This past weekend, the UC Davis swimming and diving team wrapped up their trip to Missouri with impressive results. The Aggies finished third out of nine teams with 575.5 points.
On the first day of competition, junior Samantha Shellem shattered the UC Davis school record in the 500-yard freestyle with a winning time of 4:48.59. With this time, Shellem bested the nearest competitor, Sonia Perez, by almost two full seconds and surpassed the old record of 4:54.59 that was set at the 2010 Big West Conference Championships.
In addition, freshman Marissa Brown hit a personal-best 4:53:93 in the 500 free final heat. With that time, Brown moves into fourth in school history and improves on her eighth-best prelim time of 4:57.22.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team placed seventh with a time of 1:34.72, which is the fastest by a UC Davis squad since the 2011 MPSF Championships. Other highlights from the first day include junior co-captain Sabrina Cochrane finishing eighth in the 200 individual medley at 2:03.47.
On the second day of competition, juniors Liliana Alvarez and Shellem both hit “B” qualifying standards for the NCAA Championships. For Alvarez, this marks the third straight year she has hit such a mark in the 100-yard breaststroke. Shellem finished second in the 200 free at 1:45.73. Shellem held the lead for the majority of the race before being surpassed by Mizzou’s Anna Patterson with 0.5 seconds left to go.
Sophomore Hilary Hunt also hit a big personal record in the 100 back, first delivering a 55.30 in the prelim and then placing sixth in the final. She improves to the No. 3 rank in school history.
In addition, UC Davis scored fourth-place relay points in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.05. The Aggie “B” team placed seventh and the Aggies finished the day with a second-place showing in the 800-free relay.
On the last day and final morning of the Invite, Brown and Hunt broke school records in the 1650-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke, respectively. Brown posted a time of 16:44.83 in the 1650 free, shattering teammate Cara Silvas’ record from last year. In her next race, she became just the third Aggie in history to break the two-minute barrier in the 200-backstroke.
Alvarez had the Aggies’ highest individual finish of the day, placing second in the 200 breast at 2:13.23.
Overall, the UC Davis swimmers broke various school records during their three-day stay in Columbia. The Aggies commence their break for winter and will return to action in January in a duel at home against Pacific.
— Veena Bansal