Anna Hopkin Blasts 21.19 in 50 Free at Missouri Invite; Tigers Swim 5 NCAA-Leading Times

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Anna Hopkin was off to a fast start at the Missouri Invite. Photo Courtesy: Arkansas Athletics

Arkansas sprinting sensation Anna Hopkin started the Missouri Invite in the fast lane, clocking a stunning 21.19 to win the 50-yard freestyle.

It is the fastest time in the NCAA this season.

Additionally, Hopkin, a Britain and England international, made the NCAA “A” cut for the 50 free and 100 fly, broke the pool record and broke the school record. The junior rallied for the 50 free Final A cut finishing with a time of 21.19.

“A new school record in the 100 fly this morning and then tonight a new school record in the 50 free.” Arkansas coach Neil Harper said. “She was phenomenal- NCAA automatic qualifying time and fastest time in the country. It was fun for everyone.”

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Peyton Palsha’s 500 free time in the preliminary of session one, qualified her for the Final A cut this evening. The sophomore shaved almost three seconds off her time from this morning in the Final A cut, finishing in first with a time of 4:38.86, breaking the school record and earning NCAA “B” CUT.

Meanwhile, the Missouri men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams set three school records, recorded five nation-leading times and posted two NCAA A cuts at the Missouri Invite.

Junior Sarah Thompson (Collierville, Tenn.), sophomore Danny Kovac (Fort Collins, Colo.) and the women’s 200 free relay all notched school records on Wednesday, while Thompson and the relay also earned NCAA ‘A’ cuts. Thompson claimed her marks in the 50 free, while Kovac broke Mizzou’s 200 IM record.

The Tigers opened finals in impressive fashion, as the women’s 200 free relay set a school record, notched an NCAA A cut and posted the fastest time in the nation. The foursome of senior Haley Hynes (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), sophomore Megan Keil (Derby, Kan.), freshman Amy Feddersen (Ames, Iowa) and Thompson dropped a 1:27.39, over a second faster than the NCAA automatic qualifying time.

Thompson erupted for a 21.53 in the 50 free to claim her own school mark and A cut. The junior, who entered the meet with a personal best of 22.13, shattered the Tigers’ old record of 21.79, set by Shara Stafford in 2012.

Also notching a Mizzou record was Kovac, who swam a 1:42.60 in the 200 IM final to also record the fastest time in the nation, bettering his prelims nation-leading time of 1:46.18. Additionally, he notched the nation’s top time in the 100 fly in morning preliminary action after a swim of 45.81.

“We’re a little bit less rested than we’ve traditionally been at this meet, and that’s by design,” Missouri coach Andrew Grevers said. “I believe we have the skills and talents to get the objectives done on a little bit less rest, and we’re seeing that already happen today. We have people just implementing their races, not trying to do anything superhuman, simply doing what they know. I’m thrilled about the three new school records today and really think we’re set up for a great meet. We just have to stick to our Zou Style and pick up where we left off tomorrow morning.”

Two other Tigers, sophomore Jack Dubois (Alpharetta, Ga.) and senior Daniel Hein (Sycamore, Ill.), claimed nation-leading times as well. Dubois, who won the 500 free, went 4:17.89 in prelims for his top time, while Hein swam a 45.77 100 back split in the 400 medley relay to move atop the rankings.

Other individual Mizzou winners during day one of the Missouri invite included freshman Carlo Lopez (Edmonton, Alberta) on 1-meter, senior Micah Slaton (Austin, Texas) in the 100 fly and junior Amanda Smith (Dry Ridge, Ky.) in the 200 IM. Slaton’s 100 fly finals time of 45.91 was good enough to rank second nationally behind Kovac’s swim.