COLUMBIA, Mo. — Junior Samantha Shellem shattered the school record in the 500-yard freestyle to highlight the UC Davis women’s swimming team’s first day of action at the Mizzou Invitational on Thursday.
Shellem’s winning time of four minutes, 48.59 seconds bested the nearest competitor, Sonia Perez Arau of Florida International, by almost two full seconds, and surpassed the old Aggie mark of 4:52.29, set by Bridget Bugbee at the 2010 Big West Conference Championships.
Bugbee, now a senior, also swam well on Thursday as four locals broke the five-minute barrier in the 500 free.
Freshman Marissa Brown joined Shellem in the event finals, touching in 4:53.93 for a personal record and the fourth-best time in UCD history. Sophomore Marilyn Carey became the 11th swimmer in school history to finish the 500 free in less than five minutes, taking 14th in 4:59.23, while Bugbee was 15th in 4:59.57.
Aggie junior Karley Troup improved from a 56.46 in the 100 butterfly prelims to a personal-record 55.76 to place ninth in the final, moving up from ninth to sixth in school history, just ahead of teammate Sara Ramos, who hit a PR of 55.88 in that event’s morning race. Sophomore Hilary Hunt also competed in the 100 fly prelims, improving on her previous lifetime best by more than a full second with a 56.26. She moved into eighth in the UCD record book.
The Aggies’ 200 free relay team of Haley Porter, Katie Edwards, Megan Leung and Hunt finished seventh with a time of 1:34.72, the fastet swim by a UCD quartet since 2011.
Other UCD highlights on Thursday included junior co-captain Sabrina Cochrane finishing eighth in the 200 individual medley at 2:03.47. That time is her fastest in the event since she went 2:03.41 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation final back in 2011.
Hunt had the Aggies’ fastest time in the 50 free, as her 13th-place 23.54 beat her previous best. Porter also broke the 24-second barrier for the first time this season, finishing three places behind Hunt with a 23.63.
The 400 medley relay squad of Hunt, Liliana Alvarez, Troup and Porter concluded the day by finishing fourth (3:42.76) in that event.
Shellem’s record time also topped her collegiate best of 4:53.85, set when she was a freshman at Cal. The La Verne native was an international-level swimmer as a youngster, competing at the 2008 Olympic Trials and U.S. Open at age 16.
The Mizzou Invitational continues through Saturday. On Friday, women’s events include the 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay and one-meter diving.