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Missouri Freshman Alex Ochsenbein Earns 1st Olympic Trials Cut With 1:01.97 100 Breast

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Missouri Freshman Alex Ochsenbein Earns 1st Olympic Trials Cut With 1:01.97 100 Breast


2024 COLUMBIA SPRING SECTIONALS

  • March 14-18, 2024
  • Mizzou Aquatics Center, Columbia, MO
  • MM “Region VIII Speedo Spring Sectionals”
  • LCM (50 meters)
  • Day 1 Recap
  • Day 2 Recap

After just missing the men’s 200 breast Olympic Trials cut, Missouri’s Alex Ochsenbein earned the cut in the 100 breast swimming to a win in a 1:01.97. The cut stands at a 1:02.19. He dropped over a second in his swim as his previous best was a 1:03.04 from June 2023. Missouri teammate Logan Ottke was 2nd in a 1:03.14.

16 year old Whitaker Steward also highlighted the night winning the 400 free in a 3:58.78. The Trials cut is a 3:55.59. Whitaker notably earned his first Trials cut on night 1 swimming to a win in the 1500 free. Steward dropped over three seconds off his best time as he had never been under the 4:02 mark before. He won the event tonight by over five seconds as teammate Ellis Crisci was 2nd in a 4:04.24.

Matthew Judkins battled it out with Matthew Ross in the 200 fly. Judkins earned the win in a 2:04.23 touching just ahead of Ross who touched in a 2:04.64. Judkins is headed to Missouri this fall.

16 year old John Thumann was in a tight race in the 100 back with Nate Thomas. Thumann earned the win in a 57.16 while Thomas was 2nd in a 57.24. Thumann swam a best by almost a second as his previous best was a 58.11.

After winning the 200 free last night, 24 year old Molly Gowans won the 400 free in a 4:20.74. Gowans’ best time of a 4:11.55 is from 2018 Canadian Trials. Nora Lee Brown was 2nd in a 4:24.09, and she will head to Kenyon this fall.

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Missouri’s Karolina Bank swam to a win in the 100 breast swimming a 1:10.62 to finish almost a second ahead of teammate Holly Dennis who swam a 1:11.45. Dennis was slightly faster in prelims with a 1:11.34 then.

Just missing the Trials cut was Isabelle Ackley who swam to a 1:02.05 in the 100 back as the cut stands at a 1:01.89. That was a huge best time for the FGCU commit as her previous best was a 1:04.80 from this past July. Ackley will be welcomed to FGCU this fall after also progressing in the 100 back this season dropping from a 53.59 to a 52.72 in the SCY version of the event. Hayden Gibson was 2nd in a 1:03.45.

16 year old Hannah Renaud won the 200 fly in a 2:18.86 to win by almost three seconds as Emma Belk was 2nd in a 2:20.69. Renaud dropped about five seconds as her previous best was a 2:23.47 from Summer NCSAs.





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Missouri

Memphis Athletic Director leaving for Missouri

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Memphis Athletic Director leaving for Missouri


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Memphis Athletic Director Laird Veatch is leaving for Missouri.

Veatch will be leaving his job in Memphis to take the same position at the University of Missouri.

Veatch has served as Director of Athletics since October 2019 and as Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics since June 2021.

Among his accomplishments are renovations at Elma Roane Fieldhouse, and indoor football and the Leftwich Tennis Center. He was also behind the hiring of head football Ryan Silverfield, and women’s basketball coaches Katrina Merriweather and Alex Simmons.

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Veatch has a history at Missouri–he worked there from 1997 to 2002 as Director of Annual Giving & Development Coordinator, Director of Athletics Development for Major Giving and Assistant Athletics Director for Development.

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Dean Plocher mum on allegations he obstructed ethics probe, pressured witnesses • Missouri Independent

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Dean Plocher mum on allegations he obstructed ethics probe, pressured witnesses • Missouri Independent


The embattled speaker of the Missouri House had little to say over the weekend in his first public comments since being accused of threatening potential witnesses and other stall tactics aimed at obstructing an ethics committee inquiry into his alleged misconduct.

Speaker Dean Plocher sat down for an interview released on Sunday with Scott Faughn, one of his most vocal supporters and the owner of an online compendium of press releases and opinion pieces called the Missouri Times.  

