Annie Ochitwa leads charge for Mizzou swim and dive at Tiger Invite

Multiple personal and school records were broken in the final meet of the regular season.

Missouri swimming and diving competed in the Swim Across America event on Aug. 27 in Innsbrook, Missouri.

The Missouri swim and dive team left all of its effort in the Mizzou Aquatic Center’s pools on Friday and Saturday, with six Tigers winning multiple events in the last meet of the regular season.

As the final tune-up before the Southeastern Conference Championships, the Tiger Invite showcased the talent of Mizzou in a non-dual format, as the meet did not count for the team’s overall records. This did not stop many Mizzou athletes from winning multiple events over the two days, led by junior Annie Ochitwa’s three victories.

Ochitwa stole the show, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 22.23, 100-yard butterfly in 52.20 and 100-yard backstroke in 52.59, all season-best times. Ochitwa’s victories in three different disciplines on the same day was a first for any Tiger this season.

Head coach Greg Rhodenbaugh commended all of his athletes on a successful last meet before the SEC Championships.

“We had some really good swims this weekend,” Rhodenbaugh said in a press release. “We were trying to go close to our best times of the season and we often went bests. We're in a pretty good spot [for the upcoming SEC Championships]. They all did a really good nice job."

The two other Mizzou women who won multiple events were senior Sharli Brady, scoring wins in the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyle, and junior Kylie Dahlgren, with wins in the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medley. Brady’s time of 4:41.86 in the 500-free was a personal best, catapulting her to No. 2 in Mizzou swimming history for the event.

Also placing herself on the Mizzou all-time record list was freshman Lauren Savoy, winning the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:10.66, fast enough for No. 3 in school history and a personal best time.

For the Mizzou men, junior Jordan O’Brien and sophomores Nick Alexander and Micah Slaton won two events each. O’Brien triumphed in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 53.96 and the 200-yard breaststroke with 1:57.90, while Alexander was victorious in the men's 200-yard individual medley (1:46.70) and 200-yard backstroke (1:43.80). Slaton scored his two wins in the 100-yard butterfly (47.18) and 100-yard freestyle (44.65).

Other notable event winners include sophomore Giovanny Lima and senior Hannah Stevens, each claiming one event over the two days. Lima won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:45.95 and leads Mizzou swim and dive with 13 event wins on the season. Stevens, a member of the 2017-18 USA National Team, won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:53.26.

The No. 15 Mizzou men (6-2, 1-2 SEC) and No. 17 Mizzou women (4-4, 0-4 SEC) have concluded regular season competition and will be back in action at the SEC Championships in College Station, Texas, from Feb. 14-18.

Edited by Bennett Durando |

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