Tennessee vs. Missouri
- January 7, 2023
- SCY (25 yards)
- Mizzou Aquatic Center, Columbia, Missouri
- Full Results Under “Mizzou vs. Tennessee” on MeetMobile
On Saturday, Tennessee opened its 2023 in Columbia with a SEC dual meet against Missouri. Since they split their squad between this meet and a tri-meet against Virginia Tech and Queens, only a portion of the Vols’ squad was present here versus Mizzou. Tennessee swept Missouri, with the women winning 181-116 and the men winning 175-125.
Neither team was wearing tech suits.
The biggest highlight of the meet was, of course, Tennessee sprint star Jordan Crooks. He continued on his momentum from winning 50 free gold at the 2022 Short Course World Championships, and put up four strong performances at this dual. First was the 200 medley relay, which Harrison Lierz (22.18), Michael Houlie (23.71), Crooks (19.97), and Gui Caribe (19.30) won in a time of 1:25.16. Crooks’ 19.97 fly split was notable, as it was just 0.1 seconds slower than his 19.87 split from midseason invites. In addition, it was also substantially faster than the 20.15 he split at NCAAs. Crooks is one of four swimmer to split a sub-20 fly this season, with the other three being Max McCusker, Youssef Ramadan, and Alex Quach. Crooks was the only one to go sub-20 at a non-invite meet.
The fastest backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay was actually posted by Missouri’s Eric Storms, who led off in 21.88 and helped the team of Ben Patton (24.53), Clement Secchi (20.81), and Jack Dahlgren (19.53) finish second in a time of 1:26.75.
Crooks then went onto race the 100 back, where he won in a time of 46.09. He was just over half a second off his best time of 45.59, which was set at midseason invites. The 100 back remains an off event for him, considering that he’s likely to opt for the 100 fly at NCAAs, but his time is still the third-fastest dual meet time from this season—with only Kacper Stokowski (45.71) and Carson Foster (45.82) having been faster (and Foster was wearing a tech suit).
In the 100 fly, Crooks beat out Missouri star Secchi by just over a second, clocking a 45.42. His best time remains a 44.79, which is the fastest NCAA time in the country, but his dual meet swim was faster than the 45.54 he swam to finish 26th at NCAAs. His swim yesterday was the fastest unsuited dual meet time in the country. Secchi finished second with a time of 46.67, a few tenths off his personal best of 46.11.
To close off the meet, Caribe (42.89), Bjoern Kammann (44.75), Aleksey Tarsenko (44.38), and Crooks (41.61) put up a time of 2:53.63 in the 400 free relay. They won by over two seconds, but they didn’t score any points because they raced exhibition. Crooks’ split was just the second sub-42 unsuited relay split done this year, with the first one being Caribe’s 41.96 anchor against NC State in October.
While Crooks took care of the stroke events, his co-star, Caribe, won the sprint freestyles. In the 50 free, he swam a 19.53, being the only one in the field sub-20 seconds. He was also dominant in the 100 free, swimming a 43.00 and winning by over two seconds.
The Tennessee men showed incredible depth in several of their events, going 1-2-3-4 in the 50 free and 500 free, as well as 1-2-3 in the 100 breast. However, Missouri did pick up some wins of their own. Secchi won the 200 free in a time of 1:37.13, which was just off his best time of 1:36.88 from the SMU invite. Dahlgren won the 200 back, his speciality event, by three seconds with a time of 1:43.46. And finally, Ben Patton was the only swimmer sub-1:50 in the 200 IM, going 1:49.01.
Diver Carlo Lopez also took two wins for Missouri, winning the one-meter with 309.90 points and the three-meter with 351.38 points.
Other Event Winners:
- 500 free: Joaquin Vargas, Tennessee — 4:27.10
- 1000 free: Rafael Ponce de Leon, Tennessee — 9:15.32
- 100 breast: Jarel Dillard, Tennessee — 53.29
- 200 breast: Lyubomir Epitropov, Tennessee — 1:57.65
- 200 fly: Martin Espernberger, Tennessee — 1:46.84
The Tennessee women were dominant against Missouri, placing first in every single swimming event. But arguably the most positive takeaway from this meet is that many of the Vols’ stars who were missing from midseason invites were back competing at this meet. One of those stars is Jasmine Rumley, a 21.81/.48.49 50/100 freestyler that missed the entire fall semester. She made her season debut by finishing fourth in the 50 free (23.53), three-tenths back from winner Mona McSharry (23.26). Josephine Fuller (25.21), McSharry (27.13), Brooklyn Douthwright (24.70), and Rumley (22.87) also won the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:39.91, which means that Tennessee potentially has confidence in Rumley to be a relay contributor even after her absence.
