Missouri swimming team finishes strong on first day of Missouri Grand Prix

Missouri Junior Martin Cernansky and seniors Ted Harris and Gilad Kaufman reached their respective finals. Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte won the men's 400-meter individual medley.
Friday, February 13, 2009 | 9:44 p.m. CST; updated 6:20 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 14, 2009
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The Missouri Grand Prix began Friday night. A look in pictures at the event that continues through the weekend at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.

COLUMBIA—The Missouri men’s swimming team held their own against Olympic swimmers during day one of the Missouri Grand Prix.

Junior Martin Cernansky and seniors Ted Harris and Gilad Kaufman competed in their respective "A" finals, accomplishing some personal goals before the end of the season.

Cernansky swam to a bronze-medal finish in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke, tailing on the heels of Olympian Eric Shanteau. His time of 1 minute, 2.98 seconds was a personal best.

In the same heat, Harris finished eighth with a time of 1:05.04. Kaufman competed in the men’s 100-meter butterfly, finishing fourth with a time of 54.67, beating his own personal best time by four-tenths of a second.

 “It felt great,” Cernansky said. “It’s encouraging to swim a best time.”

Coach Brian Hoffer said he was proud of how his swimmers performed, especially with Cernansky’s third-place finish.

“Martin is very talented,” Hoffer said. “I expect him to get up and race those guys.”

 The men weren’t the only Missouri swimmers to compete in Friday’s final session. Senior Carly Sullivan and sophomore Dave Dorak competed in the "B" finals of the 100-meter butterfly. Sullivan finished with a time of 1:03.42 and Dorak touched at 55.89.

Earlier in the preliminary session, sophomore Morgan McCleery placed fourth in the women's 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:13.24. But she scratched out of competing in the finals.

Alongside Missouri swimmers, three-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte won the men's 400-meter individual medley and Olympic gold-medal winner Ous Mellouli of Tunisia won the men's 200-meter freestyle. Four-time NCAA champion Mary Descenza also took gold in the women's 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly.

Day two of competition will begin with preliminaries at 9 a.m. Saturday and the finals session at 5:30 p.m in the Aquatic Center of the MU Student Recreational Complex.

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Jonathon Braden February 14, 2009 | 1:52 a.m.

What about Missouri's star swimmer, senior Allison Bennett?

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