Since late last year, Plocher has faced an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, as well as calls for his resignation, over his unsuccessful push for the House to sign an $800,000 contract with a private software company outside the normal bidding process; alleged threats of retaliation against nonpartisan legislative staff who raised red flags about that contract; purportedly firing a potential whistleblower; and filing years of false expense reports for travel already paid for by his campaign.

Last Monday, a report documenting the investigation was made public that admonished Plocher for “absolute obstruction” that hindered the committee’s efforts to get to the truth.

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In his Sunday interview, Plocher said little about the inquiry, as every time he began answering questions about it Faughn would interrupt to lob insults at the committee and the process. Other than thanking his wife for her support as scandals swirl around him, the closest Plocher came to commenting was when he once again declared that he felt the investigation took too long. 

“This committee should have resolved itself in November or December,” Plocher said. 

Speaker Dean Plocher accused of ‘absolute obstruction’ in House ethics investigation

The interview appeared to be recorded Thursday, the same day Plocher stormed out of a press conference after reporters asked him about the ethics committee report.

“I’m shutting this down,” Plocher declared after two questions. “You guys don’t get it.”

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Days before abruptly ending the press conference, the ethics committee voted to reject a report recommending a formal letter of disapproval for Plocher, that he hire an accounting professional to manage his expense reports moving forward and that he refrain from retaliation against any legislator or House employee who cooperated with the committee. 

The report also suggested further review by the House into allegations of threats made against legislative employees during the course of the investigation. 

State Rep. Hannah Kelly, a Mountain View Republican who was appointed last year by Plocher as chair of the ethics committee, said the speaker threatened witnesses and created a “culture of fear and retaliation” that undermined the investigation. 

Public records included in the draft report revealed that while Plocher and his allies were condemning the investigation for dragging out too long, behind the scenes the speaker was causing the delays by refusing to speak to an attorney hired to collect evidence and repeatedly refusing to sign subpoenas to compel hesitant witnesses to come forward. 

The speaker wasn’t asked any questions about alleged obstruction during the interview released Sunday.

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Plocher is running for the GOP nomination for Missouri secretary of state. He currently leads his seven Republican opponents by a wide margin in fundraising, with more than $1.3 million cash on hand between his campaign account and allied political action committee.

But nearly all of that was raised before the litany of scandals became public last fall that have dominated his last year as speaker of the Missouri House. 

After taking in nearly $400,000 for his campaign and PAC in 2023, he raised just $15,000 this year.  



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Missouri’s farm income projected to drop in 2024 – Missourinet

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Missouri’s farm income projected to drop in 2024 – Missourinet


Missouri’s net farm income will likely drop 18% this year to $3.6 billion, according to the Spring 2024 Missouri Farm Income Outlook. Those numbers compare to an estimated 25% decrease in U.S. net farm income.

Scott Brown, the center’s interim director, told Missourinet that it’s not something to be alarmed about.

“In 2022, we had record farm income in Missouri at $4.9 billion,” he said. “It was a, generally, a really good time for a lot of our ag producers in this state. So, we’re really just coming off of those record highs. You know, if I went back to 2020, you only had farm income at $3 billion.”

The decline is due to reduced livestock inventories, lower crop prices, and declining market receipts.

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“What we’re saying in 2024 is, yes, another dip – $3.6 billion,” he explained. “So, we’re coming off of what has been record farm income and, really, not returning all the way back to where we were in 2020. So, lower crop receipts, dry weather’s played a role in what we’re seeing today.”

Missouri’s crop receipts are estimated to see an 11% decline this year, while livestock receipts are expected to see a nine-percent reduction.

On the bright side, projections indicate an increase in Missouri net farm income for 2025 and 2026.

“We expect cattle prices to continue to move higher in 2025, in 2026, just given how tight supplies are going to be,” Brown said. “So, that’s a large part of what we’re seeing in terms of slightly higher farm income estimates, and we also see what’s going to be expenses that, hopefully, continue to decline.”

The center is projecting that production expenses will decrease by about 5% this year, but that prices for purchased livestock, seed, labor, taxes, and consumption will grow.

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