Another swimmer that made a return after missing invites was 2022 SEC Champion Kristen Stege. She finished sixth in the 500 free (5:08.34) and second in the 1000 free (10:06.22). The 500 free was won by her teammate Lauren Wetherell (4:52.93), whereas Kate McCarville won the 1000 free (1o:00.35). McCarville was slightly off her season best of 9:59.23, which was swam leading off the 1650 free at midseason invites.
Swimmers that remain missing from Tennessee include Julia Mrozinski, Regan Rathwell, and Ellen Walshe, who spent her first semester in Ireland. Mrozinski confirmed to SwimSwam that she would return to Tennessee next week.
Overall, the Vol women were led by their three triple winners: Douthwright, McSharry, and Fuller.
Fuller continued her momentum from midseason invites, where she became the nation’s second-fastest performer in the 200 back (1:50.12) and the eighth-fastest performer in the 200 IM (1:55.54), and won the 100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM. Her most impressive swim came in the 200 back, where she swam a 1:55.31 and won by over three seconds. That time is just two-tenths off her dual meet best from this year, which is a 1:55.13 from the Florida-Tennessee meet. She also clocked a 53.88 to in the 100 back, and a 2:00.59 to win by over three seconds in the 200 IM (although she was racing as exhibition in that event). In all three of Fuller’s races, Missouri’s Meredith Rees placed second.
McSharry swept the breaststroke events, clocking a 1:00.78 in the 100 breast and a 2:14.40 in the 200 breast alongside her victory in the 50 free. Her 100 breast time was her fastest this season in a dual meet, beating out her 1:00.51 against NC State.
In the 100 and 200 free, it was Douthwright who claimed victory. She was the only swimmer under 50 seconds in the 100 free, touching the wall first in a 49.80. She won the 200 free with a 1:48.39, over a second faster than her teammate Julia Burroughs. Douthwright is coming off of a breakout invite meet, where she posted the NCAA’s third-fastest time in the 200 free (1:43.60).
To close off the meet, Burroughs (50.77), Douthwright (50.17), Abby Samansky (51.47), and Amber Myers (50.50) won the 400 free relay in a time of 3:22.91, but they were counted as exhibition racers.
Like the men, the Tennessee women saw depth all-around, going 1-2-3 in the 100 free and 1-2-3-4 in the 1000 free.
Mizzou excelled in diving, as Kamryn Wong won the one-meter with 270.60 points, and Kayla Wilson won the three-meter with 307.95. In fact, the first, second, and third place finishers in the three-meter were all Mizzou divers.
Other Event Winners:
- 1oo fly: Emma Carlton, Tennessee — 55.10
- 2oo fly: Sara Stotler, Tennessee — 2:01.03
So Crooks is (for me at least) the favorite for the 50 come March. He’s PR matches seeliger’s and he’s proven he can race when the lights are up. And he’s got a solid quarter second on curry. But what about the 100? Seeliger has the fastest PR, but curry is pretty close behind, and crooks PR (in season) is a little slower, but he has the momentum. If I had to pick right now, I’d say curry. And I haven’t even mentioned liendo yet
Also, who do we think is gonna final? The seven guys under 19 already are crooks/gui/seeliger/curry/Curtis/Dolan/liendo. That leaves 1 of Krueger/Korstanje/Ramadan/king/brownstead for the last spot. I would pick Korstanje and ramadan to kick Dolan off… Read more »
Crooks has the best chance of Dressels fly and free records.
free yes, fly no
His best times are 18.2/41 low and 44.7. He’s still pretty darn far away. If he has huge drops at the end of the year maybe, but he’s still got a long way to go.
Bjorn was 18.2/40.7 last year. Maybe he’ll drop more and be the closest to Dressel.
I’m waiting until NCAAs. Too much is made from fast dual meet or mid season swims. You never know how rested someone is until NCAAs comes around.
Probably not this year, but caribe might have a shot at the 100 based on his LCM time already
The King and the Kid continuing to deliver.
Stars shining bright but big swims across the board. Really impressed with evolution of Wetherell. Big meet for Amber Meyers and Emma Carlton too! So glad to have Rumley back. Feeling more confident with Julia returning and Rathwell in Knoxville. Need an update on Ellen!!
Hey editors, it’s time for a Jordan Crooks bio and photo thingy.
I’m not sure who else has done it but this has to be one of the fastest non suited fly splits ever along with that 41.6 free split.
Who’s got the fastest non-suited, in-season, post lifting 50 fly split?
Alyssa marsh, duke
With ankle weights on.