Oct. 23, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. - The No. 21 Missouri men's swimming and diving squad (1-0, 1-0 Big 12) exacted revenge on the No. 18 Texas A&M (0-1, 0-1 Big 12), defeating the Aggies by the score of 143.5-90.5. The No. 18 Mizzou women (0-1, 0-1 Big 12) fell to the No. 9 Aggies (4-0, 2-0 Big 12) by a total of 134-104.
The men jumped all over the Aggies right from the get-go, taking first in the opening event followed by numerous 1-2-3 finishes as the Tigers avenged a disappointing conclusion to last year's Big 12 Championships.
"We came out ready to race," Head Coach Brian Hoffer said. "We were excited about facing a Big 12 team in a dual matchup."
The men opened up the night with a big victory in the 200 Medley Relay. Missouri's "A" team, consisting of freshman Jan Konarzewski, junior Martin Cernansky, senior Gilad Kaufman and sophomore Jordan Hawley, finished the race in 1:32.69, giving the Tigers their first points of the evening.
"After we won that first relay we really felt in control of the meet," Hoffer said. "I feel that A&M had a hard time matching our intensity."
Mizzou followed up the relay victory by posting a 1-2-3 all-Tiger finish in the next two events. In the 1000 free, sophomore Spenser Lauver dominated the event, finishing the race in 9:39.92. Senior Brad Hubbard came in second after touching at 9:56.75, while freshman John Hunt impressed after finishing third at 10:06.36.
The Tigers posted another 1-2-3 finish in the 200 free after redshirt sophomore Cameron Sellers took gold, touching in 1:42.12. Senior Matt Dahlke followed him at 1:43.37, with sophomore Jeff Hendricks claiming third-place at 1:43.65. Sellers would earn another victory later in the night in the 500 free (4:45.34), edging out Hendricks' runner-up time of 4:47.83.
Hawley took gold in the 50 free, winning in a time of 21.07. He'd also earn a runner-up finish in the 100 free (46.59) later in the evening.
Cernansky added another victory to his already impressive resume, his third of the young season, claiming first in the 200 IM (1:54.47). Senior Bryan Difford finished in second, touching in 1:55.35, while fellow senior Jake Hoffmann would tie for third in the event, posting a time of 1:56.24.
Kaufman earned his second victory of the season after dominating the 200 fly with a time of 1:53.13. Lauver took the runner-up spot after racing in 1:56.28.
The Tigers would post one more 1-2-3 finish on the evening, achieving the feat in the 200 back. Konarzewski lead the way, finishing in 1:50.23 for his second victory of his young collegiate career. Hoffmann took second (1:52.92), while freshman John Higgins came in third at 1:54.27.
In the diving well, sophomore Dante Jones and junior Greg DeStephen finished 2-3 in the 1-meter dive. Jones scored 326.15 on the board, just edging out DeStephen's 320.35. In the 3-meter, the two Tiger divers flip-flopped, as DeStephen took second and Jones finished in third. DeStephen scored 319.55, while Jones scored 301.75.
The women put up a tough battle with the defending Big 12 Champions, but ultimately fell short, dropping the meet 134-104.
"We had a hard time matching up with them," said Hoffer. "We were in a lot of races, we just had a hard time catching them."
Sophomore Francie Szostak took the lone individual title for the women on the evening, taking gold in the 500 free after finishing in 4:57.38. The Tigers' "A" squad of seniors Lori Halvorson, Lauren Cox, Allie Bennett and Szostak would finish in first in the 400 free relay later in the evening, touching at 3:29.44.
Freshman Jordan Morcom took gold twice in her first dual as a collegiate diver, sweeping both diving events. Morcom scored 269.90 in the 1-meter, and followed that up with a score of 294.50 in the 3-meter. Senior Kendra Melnychuk claimed second in each competition, scoring 266.10 in the 1-meter and 280.50 in the 3-meter.
"Overall, I was very pleased with the effort. We had a lot of energy and the girls were focused, we just weren't able to match up," Hoffer said.
Both Tiger squads will be back in the pool Friday morning for the Big 12 Relays. First session is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. CT.