Mizzou Women Cruise Past Indiana in Season Opener, 150-93; Men Fall, 141-102

COLUMBIA, Missouri, October 12. THE Missouri women's swimming and diving team opened the 2007-08 season on a high note as they unleashed for an impressive 150-93 victory over a tough Indiana squad. The Tiger men fell to the Hoosiers by a score of 141-102.

"On the women's side we came in with high hopes and expected to give Indiana a good run," said Missouri Head Coach Brian Hoffer. "From the get-go we were very passionate and had a lot of energy. The women did a great job in what was one of the most fun meets I have had the chance to coach."

Seniors Taye Patterson, Jill Bastien and Arica Jacinto teamed up with junior captain Lori Halvorson to set the tone for the afternoon by clinching a big win in the 400 medley relay in a time of 3:48.21. This was just the beginning of a golden afternoon for Halvorson, who would go on to capture wins in the 100 (51.50) and 200 free (1:50.72).

Two other Tigers followed suit with a pair of individual wins of their own. Sophomore standout Colleen Gordon earned top honors in the 500 free after clocking a 4:55.20 and returned to the pool several events later for a victory in the 200 IM (2:04.14). Freshman Lauren Lavigna showed no signs of nerves in her Mizzou debut, swimming to wins in the 1000 free (10:11.40) and 200 back (2:02.42).

Fellow newcomer Francie Szostak got on the board for the Tigers as well, touching in third in both the 200 (1:51.37) and 500 free (4:58.24). Szostak could also seen in relay action today, combining with junior Lauren Cox, Gordon and Patterson for a win in the 400 free relay in a time of 3:27.82. The team's triumphant relay tandem included Tigers from four different classes.

In addition to her relay effort, Cox claimed an early win in the 50 free in a time of 24.08 and added a runner-up effort in the 100 free (51.89).

The Tigers continued to impress in the diving well. Junior diver Kendra Melnychuk joined in the fun as she won the 3-meter diving competition and took runner-up honors on the 1-meter board.

Overall, the Mizzou women took 10 of 13 events against a Hoosier squad that won the Big Ten Conference title this past season.

On the men's side, sophomore sensation Martin Cernansky stole the headlines for the Tigers as he captured the win in the 200 breast in a time of 2:01.89 and came in second in the 200 IM (1:53.47).

Sophomore Dylan Lynn chipped in a win of his own in the 200 free, which he won in a time of 1:39.65. Lynn narrowly missed a second gold later in the 500 free, a race he lost by just seven hundredths of a second.

Local product and Tiger newcomer Dante Jones was also in action for Mizzou. The freshman earned his stripes with a first-place score in the 1-meter diving competition.

"Overall on depth we did a tremendous job and the men managed to get a couple wins," said Hoffer. "I am very pleased with Martin Cernansky and Dylan Lynn's efforts on the afternoon."

The Tigers will be right back in action Saturday when they host the third annual Show Me Showdown at the Mizzou Aquatics Center. The event's first session gets underway at 11 a.m. with the second session set to begin at 3 p.m.

Special thanks to Missouri athletics for contributing this story.

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