COLUMBIA, Missouri, November 21. THE University of Missouri women’s and men’s swimming and diving teams came out firing on all cylinders Thursday night, as the Tigers posted several nation-leading times and A cuts during the first day of the Mizzou Invitational in Columbia. Both Mizzou’s 400 medley relay teams posted the fastest time in the country this year, in addition to Dani Barbiea and Logan Mosley’s outstanding 100 fly performances.
After a solid performance across the board in this morning’s preliminary session, the University of Missouri swimming and diving teams picked up right where they left off with more sizzling swims this evening.
In the opening 200 freestyle relay, Mizzou’s Dani Barbiea, Anna Patterson, Emily Doucette and Lexi Spivak combined forces to post a 1:30.56, just out-touching Arkansas’ quartet, who finished in 1:30.78. Both times are just outside this year’s NCAA B qualifying standard of 1:30.43, but based on last year’s times at NCAAs, both may be good enough for an invite in March. The men’s sprint relay came down to the touch, as West Virginia picked up their first victory of the meet with Tim Squires, Julien Vialette, Bryce Bohman and Ross Glegg out-touching Mizzou, 1:19.50 to 1:19.53.
In the women’s 500 free, Arkansas’ Nicole Menzel earned the official victory with a time of 4:45.53, while teammate Anna Mayfield actually had the fastest time of the night with an exhibition swim of 4:43.47. Utah’s Sami Zuch took second in 4:46.38, while Arkansas’ Rachel Stroer swam a 4:48.71 for third. Meanwhile, the men’s 500 free went to Eegan Groome, as he demolished the quickest time in the nation this year by Michigan’s Connor Jaeger with a sizzling 4:17.78. That time is just two seconds shy of an A cut. Utah’s Bence Kiraly stayed on Groome’s hip to finish second in 4:19.24, while Mizzou’s Andrew Phillips swam a 4:23.42 for third.
This morning, Mizzou’s Dani Barbiea threw her name in the hat as one of the top contenders for an NCAA title in the 100 fly, obliterating her personal best and the Missouri school record with a time of 51.13. That knocked 1.31 seconds off Shara Stafford’s school record of 52.44, and 1.41 off Barbiea’s previous best, and is by far the fastest time in the nation this season. Interestingly, that time would’ve won the 2013 NCAA title by more than half a second; Auburn’s Olivia Scott had the top time last season at 51.64. Barbiea couldn’t quite duplicate that time in finals, but still posted a 51.61, two seconds ahead of West Virginia’s Julie Ogden (53.67) and Utah’s Petra Soininen (53.77).
Barbiea’s teammate, Logan Mosley, looked just as impressive in the men’s 100 fly. After smashing the field this morning with a time of 46.82, which happened to be the fastest time in the nation this season and also broke his own school record, Mosley cruised to the victory tonight in a time of 47.15. West Virginia’s Bryce Bohman took second in 48.29, while Utah’s Karson Applin picked up third in 48.56.
Florida International’s Johanna Gustafsdottir and Sonia Perez Arau stunned the crowd in the women’s 200 IM — Gustafsdottir lowered her own school record of 1:59.14 from the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Championships with a 1:58.27 to take the win, while Perez Arau took second in 1:58.65. It marked the first time in program history two swimmers broke the 2:00 barrier. Missouri’s Katharine Ross placed third in 2:00.28.
In the men’s individual medley, Missouri showcased its outstanding depth in the event by sweeping the top four places. Sam Tierney, who set a school record in prelims at 1:45.04, held on for the win tonight in 1:45.24, followed closely by Igor Kozlovskij (1:45.74). Mack Darragh picked up third in 1:46.71.
Missouri’s Anna Patterson followed up her personal best in the women’s 50 free this morning with another best time tonight, as she held off Utah’s Traycie Swartz for the win, 22.51 to 22.56. Arkansas’ Nina Drolc swam a 23.11 to place third. In a repeat performance from prelims this morning, two swimmers broke 20 seconds in the men’s 50 free. Utah’s Nick Soedel cut almost half a second off his prelim time to win in 19.51, while West Virginia’s Tim Squires also got under the magic 20-second mark with a 19.93. Soedel and Squires are just the sixth and seventh swimmers in the nation to post 19s this season. Ross Glegg, also of West Virginia, took third in 20.18.
Mizzou provided some fireworks in the women’s 400 medley relay as Emily Doucette, Katharine Ross, Dani Barbiea and Anna Patterson smashed the field by five seconds with a 3:33.79. That time cleared the A cut in the event by a full second and tied the Mizzou school record in the event. No team has been as fast thus far this season. UC Davis finished a distant second in 3:38.47, while Utah claimed third with a 3:39.33. The Mizzou men followed that up with a dazzling performance of their own in the men’s medley relay. Logan Mosley, Sam Tierney, Igor Kozlovskij and Michael Chadwick posted an A cut time of 3:09.68 to win by more than five seconds and establish the fastest time in the nation by almost three seconds. Mizzou’s B squad took second in 3:14.84, while West Virginia took third in 3:15.82.
In the diving well, Utah’s Jake Crayne (344.80) took the 1-meter ahead of Mizzou’s David Bonuchi (336.25) and Utah’s Josiah Purss (330.40). Southern Illinois’ Cheri Zhang claimed the women’s 3-meter with 389.00 points, ahead of Mizzou’s Lauren Reedy (345.15) and Southern Illinois’ Esther Chen (302.05).
After the first day of racing, Arkansas leads the women’s meet with 262 points, followed by Missouri (261) and Utah (220). Missouri leads the men’s meet with 425.5 points, followed by Utah (312) and West Virginia (252.5).