Omaha Leads Day 1 of Mutual of Omaha Invite

Omaha swimming and diving opened their Mutual of Omaha Invite by taking the team lead. Trailing behind them in 2nd and 3rd are Nebraska-Kearney and Iowa Central, respectively.


OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha swimming & diving team opened its annual Mutual of Omaha Invite in fine fashion Friday, breaking two school records en route to a day one first-place team standing with 603 points.

Morgan Stepp was fire in the water, as the junior broke her own school record of 4:25.05 in the 400 IM, capturing first place with a blistering time of 4:24.00. The Parker, Colo., native also triumphed in the 200 back (2:05.63), besting her previous season low by over three seconds.

The 400 medley relay team also made history, as Stepp, juniors Meredith Ricks and Tiril Jensen and senior Natalie Renshaw shattered a six-year-old school record (3:51.35) by racing to a 3:49.99 finish in the event.

Jensen also put together a strong performance in the 100 breast to set a season-low time of 1:04.10 in the event. And Renshaw, an Omaha native, had continued success on the evening, as she took the top spot in her marquee event, the 50 free with a season-low 23.60.

Omaha swept the top three spots in the 200 free, with Renshaw taking the victory with a season-low time (1:51.94). Freshman Kylie Vermeire finished second at 1:55.28, while sophomore Cassandra Jahn took third at 1:55.95.

Additionally, the 200 relay quartet of Renshaw, Jahn, sophomore Mackenzie Ritter and freshman Kirsten Kracke earned a win in their race with a season-best mark of 1:36.99.

Omaha returns to action tomorrow for the final day of the Mutual of Omaha Invite. Preliminary heats are slated to start at 10 a.m., while finals will begin at 5 p.m.

Through Day 1
1. Omaha (603)
2. Northern Colorado (301)
3. Iowa Central (34)
4. College of Saint Mary (29)
4. Colorado (29)
6. Nebraska-Kearney (24)
7. Morningside (9)


Morningside College:

Evan Persson had the top individual finish by a Morningside College swimmer with a runner-up finish in the men’s 50-yard freestyle during Friday’s opening day of action at the two-day Mutual of Omaha Invitational in Omaha, Neb.

Persson finished second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.28 seconds.

The Mustangs had three other top five performances in the men’s competition, including a fourth place performance by John Dieter, a sophomore from Carroll, Iowa, with a time of 1:52.51 in the 200-yard freestyle.

Lucas Farrington finished fifth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:12.86 and Tyler Halligan finished fifth in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 5:01.99.

Morningside’s top finish in the women’s competition came from Carly Johnson, who finished 13th in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 5:15.69.

College of Saint Mary:

OMAHA, Neb. – The College of Saint Mary swim team saved its best for last Friday night at the Mutual of Omaha Invite put on by the University of Nebraska Omaha. The Flames are currently tied for fourth place in the two-day, seven-team invitational.

“Our best swim of the night came on the last swim of the night when Sidney Drew (SO/Lee’s Summit, MO), Regina LeMense (FR/Ralston, NE), Colleen Bernal (JR/Omaha, NE) andHannah Pauley (JR/Columbus, NE) touched out rival (University of Nebraska) Kearney for a third-place finish and season best time,” CSM Coach Ben Porter said of the 400-yard medley relay. “Pauley swam a lifetime best to catch Kearney on the final leg of the relay.”

The Flames touched the wall in 4:16.51 to sneak past Kearney’s time of 4:16.64.

CSM has 29 team points through 16 events and is tied with University of Colorado-Boulder. UNO is leading the pack with 603 points, while Northern Colorado has 301 and Iowa Central Community College is in third place with 34 points. UNK is currently in sixth place with 24 points and Morningside College sits in seventh place with nine points.

Porter said other key results from the Flames Friday night came from Bernal, who won a 50 freestyle swim-off in a time of 25.67 for 11th place and also achieved a national qualifying time in the process, and Drew, who lowered her own school record in the 1,650 freestyle with a time of 19:45.68 for ninth place.

Other top 12 finishes for CSM included: 200 freestyle relay team (Pauley, Drew, LeMense, Bernal) with a 6th place finish in 1:46.00, LeMense in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.45 and Drew in the 200 backstroke in 2:15.73.

The second day of the meet kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday with the prelims. The finals start at 5 p.m.

Swimming news courtesy of Omaha, Morningside, and College of Saint Mary Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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