(Photo Courtesy: Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The No. 23 Razorback swimming and diving team (7-1, 2-1 SEC) defeated Rice 207-86 and Clemson 230-19 in a double-dual meet at the Arkansas Natatorium on Jan. 25. The meet was highlighted by Razorback wins in 14 events, including the first NCAA zone qualification scores for two Arkansas divers.
"We hadn't been home for a while, and they came together and swam tough right from the beginning," said head coach Sean Schimmel. "They stayed sharp all the way through it. We had some great diving going on as well. A couple girls qualified for zones, which we hadn't had before. I think for right now on Jan. 25 we're in a really good spot."
Junior Meghan Clark (Frisco, Texas) won the three-meter diving event with a score of 297.90. Sophomore Hannah Bortnick (Mission Hills, Kan.) placed second with a score of 291.68. Both scores are the first NCAA zone qualifying scores for the divers.
The swimming portion of the meet began with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. Arkansas' relay team of sophomore Anna Mayfield (San Antonio, Texas), junior Nikki Daniels (Wichita, Kan.), junior Susanna White (Forest, Va.) and sophomore Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia) finished the race in 1:42.36.
Arkansas continued to display mastery of distance swimming with a sweep of the 1,000 freestyle led by senior Nicole Menzel (Hilton Head, S.C.) with a time of 10:05.87. She was followed by freshman Aiden Lister (Toowoomba, Australia) in second place in 10.06.16 and senior Julia Kucherich (York, Pa.) placed third in 10:10.32. The 500 freestyle was dominated by junior Lauren Jordan (Carmel, Ind.) with a winning time of 4:57.62.
Arkansas also swept the 200 backstroke. Mayfield won the event in 2:00.27, followed by Jordan in second in 2:03.22 and freshman Sarah Easterling (Cumberland, Maine) in third in 2:06.58. Mayfield also won the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.57.
Daniels posted wins in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events with times of 1:02.51 and 2:17.37, respectively. White also won two individual events, claiming the 50 freestyle in 23.25 and the 100 butterfly in 54.74.
Freshman Katie Kearbey (Nevada, Mo.) won the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:05.75. Kucherich won the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:26.19, and Drolc won the 100 freestyle in 51.31.
Arkansas closed the meet with a win by White, Drolc, Mayfield and sophomore Maddie Monroe (Godfrey, Ill.) in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:28.85.
The Razorbacks will return to the Arkansas Natatorium on Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. to host Kansas and Vanderbilt in a double-dual meet. The meet will be the last home meet of the season and will serve as Senior Day. A special presentation of the seniors will preface the races. Admission is free.