Missouri State Women Clock 800 Free Relay Conference Record To Open 2024 MVC Championships


  • Dates: Wednesday, February 21 – Saturday, February 24
  • Location: Deaconess Aquatic Center, Evansville, IN
  • Defending Champions (women): Missouri State
  • Live Results
  • Live Results also available via Meet Mobile: “2024 Missouri Valley Conference”
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central
  • Teams: Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Little Rock, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Valparaiso, UIC

The 2024 Missouri Valley Conference Championships began on Wednesday and the Missouri State women were on a mission. After winning by over 100 points in 2023, they secured a 20 point lead with three days to go. The first night of action only featured two events: the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay.

First up was the medley relay, where the quartet of Caitlyn Friebe, Cabrini Johnson, Sami Roemer, and Jordan Wenner hit the wall in 1:39.40 for the win. They were entered with a time of 1:40.69, so they cut 1.29 seconds off that marker en route to victory. They posted a time of 1:38.73 to win the event a year ago, but only returned one of those four swimmers on Wednesday’s relay.

Yuliya Zubina and Ulyana Zubina, who swam on the relay last year, are not on Missouri State’s 2023-2024 roster. Kelly Sego is, however, and led-off MSU’s ‘B’ relay this year in 25.53, which is faster than she went last year (25.55) and faster than Caitlyn Friebe‘s 25.67 lead-off on Wednesday’s ‘A’ relay.

Splits Comparison:

Missouri State’s 2024 200 Medley Relay: Missouri State’s 2023 200 Medley Relay:
Backstroke Caitlyn Friebe — 25.67 Kelly Sego — 25.55
Breaststroke Cabrini Johnson — 27.52 Yuliya Zubina — 26.91
Butterfly Sami Roemer — 23.57 Sami Roemer — 23.77
Freestyle Jordan Wenner — 22.64 Ulyana Zubina — 22.50
Total Time 1:39.40 1:38.73

Illinois State University claimed runner-up status in the race, almost dipping under the 1:40-barrier in 1:40.01. Chloe Tyler (25.89), Madyson Morse (27.14), Mia Snow (24.65), and Emma Feltzer (22.33) comprised their squad. It checks-in as a new school record for the Redbirds, clipping the 1:40.17 put on the books at last year’s conference meet.

Indiana State finished closely behind the Redbirds, as Alexandria Cotter, Ali Pearson, Kaleigh Kelley, and Chloe Farro touched in a swift 1:40.42. Splits are currently not available, but their overall time demolishes the previous school record of 1:41.04, which was put on the books at a dual meet versus Illinois State on February 2nd.

The MSU women doubled up on relay victories in the 800 free relay, where they stopped the clock in 7:12.19 to set a new Missouri Valley Conference record. Missouri State were the previous record holders as well, with the 7:14.09 they produced at the 2022 conference meet. Lana Janson, Lily DeSpain, Ainsley Jenkins, and Anna Lucas were the record-breakers comprising the 2024 relay.

Of note, Southern Illinois University touched for 2nd place, also breaking the previous record in 7:13.66. It was a great battle the whole way, with Missouri State leading from the start and Southern Illinois mounting a charge on the back half:

Splits Comparison:

Missouri State’s 2024 800 Freestyle Relay, 1st Place & New Conference Record: Southern Illinois University’s 2024 800 Freestyle Relay, 2nd Place & Under Previous Record:
Leg 1 Lana Janson — 1:48.67 Karen Rodriguez Cardenas — 1:50.55
Leg 2 Lily DeSpain — 1:46.76 (3:35.43) Beatriz Padron Salazar — 1:49.56 (3:40.11)
Leg 3 Ainsley Jenkins — 1:49.89 (5:25.32) Susana Hernandez Barradas — 1:47.28 (5:27.39)
Leg 4 Anna Lucas — 1:46.87 Celia Pulido — 1:46.27
Total Time 7:12.19 7:13.66

Indiana State rounded out the podium, touching in 7:18.66 for their second school record of the day. Erin Cummins clocked an opening split of 1:49.85 on the first leg before Peyton Heagy (1:50.60), Alexa Szadorski (1:49.23), and Claire Parsons (1:48.98) closed things out. This performance was particularly special as it was the longest standing record on their board, set back in 2018 at the MVC Championships. They demolished the mark of 7:23.72 by over five seconds.

Action continues Thursday (February 22nd) through Saturday (February 24th) with individual, relay, and diving events.

Team Standings After Day 1

  1. Missouri State — 128 points
  2. Indiana State — 108 points
  3. Illinois State — 104 points
  4. Little Rock — 102 points
  5. University of Illinois, Chicago – 100 points
  6. University of Northern Iowa – 96 points
  7. University of Evansville – 90 points
  8. Valparaiso University – 84 points
  9. Southern Illinois University – 56 points

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1 month ago

University of Illinois, Chicago; not, Illinois, University of Chicago. Thanks

Reply to  BGray
1 month ago

That’s how the name appears in Meet Mobile, which is the only way you can see the full results…when it’s actually updated. Frustrating how this conference continues to have subpar streaming, sometimes the sound works, sometimes the names display on the screen. Wish they could pull it off like every other conference in the country.