Friday, February 10, 2012 | 11:36 p.m. CST;
updated 12:33 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 11, 2012
The Missouri Grand Prix, in which Olympic hopefuls compete, started Friday at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
The meet, which runs Friday through Sunday, will be headlined by 19 U.S. national team swimmers, including Lezak, Matt Grevers and Amanda Weir. The event is the third meet of seven in this year's Grand Prix Series, which will lead up to the Olympic Trials, to be held June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb.
Preliminaries will begin at 9 a.m. each day of the meet, followed by finals starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at a discounted rate of $11 a day for preliminary races, $17 a day for final races and $25 for an all-day pass. Weekend passes can be purchased for $69.
Swimmers compete in the first heat of the men's 200 meter freestyle at the MU Aquatic Center during the first day of the Missouri Grand Prix on Friday. MU's Eegan Groome won the heat with a time of 1:53.05 seconds.
Rachel Ripley's gold sequined Ugg boots sit behind her starting block before the start of the women's 100 meter breaststroke at the Mizzou Aquatic Center during the first day of the Missouri Grand Prix on Friday. Ripley placed second in her heat behind teammate Amanda Masters by .08 secondss with a time of 1:11.14 seconds.
Mackenzie Darragh competes in the final heat of the men's 400 meter intermediate medley at the MU Aquatic Center during the first day of the Missouri Grand Prix on Friday. Darragh placed fifth in the event with a time of 4 minutes 27.47 seconds.
From front to back, Ian Hulme of Club Wolverine-Michigan, Igor Marchenko of the Nellie Gail Gators, and Hannes Heyl of Louisiana State University compete in the second heat of the men's 100 meter butterfly at the MU Aquatic Center during the first day of the Missouri Grand Prix on Friday.
Sean Mathews, right, of the NASA Wildcat Aquatics team is congratulated by Darian Brunetti of the University of Denver Hilltoppers swim team after winning the second heat of the men's 400 meter intermediate medley at the MU Aquatic Center during the first day of the Missouri Grand Prix.