2021 Mason Invitational
- February 20-21, 2021
- Fairfax, VA
- Short Course Yards
George Mason University hosted several teams at the Mason Invitational last weekend, including the newly-reinstated William & Mary program, the University of Richmond, and the University of Delaware.
In their first meet back following their reinstatement, the William and Mary swimmers did not disappoint, led by junior Missy Cundiff, the women’s team won 19 of the 26 events and notched 3 NCAA B-cuts.
Cundiff, who became niche-famous in the swimming community this summer for creating a “Save Tribe Swimming” rap, was responsible for all 3 of the team’s NCAA cuts. Cundiff began the meet by tying her best time in the 50 freestyle, touching in 22.56 seconds to get under the NCAA B-cut of 22.76.
Following that performance, she and the coaches elected to chase an invitation to the NCAA Championships, going for a 50 freestyle legal-split in the 200 freestyle. At the 50 mark, Cundiff flipped in a time of 22.68, coming just slightly off of her time from earlier in the day.
However, Cundiff was not done yet, as she then time-trialed the 50 freestyle at the end of the meet, touching the wall in a new personal best of 22.54. With her time, Cundiff now ranks as the 4th-fastest performer in school history in the event, just about .2 off of the school record of 22.30 held by Katie Radloff that has stood since 2009.
Cundiff’s time currently ranks 43rd in the NCAA for this season, with several women’s conference championships already completed. Traditionally, the cut-line for the NCAA Championship falls around the 37th or 38th ranked women’s swimmer. Last year, that translated to a time of 22.21, but the qualification standard is expected to be slightly slower this year due to the fact that multiple teams and individual swimmers have pulled-out of the NCAA season because of COVID-19.
William and Mary’s swimming and diving program was one of several NCAA programs to fall victim to cuts due to budget issues amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, in October, William and Mary announced that it would be reinstating the women’s swimming and diving program, along with the women’s gymnastics and volleyball programs that were also cut. After further pushback, the school also announced a temporary reinstatement of the men’s swimming and diving program, along with the men’s gymnastics program and the indoor/outdoor track and field programs through at least the 2021-2022 season.
- George Mason’s Jacquee Clabeaux posted a time of 1:02.41 to win the 100 breaststroke. Clabeaux, the reigning A-10 Conference champion in the event, was only about 2 seconds off of her best time.
- Delaware’s Bryce Ciecko won the 500 freestyle in a season best of 4:32.73, only about 3 second off of his best time of 4:29.03.