Missouri swimmers save their best for last at Mizzou NCAA qualifier

At the final regular season of the season, Missouri swim and dive hoped to score some last-minute qualifications for the upcoming NCAA championships.
Maneater File Photo

A sense of urgency filled the Mizzou Aquatic Center’s pools on Saturday and Sunday as some members of the Missouri swimming and diving teams faced one final chance to qualify for the NCAA championships.

The lively environment that has been commonplace at Mizzou home meets throughout the season was replaced by a more subdued crowd and many empty pool lanes.

The difference separating this meet from all others on the regular season schedule is that Mizzou was not competing against other schools. Rather, it was competing solely against the clock.

Many Tigers thrived in their final swims of the season, as both personal and season bests were achieved.

The Mizzou underclassmen were the big story of the weekend, as freshmen Lauren Savoy and Sarah Thompson and sophomores Daniel Hein and Nick Alexander all broke personal or season records.

Savoy swam a 2:10.19 in the 200-yard breaststroke time trial to break a personal record and increase her chance of an NCAA qualification, while Thompson finished her 50-yard freestyle time trial in 22.30, a personal best and fast enough for fourth all-time in school history.

On the men’s side, Hein posted a season best in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 46.03 in Saturday night’s final heats, and Alexander swam a 1:41.17 in the 200-yard backstroke final heats.

Additionally, junior Jordan O’Brien swam a 52.82 in the 100-yard breaststroke to score a personal best time. O’Brien dropped his previous best swim from last week’s Southeastern Conference championships by 0.14 seconds.

The team must now wait for the release of the NCAA championships selections on Feb. 28 for the women and March 7 for the men.

The NCAA championships take place March 14-17 in Columbus, Ohio, for the women and March 21-24 in Minneapolis for the men.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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