Mizzou swim and dive places second overall at Saluki Invite
The Tigers earned several wins over nonconference opponents but continued to struggle in SEC play.
Nov. 06, 2017
Missouri swim and dive hit the road for the first time this season to compete in the Saluki Invite at Southern Illinois University from Nov. 3-4. The meet generated mixed results for Mizzou, as the men’s squad defeated Southern Illinois 284-68 and Northwestern 279-68 but suffered a loss to the only other SEC team at the dual meet, Kentucky, with a score of 213-140.
The women’s team earned its first win of the season over Southern Illinois 253-100 but dropped yet another close SEC matchup, this time losing 187.5-165.5 to Kentucky.
The results from this weekend fit the narrative that has built up around both teams this season. Thus far, the Tigers have been able to take care of the teams they are supposed to but have failed to rise to the occasion against stronger opponents, particularly their SEC foes. After the weekend, the two teams are a combined 1-4 in SEC competition, with several close losses coming in those contests.
Head coach Greg Rhodenbaugh commended his team for its effort on both days of the event but still sees inconsistency as a problem.
"Overall, we were better in some places as we've been all season but worse in other places,” Rhodenbaugh said in a press release. “It was a mixed bag.”
Despite Mizzou’s talent not coming through in Carbondale, Illinois, there were standout individual performances on both Friday and Saturday.
Mizzou senior Sharli Brady kicked off the action Friday night, winning both the 200-yard individual medley (2:02.43) and the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.83). The senior led the Tigers to a total of seven event wins on the day.
Junior Annie Ochitwa added another individual win for the Mizzou women in the 100-yard freestyle, with a time of 50.89.
In men’s swimming, Mizzou sophomore Giovanny Lima continued his dominance in long-distance events, scoring the lone individual win for the men on the day in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:26.97.
Mizzou dominated Friday in relay events, winning the 200-yard freestyle relay on both the men’s and women’s side and the men’s 400-yard medley relay.
By the end of the night, the men’s team had commanding leads over Southern Illinois, 120-28, and Northwestern, 116-32, and trailed closely behind Kentucky 83-65. The women’s team was well on its way to defeating Southern Illinois, leading 112-36, and remained within striking distance against Kentucky, trailing 85.5-62.5.
The Saluki Invite resumed on Saturday morning, with Brady and Lima each earning individual wins in the 400-yard individual medley (4:18.97) and the 200-yard freestyle (1:36.60), respectively, to add to their stellar performances on Friday.
However, it was Ochitwa who stole the show, winning both the 50-yard freestyle (23.56) and the 100-yard butterfly (55.69) to lead Mizzou. Along with Brady, Ochitwa totaled three individual wins at the meet overall.
Other strong individual performances came from sophomore Daniel Hein, who competed in the 100-yard backstroke (49.02), and sophomore Micah Slaton, who competed in the 100-yard butterfly (48.56). Hein continued his great form in the 100 back, winning the event in both regular season meets this season.
In diving, senior Kendra Kieser won the lone event for Mizzou diving at the meet, winning the 1-meter with a score of 284.70.
Mizzou swim and dive is back in action at Mizzou Aquatic Center for the Mizzou Invite from Nov. 16-18. The three-day event will begin at 10 a.m. each day with preliminary heats and continue at 6 p.m. for final heats.
Edited by Eli Lederman | firstname.lastname@example.org