EVANSTON, Illinois, November 24. THE TYR Invitational closed out another year with some strong swims from Northwestern and Missouri State that could provide both schools with plenty of motivation for the second half of the season.
After rocking the 100 backstroke yesterday and nearly taking down Matt Grevers’ pool record, Paul Le of Missouri State raced his specialty, the 200 backstroke, and posted a 1:43.43 to put himself in the top 10 nationally in the collegiate ranks. Le was the first swimmer from Missouri State to get into the top 16 at the NCAA championships, posting a 1:41.69 at last season’s meet. Northwestern freshman Andrew Jovanovich also posted an impressive swim, putting up a 1:45.94 for second place.
Le returned to win the 50 backstroke with a 22.42.
Jordan Wilimovsky led from start to finish in the men’s 1650 freestyle, posting a lifetime best 14:55.25 to get within eight seconds of the NCAA automatic qualifying time and break his own pool record of 15:10.75. Wilimovsky’s previous best came at last March’s NCAA championships, where he placed 24th and marked his first sub-15:00 swim. Wilimovsky is a member of the USA Swimming open water national team, having competed at the world championships in the 25K swim.
Lauren Abruzzo also set a pool record in winning the women’s 1650 with a time of 16:10.40. Locke dropped 15 seconds off her lifetime best, and is within 12 seconds of the NCAA automatic qualifying time.
Lacey Locke of Northwestern won her third and fourth events of the meet today, taking the 200 back with a 1:57.67. She fell short of her lifetime best of 1:57.64, done back in 2011, so today’s swim signals potential for a major time drop at the end of the season. Also breaking two minutes was Northwestern teammate Karen Turner, who was second with a 1:59.49. Locke would return to win the 50 backstroke with a 25.84.
Three other event winners also posted NCAA B qualifying times tonight. Victoria Griffin of Bowling Green won the 100 free with a 49.87 to just barely dip under the B standard, while Renata Sander of Missouri State took the 200 breast with a 2:15.01. Isaac Springer of Missouri State won the 200 breast with a 1:58.44, breaking his team’s school record by three tenths of a second. He held off a hard-charging Northwestern sophomore, Van Donkersgoed, who posted a 1:59.32. It’s a lifetime best for Springer by a little more than a second, while Donkersgoed has a 1:57.30 to his credit from last spring’s Big Ten conference meet.
Chase Stephens, the 50 free winner with a 19.87 relay leadoff to start the meet, won the 100 free with a 44.32, just ahead of Missouri State’s Vitaly Baryshok’s 44.79 and Pat Falconer’s 44.89 to give the meet three swimmers under 45 seconds.
Dora Kiss of Missouri State won the women’s 200 fly with a 2:01.44, while teammate Bryan Williams won the men’s event with a 1:48.23.
Missouri State’s Sarah Love took the women’s 50 fly with a 25.29, .01 ahead of Danel Vorhees of Illinois-Chicago. Mark Ferguson of Northwestern won the men’s 50 fly with a 21.82.