2021 Missouri Valley Conference Championships
- April 14-17, 2021
- Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium, Carbondale, IL
- SCY (25 yards)
- Championship Central
- Live Results on MeetMobile
- Day 1 Results
TEAM SCORES (THROUGH DAY 1)
- Missouri State – 306
- Southern Illinois – 177
- Illinois State – 139
- Northern Iowa – 122
- Indiana State – 116
- Arkansas, Little Rock – 95
- Evansville – 93
- Valparaiso – 44
4-time defending MVC champions Missouri State have opened up a huge lead through the first day of this year’s conference championship. The Bears won both relays on day 1, and picked up 3 individual wins as well. Additionally, there were 32 A finals spots up for grabs in the 4 individual events today, and MSU picked up 13 of them, which showcases the importance of swimming fast in prelims sessions.
There was plenty of history made on the first day of these championships, including 2 MVC Records and 3 SIU pool records. One such record-breaking event was the 400 medley relay, where Missouri State posted a 3:38.89, touching first by well over 4 seconds and breaking the conference record of 3:39.13, which was held by MSU from 2017. Liberty Howell led the relay off in 55.57, and was followed by Yuliya Zubina in 1:01.35, then Sami Roemer with a 53.83 on fly, and Anna Miller with a 48.14 anchor leg. The swim also broke the Missouri State school record, and the SIU pool record.
The other record-shattering swim was the 50 free, where Missouri State senior Anna Miller broke the MVC record, MSU school record, and pool twice today. It started in prelims, where Miller sped to a new personal best of 22.39, marking all new records. She wasn’t done there, however, as she came back in finals to win the event in 22.29, breaking all the records again. Miller also successfully defended her title in the event, taking the event for a 2nd-straight year,
There was one more pool record broken tonight, which occurred in the 200 free relay, the first event of the finals session. Missouri State posted a 1:32.02 in the race, besting the field by over a second. Anna Miller was also a member of this relay, meaning she tallied up 3 gold medals on the first day of the meet. Yuliya Zubina led the team off in 23.69, Ulyana Zubina went 2nd in 23.25, Jordan Wenner posted a 23.30 on the 3rd leg, and Miller anchored with a blistering 21.78. One more note on Anna Miller: with the 3 gold medals tonight, Miller now has 16 MVC titles to her name over her MSU career, with an opportunity to add 4 more through the rest of the meet.
Another Missouri State senior, Liberty Howell, made it a perfect 4-for-4 in the 500 free. Tonight, Howell swam a 4:44.47, marking the fastest of her MVC title-winning times by far. Howell swam a 4:48.14 to win in 2018, 4:50.92 in 2019, and 4:48.35 in 2020, so this swim stands out significantly. Notably, her lifetime best time was the 4:48.14 from the 2018 championships, so the swim also marked a breakthrough for the senior in her final MVC Championships. She nearly broke the MVC record in the event, which is 4:44.41, and is held by MSU alum Dora Kiss. Howell’s time will still stand as the #2 in conference history. Liberty Howell now has 18 total MVC titles to her name.
The 500 free was also a huge event for Missouri State as a team, as they posted a 1-2-3-4 finish in the race. A trio of sophomores took the 3 spots after Howell, led by Vera Margula, who took 2nd with a 4:51.21. Grace Beahan came in 3rd with a 4:55.08, and Sam Hietpas finished 4th with a 4:57.37. This signifies that even though this is Howell’s last time around the block in the event, the Bears are still in great position in the event heading forward.
Southern Illinois freshman Miroslava Zaborska picked up the Saluki’s first title of the meet, winning the 200 IM with a 2:02.36. Zaborska got it done at the finish, edging out two Missouri State swimmers, Sami Roemer (2:02.43) and Sydney Radloff (2:02.74). It was Radloff who took the early lead, splitting 56.92 on the first 100, compared to 57.21 from Roemer, and 58.77 from Zaborska. It was breaststroke where Zaborska established herself, splitting 33.42, while Roemer was 35.44, and Radloff was 35.74. Zaborska went from well behind at the 100, to leading by about half a second at the 150. She then held on to win, holding off a late charge by Roemer.