The University of Missouri’s duo of Olympian Mikel Schreuders and Jordy Groters continue to ensure the nation of Aruba was represented at the prestigious SEC Championships building on their country’s legacy at the NCAA Division 1 level.
The 2017 edition of the Championships was held at the University of Tennessee from Feb 14 to 18.The 200 yard freestyle saw Schreuders, a sophomore making his 2nd consecutive Championship final. In that final he bettered the NCAA B cut of 1:37.99,his personal best of 1:34.35 and his 2016 5th placing to finish 4th in a time of 1:34.06 (split time 46.03). That swim also moved him to 2nd all-time for the Tigers in the event.
The swimmer, who hails from Oranjestad, would see an improvement as well in the 100 yard freestyle. In 2016 he had finished 7th in the B final in a time of 44.03 .He had registered a time of 43.80 in the preliminaries. Heading to Tennessee he had lowered his personal best to 43.65. After completion of the morning heats he just missed lowering his own record with a swim of 43.69 (split time 21.02) but made it again to the B final. In that race he went out in the same time 21.02 but came back faster to record a new personal best of 43.62 and SEC best placing of 5th. He was also easily under the B cut of 44.29.
That time would not survive the Championships as he started the off the Tigers 400 yard freestyle relay team with a leg timed at 43.61 (split time 21.05). The other members of the team Michael Chadwick (41.48), Luke Mankus (43.66) and Sam Coffmann (42.99) secured 4th place up from 2016’s 5th place finish. It also bettered the school record of 2:52.05 set at last year’s Championships. The team’s performance was also under the automatic qualifying time of 2:52.45.
In the 200 yard freestyle relay there would be another 4th place finish for the Tigers. The team of Mankus (19.86), Chadwick (18.64), Andrew Sansoucie (19.52) and Schreuders (19.43) posted a total effort of 1:17.45. That bettered the 2016 time of 1:17.89 and the NCAA A time of 1:17.77.
In the 50 yard freestyle Mikel was 28th in a new personal best of 20.15 lowering significantly his previous best of 20.69.That swim is under the NCAA B time of 20.15 and bettered his 2016 finish of 39th.
Countryman Jordy Groters made his third consecutive 100 yard breaststroke final at the SEC’s when he clocked 53.81 to make the C final. He would win that race in a time of 53.52 (split time 25.15). In the 200 yard breaststroke he was 28th in a time of 2:01.21 (split time 57.29). The 50 yard freestyle saw the Oranjestad native finishing 45th in 20.68.
The Tigers finished 5th in the men’s competition with 771 points.