Mizzou swimming finishes Wednesday in fifth at SECs

Florida swimmer Caeleb Dressel set an American record in the 50-yard men’s freestyle in the MizzouRec pool.
The Missouri men's team (second from the right) competes in the 200-yard freestyle relay Feb. 17 in the Mizzou Aquatic Center during the SEC championships.

The Missouri men’s and women’s swimming teams are in fifth place at Southeastern Conference Championships after the second day of the meet Wednesday at MizzouRec.

Junior Michael Chadwick placed third in the men’s 50-yard freestyle final with a time of 19.23. He said he felt an edge getting to swim in his home pool.

“It was a really good day,” Chadwick said. “Third is awesome. I’m really happy with that.”

Florida swimmer Caeleb Dressel won the event with a time of 18.23 seconds, breaking the American record he set in the preliminaries that morning.

“It was a fight for second,” Chadwick said. “(Dressel) is doing great, so anywhere I can get close to him would be awesome. It’s cool seeing Caeleb go that fast in our pool. Now we have the fastest pool record in the world.”

Chadwick said his goal going forward is to break 19 seconds.

“I think I’ll definitely be faster at NCAAs,” he said.

Senior Clark Thomas, competing at his final SEC Championships, claimed second and a school record in the 1-meter diving event. He said a mindset adjustment was essential to his victory.

“I was a little too outcome-oriented yesterday,” Thomas said. “My mind was focused a little too much on placement. So I came into this final today trying to think more about enjoying my buddies. These are guys I’ve been diving with since I was 10 years old. We just really wanted to approach this final in a way that I can end it on a high note and have a lot of fun.”

Junior Katharine Ross’ seventh-place finish in the women’s 200-yard individual medley secured her a spot as a first-team all-SEC swimmer. After today, she has Missouri’s second-fastest time in the event, 1:56.60.

“I wasn’t expecting to make it into top eight,” Ross said. “I was really just hoping to make it into top 16 and do my best and have fun. That was just an exciting accomplishment. That was a really good swim for me, and I think I’m getting out of the mentality that you need to be rested to swim fast. I really want to be able to go into NCAAs and not get in my own head about rest and taper and things like that.”

The No. 13 men’s team finished the 200-yard freestyle relay fourth. The No. 21 women’s team finished their relay fifth.

Junior Nick Davis placed 15th in the men’s 500-yard freestyle. Junior Nadine Laemmler placed 16th in the women’s 200-yard individual medley.

In the men’s 200-yard individual medley, senior Daniel Graviss got 17th, freshman Alex Walton got 19th, and junior Eddie Mapel got 21st.

Junior Anna Patterson tied for ninth in the women’s 50-yard freestyle. In the same event, freshman Maddie Gehrke placed 17th, sophomore Hannah Stevens placed 18th, and sophomore Rachel Hayden placed 21st.

In the men’s 50-yard freestyle, senior Matthew Margritier finished 19th and junior Christian Aragona placed 21st.

Chadwick said he thinks Missouri has momentum, and he hopes to see his teammates break some of his pool records.

“I think we’re now starting to pick up some steam,” Chadwick said. “I’m really excited to watch everyone else swim this week.”

The championships continue Thursday with the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle and women’s 3-meter diving competition.

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