Missouri men's and women's swim teams in lead at Mizzou Invite

Sunday, December 6, 2009 | 12:03 a.m. CST; updated 10:38 p.m. CST, Sunday, December 6, 2009

After day two of the Mizzou Invite, the men’s and women's swim teams remained atop the field Saturday night. 

With a total of 807.5 points, the men's team stayed above Drury, who posted 630 points.  The women's tea, with a score of 785.5 led second-place Arizona State, which had 602. 

The men's diving team boosted the Tigers by grabbing the top three spots of the three-meter dive. Greg DeStephen placed first with 420.75 points, Dante Jones came in second with 365.15 and Dallas Becerra finished third with 332.35. DeStephen’s 420 points broke the Mizzou 3-meter dive record and the meet record, which DeStephen previously set at 414.

“It’s really important right now because our diving team is a pretty strong part of the swim team,” DeStephen said. “Our coach Jamie Sweeney is doing a really good job right now with the athletes that are coming in.”

Scoring this high so early in the season is uncommon for DeStephen.

“It’s a really good sign for me. I think it’s a combination of more confidence, a better weight training regiment and just working with Jamie and listening to everything he says,” DeStephen said. “When you get into your senior year, you realize you only have so much time left, so you kind of buckle down and know you have to get things done.”

Head Coach Brian Hoffer sees the divers as an extra spark for the team.

“I think when the swimmers are over there watching and seeing how they perform under pressure with the crowd going crazy, I think its encouraging,” Hoffer said. “Coaches are always looking for energy.”

The Tigers also got a strong performance from Jan Konarzewski, a sophomore from Poland. Konarzewski individually won the 100-backstroke with a time of 48.19 and placed second in the 100-butterfly with a 49.01 time. Konarzewski also won the 200-medley relay with teammates Joe Hladik, Anders Melin, and Jordan Hawley with a time of 1:30.16.

“I wasn’t really happy about my finals 'cause I messed up some things that could have been better, but they were still good times,” Konarzewski said. “I wasn’t mentally prepared for two finals in a row. I was like, 'Okay, I can try to do this, but I don’t know if I can handle it.' Overall it went pretty good.”

On the women's side, in the 200 medley relay, Hoffer watched his B relay of Cassie Cunningham, Rachel Ripley, Colleen Gordon, and Frances Szostak finish first over the A relay with a time of 1:42.69.

“I think that is a good problem to have,” Hoffer said. “I think if you can’t pick your A and B relay you have a depth that is great. For us to go one-two in that relay, I have never been able to do that in my history here at Mizzou.”

Dominique Bouchard was .02 seconds off the school record in the 100-backstroke, finishing in first at 54.76.

Kim Jasmer, in her first year at Mizzou, finished first in the 200-freestyle in 1:47.69. Hoffer sees the leads for his team as a rare but good opportunity for his swimmers.

“I think they understand that we aren’t going to be in too many meets where we are out in front like this,” Hoffer said. “It’s nice to have a lead on the rest of the teams, but I don’t think they will swim any different. Tomorrow (Sunday) it will just be general excitement and getting into finals as best as we can.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams resume preliminary swims Sunday at 10 a.m. with the finals scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.



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