2018 MINNESOTA INVITE
- November 29 – December 1, 2018
- Minneapolis, MN
- Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center
- SCY (25 yards)
- LIVE RESULTS
Since losing its status as a Grand Prix meet, the Minnesota Invite has lost a lot of the flavor that used to make it a premier November invite. That is even more emphatic this year, where the host Gophers actually had their primary invite, the Hawkeye Invitational, 2 weeks ago. The highlight for the home team should be star freshman Max McHugh in the 100 breaststroke on Friday, which the school’s press release indicated should be happening.
The meet’s primary backdrop this year is to give a few Gophers extra swims in secondary events that they didn’t get to race at their primary invite, as a mid-season test for swimmers who weren’t on the travel squad, and to continue to provide racing opportunities for other local college teams and select club swimmers in a prime-time pool.
A few west-coast teams came in for the meet this year, however, led by the Utah Utes, which means the meet still has a little flair to it. The Utes dominated the first day of racing. Their status as front-runners was best highlighted in races like the men’s 500 free, where the entire A-final was made up of Utes (led by Rahiti De Vos, who won in 4:21.79). Most of the meet looked like this – more of a Utah intrasquad in the A-finals than an invite – but there were a few noteworthy interludes.
Chief among them: Minnesota junior Tevyn Waddell, who ranks 2nd in the Big Ten this season in the 100 and 200 backstroke, swam a 4:45.42 to win the women’s 500 free ahead of Utah’s Sara McClendon (4:47.19). That’s Waddell’s first swim of that event as a collegian, and a 7-second improvement over her previous lifetime best, set in 2015. The time ranks 11th in the Big Ten this season.
Other Day 1 Winners:
- Utah’s Jordan Anderson, a 2018 NCAA qualifier and younger sister of Olympians Haley and Alyssa Anderson, took the women’s 200 IM title in 1:58.87. That’s her best time in the event by 3-and-a-half seconds, improving on the swim that she did at last year’s Pac-12 Championship meet. It’s also a new Utah Record, making her the 2nd Ute ever under 2 minutes in the event (after Hannah Caron, who swam 1:59.1 in 2009). Anderson’s two best events, the 200 fly and 400 IM, are still to come this week.
- Utah’s Daniel McArthur won the men’s 200 IM in 1:44.68, which is faster than he went last season, and shaved two-tenths off his lifetime best and school record. The senior captain has dropped time from mid-season to Pac-12s in each of the last two seasons (almost a full second last year). If that trend continues, he could find himself in an A-Final at Pac-12s and back at the NCAA Championships for the 2nd time in 3 seasons.
- Gillian St. John of Utah won the women’s 50 free in 22.45, yet another Utah lifetime best for a win. Her previous fastest time was a 22.84 from last year’s Pac-12 Championships. San Jose State’s Gabby Heng (23.24) and Maddy Sailors (23.39) also swam personal bests to finish 2nd and 3rd, respectively. That time pushes Heng up to a tie for 10th in the Mountain West this season (based on times coming into the weekend).
- The men’s 50 free A-final, with 7 Utes, finished in a tie between Utah’s Clay Stoddard and Rodolfo Moreira. The sophomores posted matching 19.69s. Stoddard’s 200 free relay leadoff earlier in the meet of 19.60 actually ties him for 3rd all-time in school history, while Moreira’s individual swim puts him 5th.
- The Utah women opened the session by just missing the school record in the 200 free relay. They swam a 1:30.72, which is .03 seconds short of the team’s all-time best of 1:30.69, set in 2012.
- Led off by the aforementioned Stoddard (19.60) and Moreira (18.79), Utah’s men crushed the school record in the 200 free relay. With Felix Chiun and Austin Phillips on the back half, the Utes swam a 1:17.36. The old school record was a 1:17.94 done at the 2016 NCAA Championships.
- The Utah women won the 400 medley relay in 3:36.50, while the men won in 3:09.03.