Six Team Records Set at American Short Course Championships

Saturday, March 3 –

Nine Missouri swimmers travelled to Austin, Texas for the weekend to compete in the American Short Course Championships.

Six team records were set and seven Tigers performed well enough to earn reasonable speculation for positions in the NCAA Championships later in the month in Federal Way, Wash.

Despite four straight days of competition the previous weekend in the grueling Big 12 Championships, many members of the young squad increased their times to a level never before achieved by a Missouri Tiger.

Freshman Eegan Groome dominated the Short Course Championships’ freestyle events, setting Missouri records in the 500 (4:18.47), 1000 (9:12) and 1650 (15:09.33). The latter two records were achieved on the same swim, but the shorter distance is where he specializes. Groome is ranked 14th in the nation for the 500 free and is expected to be earn a spot in the NCAA Championships.

Ramom Melo is another freestyle sprinting stud. His 19.77 for the 50 free in a “non-tech suit” is a Missouri record and third fastest in NCAA Division I for freshmen.

Other new team records include Neil O’Halloran’s 47.37 100 fly, Mack Darragh’s 1:45.33 200 fly and Mark Conroy’s 53.98 100 breast. Competition in the NCAA Championships is not out of the picture for these three swimmers, however they will likely all fall between .3 and .6 seconds short of the qualifying times.

Senior Yaniv Schnaider is ranked 22nd nationally in the 400 IM and his 3:47.68 may just propel him into his first NCAA Championships.

The final Missouri record broken over the weekend came in the 200 Medley Relay, when the team of Joe Hladik, Conroy, O’Halloran and Melo easily surpassed the previous team record. Still, they expect to fall .5 second shy of qualifying for the national meet.

With all four members returning next year, a combination of the anticipation for the future and the possession of an impressive team record will easily override the disappointment of this year’s miss.

– Brian Hayes
23 Sports
Staff Writer