Hopkin 21.19 in 50 Free as Sprinters Dazzle on Night 2 of Mizzou Invite

2019 MIZZOU INVITATIONAL

  • Wednesday-Friday, November 20th-22nd
  • Mizzou Aquatic Center, Columbia, MO
  • Short Course Yards
  • Live Results

The swimmers were on fire tonight in Columbia, with several school records going down from multiple programs, new #1 times in the country, and best times abound.

It was Anna Hopkin of Arkansas, though, who yet again out-shone the rest. She’s making her NCAA title run all the more appealing with big swims this fall, and tonight, she swam to a time of 21.19 in the 50 free final. That’s not far off of Abbey Weitzeil‘s NCAA record of 21.02, and she becomes the fourth-best performer of all time in the event. Her swim is also the seventh-best performance ever.

It’s a huge improvement for her. The 21.48 she posted this morning was her old best and she’s now .22 quicker than her fifth-place time of 21.51 at the 2019 NCAA season.

WOMEN’S 50 FREE ALL-TIME TOP PERFORMERS

  1. Abbey Weitzeil – 21.02
  2. Erika Brown – 21.15
  3. Simone Manuel – 21.17
  4. Anna Hopkin – 21.19
  5. Olivia Smoliga – 21.21
  6. Lara Jackson – 21.27

The session was off to an electric start as it was; the Mizzou women kicked their program record with a 1:27.39 in the 200 free relay, anchored by Sarah Thompson‘s 21.26 anchor. They had Haley Hynes lead off in 22.04, followed by nearly identical times from Megan Keil (22.04) and freshman Amy Feddersen (22.05). Their effort moves them up to the #1 time in the country. Arkansas smashed their school record with a 1:28.39 for second place, keying on a lights-out 20.89 split from Hopkin – read more about that swim here.

Mizzou’s Thompson, a junior, is having the best season of her life. She was second in the 50 free behind Hopkin with a 21.53, docking over two-tenths from the Mizzou record of 21.79 by Shara Stafford in 2012. Thompson had never broken 22 seconds in this event until this morning’s 21.81, and now she has a time that would’ve made the 50 free A final at NCAAs last season, where she was 29th in prelims (22.36) and didn’t make finals.

In the men’s 100 fly, Mizzou’s Micah Slaton posted a 45.91, a lifetime best and his first outing under 46 seconds. That’s two Tigers under 46 in the event today; this morning, Danny Kovac hit the country’s #1 time this season with a 45.81. Kovac and Slaton are now 1-2 in the NCAA rankings, and Kovac would add another #1 time with a school record 1:42.60 to win the 200 IM tonight. It’s a best for Kovac by five-tenths on the dot. His teammate Nick Alexander hit a 1:43.63, which moves him to #2 in the country this season.

Kovac split a 45.46 fly leg as Mizzou’s A 400 medley relay won in 3:06.48, also getting a 45.77 lead-off from Daniel Hein, a 52.16 breast leg from Nick Staver, and a 43.09 anchor from Giovanny Lima. Hein is now the nation’s leader in the 100 back. Their B relay also broke 3:10 with a 3:09.74, and they had a quicker back-half with Slaton (45.16) on fly and Jack Dahlgren (42.44) anchoring. Their A and B relays are the top two times in the country this year.

On the women’s side, the Tigers won in a nation-leading 3:33.56. Thompson ripped a lifetime best 51.45 in the lead-off backstroke leg, followed by freshman Molly Winer in breast (1:01.00), Hynes on fly (53.20), and Feddersen anchoring in 47.91 — Feddersen has never broken 49.1 in the 100 free individually. Arkansas was second in 3:35.34, with Hopkin unearthing a 46.21 anchor after going out in a 22.05 to the feet on the first 50.

Mizzou has been suiting up all season long, and they’re still producing great swims at this mid-season invite. Head Coach Andy Grevers says they aren’t as rested as much as they traditionally are at this meet.

“We’re a little bit less rested than we’ve traditionally been at this meet, and that’s by design. I believe we have the skills and talents to get the objectives done on a little bit less rest, and we’re seeing that already happen today. We have people just implementing their races, not trying to do anything superhuman, simply doing what they know. I’m thrilled about the three new school records today and really think we’re set up for a great meet. We just have to stick to our Zou Style and pick up where we left off tomorrow morning.”

Arkansas junior Peyton Palsha became the first Razorback to break 4:40 in the 500 free, clocking a 4:38.86 to dominate the event. The closest competitor behind her was Nebraska’s Autumn Haebig (4:44.03). Palsha’s time tonight was two seconds clear of what made NCAAs last season, and it also would’ve gotten her into the B final at NCAAs had she hit the same time in the 500 free prelims there. She now ranks second in the country behind only Virginia’s Paige Madden (4:38.67).

OTHER WINS/NOTABLE SWIMS

  • San Diego State’s Courtney Vincent broke 52 seconds in the 100 fly, winning the event in 51.86, a new best time and the #5 time this season nationally. She was 52.00 in prelims, which was better than her previous best coming into the meet, a 52.04 from the 2019 Mountain West Conference Championships. Missouri freshman Meredith Rees was second in 53.13, with Drury’s Bailee Nunn (53.14) and Arkansas’ Kobie Melton (53.15) right behind.
  • Vincent split 51.91 on SDSU’s third-place 400 medley relay (3:39.89), while Morganne McKennan had the best breast split in the field at 1:00.42.
  • The mid-major performances were impressive tonight, and they continued with Connor Stirling in the 50 free. The BYU sprinter won in 19.66, knocking off Mizzou post-grad Mikel Schreuders who went a 49-mid in the 100 meter free last night. Stirling really shocked in the 200 free relay, though, where he anchored BYU in an astounding 18.73. He came into the meet with a previous best of 19.82 from the 2019 Mountain West Conference Championships.
  • Mizzou’s Jack Dubois won the 500 free with a 4:18.14, just off his morning time of 4:17.89.
  • Amanda Smith of Mizzou was 1:59.28 in the 200 IM, edging BYU’s Katie McBratney (1:59.36) and Arkansas’ Vanessa Herrmann (1:59.39).
  • BYU’s Connor Stirling had an immense leg on their 200 free relay, anchoring them to a 1:18.66 with an 18.73. Stirling was also 42.53 anchoring BYU’s 400 medley relay. Mizzou won the 200 free relay in 1:18.14, with Kovac, Leach, Hein, and Grant Reed splitting between 19.4-19.6.

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JP input is too short

Mizzou needs Kovac on that free leg, I think.

Dude

Weitzeil’s 21.02 is freakin nuts

Bearsfan00

She’ll be under that barrier come March!

Ol' Longhorn

I pity the wall she finishes at.

Coach Mike 1952

LOL, especially after she inadvertently jammed her arm / elbow last year

Ol’ Longhorn

Exactly

DuboisLover3219

Sprinter Doooooooooooooooooobs

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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