2020 Mizzou Invite Day 1 Prelims Recap: Danny Kovac Nears Best Time in 200 IM

2020 Mizzou Invite

  • Thursday, November 19-Saturday, November 21
  • Teams: Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas (W)
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
  • Format: Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Prelims/Finals
  • Prelims @9AM Central, Finals @6PM Central
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2020 Mizzou Invitational”
  • Live Results

Arkansas’s Peyton Palsha opened thing up with a 4:40.95 in the women’s 500 freestyle in the first heats of the 2020 Mizzou Invite this morning in Columbia. Though Palsha was a little over 2 seconds off her lifetime best from the 2019 Mizzou Invite she nonetheless cut nearly 11 seconds off of her 2020 season best time, granted she seems to have only had one opportunity to swim the 500 in a sanctioned meet prior to this morning. Kentucky’s Beth McNeese finished 2nd in this morning’s prelims in 4:44.28, though her lifetime best from the 2020 SEC Championships is considerably quicker at 4:38.97, only 0.11 behind Palsha’s lifetime best, meaning the women’s 500 could be a close race in this evening’s finals. Kentucky freshman Kaylee Williams will go into finals seeded 3rd with a 4:46.59, within a second of her lifetime best from 2019 Winter Junior Nats – East. Mizzou’s Allison Bloebaum knocked almost a second off of her best time to take the 4th seed going into finals with a 4:47.10, marking her first PB in the 500 since 2017.

Mizzou’s Jack Dubois and Kentucky’s Hank Siefert kept it close the prelims of the men’s 500, but Dubois got to the wall first, touching 4:21.28 to Siefert’s 4:21.48. Both Dubois and Siefert have been sub-4:20 in the past, though Dubois holds the faster PB at 4:15.79 to Siefert’s 4:18.20. Dubois is about 3.4 seconds slower than his mid-season prelims swim in 2019 (4:17.89), whereas Siefert is nearly 3 seconds faster than his outing at the 2019 Ohio State Invite where he swam the 500 in prelims and the 400 LCM freestyle in finals.

Mizzou’s Jack Dahlgren qualified 3rd in 4:22.96, 6 seconds off his lifetime best from the 2019 NCAA Championships. Kentucky’s Zane Rosely, who qualified 6th, got under 4:30 for the first time with a 4:28.33.

It took a 2:00.12 just to make the ‘A’ final in the women’s 200 IM, and Kentucky’s Sophie Sorenson leads the way with a 1:58.42, a little less than 2 seconds off her PB but much improved over her mid-season time last year of 2:01.12. Arkansas’s Adela Vavrinova was nearly equal to Sorenson, touching in 1:58.43. Though Sorenson was more than a second ahead at the 150, Vavrinova reeled her in with a big freestyle leg but was just out-touched. For Vavrinova, this morning’s swim comes as a new lifetime best by 1.5 seconds and is a marked improvement from her 2019 mid-season time of 1:59.97, her previous PB. Mizzou’s Katrina Brathwaite qualified 3rd in 1:58.87, marking her first time under 2:00.

Swimming exhibition, Kentucky freshman Trinity Ward and Caitlin Brooks both showcased nice improvement on their lifetime bests. Ward touched in 2:02.22, taking a massive 4.03 off her previous PB set in 2017, while Brooks, who finished in 2:02.88, sliced 2.5 seconds from her 2017 lifetime best.

Mizzou dominated the men’s 200 IM, finishing 1st through 8th in prelims. Danny Kovac leads the men’s 200 IM with a 1:42.66, just 0.06 off his lifetime best from last year’s Mizzou Invite. Ben Patton qualified 2nd in 1:44.34, an improvement of 1.3 seconds from his PB from the 2020 SEC Championships and is significantly faster than the 1:45.81 he went at this meet in 2019. Mizzou’s Nick Alexander, now a post-grad, put up a 1:44.46 in prelims to finish 3rd, coming in a little more than 2 seconds off his best time.

Grant Reed improved his lifetime best by nearly 3 seconds this morning, qualifying 4th in 1:45.66. Kentucky’s top finisher in prelims was Mason Wilby in 1:48.95, nearly 3 seconds off his best time and the only Wildcat under 1:50 this morning.

Mizzou’s Sarah Thompson and Megan Keil were the only women under 22 in the women’s 50 free this morning, qualifying 1st and 2nd in 21.76 and 21.83, respectively. Thompson has been under 22 numerous times and has a best time of 21.53, though this is Keil’s first time to break the 22-second barrier. Emily Barclay qualified 3rd for Arkansas in 22.41, cutting over half a second from her previous PB set just earlier this fall.

Mizzou will occupy 7 of 8 lanes in the ‘A’ final of the men’s 50 free this evening, barring any scratches. Kevin Hammer is the top qualifier in 19.93, missing his PB by 0.25. Kyle Leach and Alex Moore also broke 20 seconds, coming in at 19.96 and 19.99, respectively. Leach was just off his lifetime best of 19.91 from this meet last year, while Moore was just 0.09 from his PB. Kentucky’s lone qualifier for the ‘A’ final, Max Berg, was 5th this morning in 20.14, just 0.10 from his PB.

Swimming exhibition for Mizzou, Jackson Kent dropped over half a second and broke the 21-second barrier for the first time, registering a 20.52 which, if scored, would have placed him 9th in the prelims.

Mizzou’s 200 freestyle relay(s) for both men and women will be loaded this evening, though all three teams will be able to pull in other swimmers that did not race the 50 individually to bolster their chances of winning, getting an NCAA automatic or provisional time, or ideally both.

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About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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