2021 MVC Champs Day 2: MSU’s Liberty Howell Wins Record 11th Individual Title

2021 MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

TEAM SCORES (THROUGH DAY 2)

  1. Missouri State – 618.5
  2. Southern Illinois – 363.5
  3. Indiana State – 322.5
  4. Illinois State – 282
  5. Northern Iowa – 224
  6. Arkansas, Little Rock – 223
  7. Evansville – 210.5
  8. Valparaiso – 95

Missouri State is well on their way to a 5th-straight MVC team title, having opened up a 255 point lead over Southern Illinois with one day left in the meet. Southern Illinois will attempt to hold off Indiana State, who surged from 5th to 3rd on day 2.

More SIU pool and MVC records fell on day 2. Missouri State senior Liberty Howell made history on night 2, winning the 200 free with a 1:46.72 to take her 4th 200 free MVC title. The win makes Howell only the 4th swimmer in MVC history to sweep 2 events at MVCs during her career. She’s now gone 4-for-4 in both the 500 free and 200 free, joining the ranks of fellow Bears Anna Ahlin (100/200 back) and Dora Kiss (500 free/200 fly), plus Brooke Radostits from SIU (100/200 back) in sweeping 2 events at MVCs. The history doesn’t end there, however, as the title marks Howell’s 11th individual MVC title of her career, making her the most decorated swimmer in Missouri State and MVC history. 1:46.72 also marks a new SIU pool record, Missouri State school record, and MVC record. Additionally, Howell will have a chance at achieving a perfect MVC Champs career on day 3, since if she wins the 1650 free on day 3, she will have gone 12-for-12 in individual events over her career.

Fellow Missouri State senior, Anna Miller, defended a 2020 title in a 2nd race at these championships. Miller took the 100 fly with a 53.62, edging out the MVC record of 53.65, which was held by Missouri State alum Sydney Zupan from the 2018 champs. The swim was 0.35 seconds faster than Miller swam to win the title last year, and also took down the pool record and Missouri State team record. With this win, Miller now has won 7 individual MVC titles in her career, and will have a chance to win an 8th in the 100 free on day 3. If Miller does in fact win the 100 free this year, it will be her 2nd year in a row of winning 3 events at MVCs.

Southern Illinois freshman Miroslava Zaborska made a splash, taking the 100 breast with a 1:01.15. The swim represents SIU’s 2nd title of the meet, plus was a SIU pool record, SIU team record, and MVC record. Zaborska won the race on the 2nd 50, out-splitting Missouri State’s Yuliya Zubina 31.86 to 32.50 coming home. Zubina, a sophomore, finished 2nd in 1:01.36, meaning MVC swimming fans can look forward to a few more years of good racing between Zaborska and Zubina.

SIU then picked up the next event, the 100 back, as well. Sophomore Lucia Romero Endolz defended her title in the 100 back, swimming a 54.65 to touch as the only swimmer in the field under 55 seconds. The swim was well off Romero’s winning time of 53.41 from last year, but was still good for the win, and is important in Southern Illinois’ endeavor to hold on to 2nd place in the meet.

The other individual event of day 2 was the 400 IM, where Missouri State junior Sydney Radloff pulled away from the field, touching in 4:20.31. She touched over 6 seconds ahead of the field, picking up her first MVC title of her career. Radloff posted the fastest fly, back, and breast splits in the field.

Missouri State also swept the relays on day 2, making them 4-for-4 on the meet. Kellie Fischer, Yuliya Zubina, Ulyana Zubina, and Anna Miller combined for a 1:40.03 in the 200 medley relay, marking the 2nd-fastest time in MVC history. Miller was hauling again on this relay, just as she did on the 200 free relay on day 1, splitting 21.66. Sydney Radloff, Anna Lucas, Sami Roemer, and Liberty Howell teamed up to win the 800 free relay in 7:25.89. The win marked MSU’s 4th-consecutive title in the event.

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