HOUSTON, Texas (UofA)- The No. 23 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team finished strong on day one of the Houston Cougar Swimming and Diving Invitational. The Razorbacks currently sit in second place with 194 points after six events and hold nine top-eight finishes.
The Razorbacks' strong finish was brought on in the 400-yard medley relay with a school-record breaking swim with a time of 3:37.21. Lim led the relay off with a school record of her own in the leadoff leg of the 100 backstroke with a time of 53.66. Lim also held the previous record of 54.95, which she set against Georgia. Daniels followed Lim's lead with a split of 59.71 in the breast stroke to move Arkansas into second place. White was up next for the Razorbacks, clocking a 54.64 in the fly. Drolc finished out the record-breaking swim with a time of 49.20 on the split, as the relay team finished in third, besting their previous 400 medley relay time of the season by 7.61 seconds and picking up their first NCAA 'B' cut time of the season in a relay.
Freshman Anna Mayfield clocked the second-best time in school history in the 100 backstroke, swimming a 54.16 in the leadoff leg of the 400 medley relay. The relay would finish eighth overall and would score for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks began the event finals on day one in as exciting a fashion as they finished them, recording a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which was good for the second-best time in school history (1:32.03). The quartet of sophomore Susanna White, freshman Nina Drolc, redshirt sophomore Shana Lim and freshman Maddie Monroe came up with the season-best time. The fourth-place finish gave the Razorbacks 32 points to start the meet finals. After the first leg the Razorbacks sat back in eighth place before Drolc entered the pool on the second leg. The freshman clocked a 22.44 split that put Arkansas in fourth, which they would hold for the duration of the race.
The 500 freestyle finals would launch the Razorbacks from fourth place to second place with 91 points up to that point, Arkansas sat behind only No. 4 Texas A&M (142). In the race the UA placed six in the top-16, all scoring for the UA. The Razorbacks momentous jump was led by sophomore Lauren Jordan, Mayfield and senior Chelsea Franklin, who went4-5-6 overall. Franklin clocked 4:46.88, which is a season best and an NCAA 'B' cut time. Jordan and Mayfield clocked their season best times in the preliminaries with 'B' cut times of 4:44.80 and 4:45.79 respectively. Junior Nicole Menzel notched a 'B' cut time as well in the 500 freestyle final with her time of 4:46.77.
White was the top finisher in the 200-yard individual medley finals for Arkansas as she clocked a time of 2:01.76. In the preliminaries she notched a season-best time and 'B' cut time of 2:00.19. The Razorbacks picked up 20 team points, bringing their total to 111 and giving Arkansas a sizeable margin over third-place SMU with 62.
The 50 freestyle finals, White was the fastest off the blocks in her heat (.67), clocking a sixth-place finish and a season-best time of 23.10.
Junior diver Kesha Naylor finished in the top-12 in the morning preliminaries earning a spot in the evening finals. Naylor notched a season-best 316.65 en route to an eighth-place finish.
The Razorbacks will return to the pool tomorrow for the second day of competition. Day two will include the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and one-meter diving.
For more information regarding Razorback swimming & diving or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.