2021 MIZZOU INVITE
The home team had a phenomenal preliminary session on Thursday at the 2021 Mizzou Invite, as the Tigers grabbed seven of the 10 available top seeds while a pair of their men’s swimmers put up nation-leading times.
Mizzou senior Jack Dahlgren, who was the runner-up in last night’s 50 free in a best time of 19.48, dropped a time of 1:33.55 in the men’s 200 free prelims to take over the top spot in the 2021-22 NCAA rankings, moving past Michigan’s Jake Mitchell (1:34.16).
Dahlgren, who set a lifetime best of 1:32.80 at the 2021 NCAAs, led a 1-2-3-4 finish for the Tigers in the prelims, with teammate Calvin Windle sitting second, almost four seconds back in 1:37.22.
The other NCAA-leading performance of the morning came from Mizzou junior Ben Patton, who popped off a blistering 51.50 in the men’s 100 breaststroke.
Patton chops three-tenths off his previous best time of 51.80, set at the 2020 Mizzou Invite, while taking over the top time in the country with a bullet, surpassing Michigan’s Will Chan (52.14). USC’s Trent Pellini hit a time of 51.63 at the Art Adamson prelims this morning, just off of Patton’s performance.
On last night’s 400 medley relay, Patton was slightly slower despite having a flying takeover (51.63).
Mizzou will have five of the eight ‘A’ finalists in tonight’s men’s 100 breast, including the top four seeds. Ty Spillane qualified second behind Patton in 52.38.
Missouri’s Meredith Rees was the lone woman to crack 54 seconds in the 100 fly prelims, clocking 53.98, while Nebraska’s Alexa Kucera (54.31) and Milica Opacic (54.97) sit second and third. Rees set a best of 52.94 at the 2021 SECs.
Later in the session, Rees (52.58) qualified second behind teammate Sarah Thompson (52.43) in the women’s 100 backstroke.
In the men’s 100 fly it was Danny Kovac leading the way for Mizzou in 45.89, just off his season-best from the SMU Classic (45.77). Kovac was fifth at the 2021 NCAAs in a best time of 44.66.
CBU got a pair of top qualifiers in Patricia Van Law in the women’s 400 IM (4:17.71) and Jacob Leahy in the men’s 100 back (47.49). Dahlgren notably swam the 100 back as exhibition in 46.51, less than half a second off his best (46.02).
Missouri’s Jack Dubois, who won the 500 free last night, easily paced the men’s 400 IM in 3:48.39 as the Tigers had the four-fastest qualifiers.
Reigning women’s 200 free Big Ten champion Autumn Haebig of Nebraska qualified first in that event in a time of 1:46.94, nearly three seconds faster than she was two weeks ago in a dual against Kansas. Haebig is coming off of a victory in the 500 free last night in 4:44.04.
Kayla Jones led a 1-2-3 showing for the Mizzou women in the 100 breast, coming within four-tenths of her lifetime best in 1:01.58.
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