Missouri swimming and diving bests Kansas at Border Showdown

The Tigers will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete against Arkansas and South Carolina on Friday.

Common procedure when extinguishing a fire is to dump water over the flames. Even with an abundance of chlorinated water on hand, the fire that was the Missouri women’s swimming and diving team never died down at the M&I Bank Border Showdown meet against Kansas.

While donning pink swim caps in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Tigers made sure they did not disappoint the cause, beating the Jayhawks 165-129.

Missouri filled the win column right off the bat with a first place finish in the 200 Medley relays. The team consisted of sophomores Rachel Ripley and Cassie Cunningham, along with freshman Alexis Spivak and junior Lisa Nathanson.

Two of the medley winners were strong in other events. Ripley placed first in the 100 Breast with a time of 1:04.75, and Nathanson came up with two first-place finishes in the 50 and 100 free.

Sophomore Dominique Bouchard and junior Stephanie Rovig both had record-setting performances for the Tigers. Bouchard claimed two records in the 100 back with a time of 55.83, ranking seventh all-time in the university’s history and in the 200 back, with a time of 1:59.87, which ranks her fourth all-time. When asked about her record-setting night, Bouchard said she didn't realize she had broken any records.

Rovig was the other top performer of the night, climbing the record books from fifth in the 1,000 Freestyle to third with a first place time of 10:00.34. Rovig said Missouri has never lost to Kansas at home, and did not want that to change under coach Greg Rhodenbaugh. The significance of the win definitely sent a message to Kansas, one that Rovig claims should send them back to the drawing boards.

“We wanted to set the boundary straight,” Rovig said. “Kansas, you can’t touch this anymore. We are that much further than you.”

Rovig and Bouchard weren’t the only ones with record-breaking nights. Francie Szostak finished with a time of 1:50.02 in the 200 Free, and that time stands as the sixth fastest in school history.

Although Rhodenbaugh downplayed the competition between Kansas and Missouri, he said he is getting used to the rivalry. Rhodenbaugh said the swimmers and divers succeeded due to the effort they put in behind closed doors and the competitive spirit of the rivalry.

“The girls swam great,” Rhodenbaugh said. “They were tired from getting beat up from the training and still stepped up, I guess they really enjoy racing against Kansas.”

Missouri travels to Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday to take on Arkansas and South Carolina in a non-conference meet.

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