.76 time and in the 100-yard breaststroke, he touched the wall with a time of 58.80.

The men took first-place honors in the two relay events. Jacobs helped the 200-yard medley quartet finish first with a 1:37.05 time and Robbins anchored the first quartet in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:28.74.

As the Summit League Championship approaches alongside the reality of it being the last championship for him, Robbins is keeping his feelings intact as he prepares.

“No nerves yet,” Robbins said. “I haven’t really thought about it being my last summit league yet. I don’t know if it’ll hit me until I’m done.”

The Panthers will have next weekend off before traveling to Sioux Falls, S.D., for the championship on Feb. 14 and competing until Feb. 17.

Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]