Dec. 8, 2008

Courtesy of Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A memorable weekend in Missouri swimming and diving history was capped off by two Tiger team victories Sunday night, closing the first ever Mizzou Invitational. The Tiger women scored 1279 points to beat out the second place Iowa Hawkeyes, who had 927 points. The men's side was a little closer, with Mizzou edging out Iowa 921-880.5.

The three-day event was one to remember for the Tigers, as the team broke seven school records and set a total of 48 new top-10 times and scores.

The evening session kicked off with the men's and women's 1650 freestyle. On the women's side, three Tigers finished in the top five, with junior Colleen Gordon taking first in dominating fashion, finishing in 16:40.14. Freshman Stephanie Rovig took fourth, touching at 17:12.48, while senior Carly Sullivan's time of 17:33.82 earned her fifth. For the men, sophomore Spenser Lauver set the fifth-best time in school history while taking third in the race with a time of 15:41.07.

In the men's 200 back, freshman Jan Konarzewski earned a runner-up spot after a tight race, closing with time of 1:48.89.

The Tiger women finished 1-2 in the 100 free, with senior Lori Halvorson taking another gold on the weekend, racing in 50.17. In the preliminaries, Halvorson broke the school record in the event with a time of 50.10. Fellow senior Lauren Cox claimed second with the fourth-best 100 free time ever at MU, finishing at 50.45. In the men's 100 free, sophomore Jordan Hawley won his second event of the weekend and fifth on the year with a time of 44.47.

Mizzou's women finished 1-2-3 in the 200 breast, with two of the swimmers earning top-10 times in the event. Freshman Kayla Durnil scored her first-ever collegiate victory by posting the third-fastest 200-breast time ever at 2:16.91. Senior Erin Yeager's time of 2:19.44 earned her runner-up honors as she barely edged out sophomore teammate Morgan McCleery's time of 2:19.77, the eighth-best at Mizzou.

In the men's portion of the race, senior Ted Harris finished second and recorded the fourth-best time in the event after finishing with a time of 2:01.00.

Missouri got another 1-2 finish in the women's 200 butterfly. Senior Jill Granger improved on her fourth-best time in school history, finishing at 2:01.33 while taking gold. Sophomore Melissa Jamerson, the school record holder in the event finished in second with a time of 2:02.41. Sophomore Anastasia Sotiropoulos, junior Molly Bollen and senior Coralie Baumann finished 5-6-7 in the finals.

Senior Gilad Kaufman posted a runner-up finish in the 200 fly, just barely missing the school record with a time of 1:47.94.

Both diving teams shined, as the Tigers took to the 10-meter platform for the first time on the 2008-09 season. On the women's side, senior Kendra Melnychuk broke the school record in the event with a score of 293.70. Freshman Christina Gailey matched her best finish ever over the course of her young career, as she finished third with the second-highest total on the platform ever at Mizzou with 234.45 points. Sophomore Keely Brooks scored the fifth-most points ever at MU in the event, taking fifth place with 201.75 points.

The men's divers recorded an impressive 1-2 finish on the tower, with junior Greg DeStephen scored the second-most points ever on the platform while recording his second gold of the weekend with a total of 363.70. Sophomore Dante Jones finished second with 310.25 points.

The night closed with the men's and women's 400 free relay, with both teams fittingly breaking their respective school records. The men's team of Hawley, redshirt sophomore Cameron Sellers, senior Bryan Difford and Kaufman battled back and forth with a tough Iowa squad before ultimately being out-touched, completing the race in 2:59.38.

The women's team of Halvorson, Cox, freshman Lisa Nathanson and senior Allie Bennett outraced Iowa's team for first place, swimming in 3:22.94, rewriting the record books one last time.

The 2008-portion of the schedule is now complete for the Tigers, who will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009. The men will take on the Kentucky Wildcats, while the women will take on both Kentucky and the Arkansas Razorbacks in dual action.

Check back into tomorrow for a complete review of every new Missouri top time accomplished over the course of this historic weekend.

Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 326

1.    University of Missouri 1279

2.    University of Iowa 927

3.    Drury University 687

4.    Southern Illinois University 388

5.    University of Arkansas 103

6.    University of Kansas 96

Men - Team Rankings - Through Event 326

1.    University of Missouri 921

2.    University of Iowa 880.5

3.    Missouri State University 672

4.    Missouri S&T 514

5.    Drury University 393.5

6.    Southern Illinois University 37