The Missouri men’s swimming and diving team reached new heights Wednesday when it checked in third in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America NCAA Division I rankings.
It is the Tigers’ highest ranking, topping a No. 7 ranking in December 2013.
Missouri moved up 13 spots from after a dominant showing the Mizzou Invitational, which included several NCAA qualifying times and nine school records.
The Tigers won 16 of 20 events at the 10-team meet, which was last Thursday to Saturday and included Illinois, Nebraska, UNLV, West Virginia, New Mexico, Northern Colorado, Florida International, Drury and Missouri S&T.
Only Florida and Stanford are ranked above Missouri, which is one of seven SEC schools in the poll along with the Gators, Alabama (11), Georgia (12), Tennessee (13), South Carolina (18) and Auburn (19).
Kan earns scholar-athlete honor
Missouri sophomore outside hitter Carly Kan, a 5-foot-9 native of Honolulu, was one of three volleyball players chosen Wednesday as a Southeastern Conference scholar-athlete of the year.
Kan, who has a 3.88 grade-point average in accounting as a premed student, was recognized along with Florida’s Golly Pole and Texas A&M’s Shelby Sullivan.
Kan has a team-high 400 kills and ranks second on the Tigers with 370 digs this season.
MU, which wraps up the regular season Wednesday at home against Alabama, didn’t place anyone on the All-SEC or the conference’s All-Freshman teams.
Mizzou, Arkansas working on trophy
Missouri and Arkansas are working together to commission a traveling trophy for the Battle Line Rivalry.
The SEC has designated the Tigers and Razorbacks as permanent cross-division rivals. The first game in the new series is at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
The Battle Line Rivalry trophy will be presented annually at the winning team’s home men’s basketball game against the losing team.
Missouri, which is ranked 17th in the latest College Football Playoff, Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ football polls, plays host to Arkansas in basketball Jan. 24 and plays Feb. 18 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Arkansas quarterback returns to practice
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said starting quarterback Brandon Allen practiced Tuesday with the first team.
“He looked pretty good,” Bielema said during the weekly SEC teleconference.
Allen, who has completed 57.7 percent of his passes for 1,992 with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions this season, suffered a hip injury during the first half of a 30-0 win last Saturday against Mississippi.
“Brandon’s a very tough customer,” Bielema said. “He threw the ball fairly well, but we really didn’t want to re-aggravate anything. We’re just trying to let him heal up and get where he needs to be.”
Bielema said the Razorbacks will continue preparing Allen’s brother, redshirt freshman Austin Allen, in case Brandon isn’t available Friday.
Steckel is nominee
Missouri defensive coordinator Dave Steckel is among 40 nominees announced Wednesday for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.
The Tigers boast the best run defense in SEC play, allowing only 109.3 yards per game. Steckel, who is in his 14th season at MU, was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2009.
He is one of five SEC assistant coaches nominated for the award along with Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith, Mississippi defensive coordinator Dave Wommack and Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.
Biedscheid bound for Iona
Cam Biedscheid will transfer to Iona, according Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
Biedscheid, a St. Louis native, transferred to Missouri from Notre Dame a year ago, but left the basketball program during the summer and never suited up for the Tigers.