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Senior Payton Sorenson recorded the fastest time in the country in the 50-yard freestyle to highlight BYU swim and dive’s first day of the Mizzou Invite on Thursday.

“Today was an awesome meet with great spirits and great racing,” BYU head coach John Brooks said. “A lot of swimmers received career-high times, and Gwen [Gustafson] broke into BYU’s top-five 50-free times. It was a good time, and it shows that hard work pays off.”

With a time of 19.43, Sorenson placed first during prelims and claimed the fastest time in the nation this morning. In the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay, he beat his 50-yard freestyle time with a 19:35 split. Sorenson placed third in finals with a time of 19.66, while Connor Stirling and Jared Shaw finished seventh and eighth, respectively. They both recorded career bests in the 50-yard freestyle prelims with times of 20.11 and 20.29, respectively. Stirling also posted a career best of 48.63 in the 100-yard butterfly for 11th place in the B Finals.

The women also had swimmers place in the top 10, including a team of Tiare Coker, Ellie Brinton, Katie Smith and Gwen Gustafson coming in seventh in the 200-yard freestyle relay at 1:33.14. Gustafson also posted a time of 22.86 for fourth place in the 50-yard freestyle B Finals, earning a career best and BYU’s No. 3 all-time best time in the event.

In the prelims of the men’s 200-yard IM, Tama Tuitama and Levi Jensen came away with top-10 times. Tuitama placed ninth and earned a time of 1:49.25, recording a personal best. Jensen shed five seconds off his previous best and posted a time of 1:49.39, setting a career high. Several other swimmers earned career bests during the prelim races.

A team of Sorenson, Jensen, Shaw and Stirling took second place during finals in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:19.16. Matt Abernethy also placed high in the evening coming in eighth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 48.50 and earning a spot in the A Finals.

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BYU swimmers finished strong on the first day as a team of Brynn Sproul, Mariah Lindsay, Coker and Gustafson placed seventh in the women’s 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:44.25.

Divers Kimble Mahler and Morgan Paul represented BYU in the final diving events of the day. Mahler finished in fourth in the 1-meter with a score of 306.65, while Call took eighth in the 3-meter at 268.95.

The second day of the invitational continues Friday with prelims beginning at 10 a.m. CST, and finals following at 6 p.m. Live stats are available on the BYU swim and dive schedule page.