FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas, January 26. THE University of Arkansas women’s swimming and diving team defeated Rice in a dual meet and tied with Clemson in diving in a three-team meet yesterday in Fayetteville. Two Arkansas divers and one Clemson diver qualified for NCAA Zones. Nikki Daniels and Susanna White each won two individual events to pace the Razorbacks.
Arkansas Press Release
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 3:23.85.
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.
For more information on Arkansas swimming and diving, follow @RazorbackSwim.
Rice Press Release
Rice junior Casey Clark charged to a victory in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:49.98, but meet host Arkansas defeated the visiting Owl swimmers 207-86 in the team scoring Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville, Ark.
Not only was Clark was the lone competitor to go under 1:50 Saturday in the 200-freestyle, she did so for the third time in as many tries this season. Her winning mark was just slightly off her Conference USA-leading time of 1:45.69 set last month at the University of Texas Invitational. For a Saturday encore Clark then came back and took second in both the 100-freestyle (51.46) and 100-butterfly (55.78) before swimming the lead leg on the Owls’ 400-free relay that finished second with a time of 3:27.02.
Also scoring for Rice was the senior tandem of Chelsea Fong and Karina Wlostowska who both tied for second in the 50-free (24.13) in addition to swimming on the 4×100 relay. Fong teamed with Michelle Gean, Rachel Moody and Cora McKenzie for second place in the meet’s opening 200-medley relay (1:45.27). Moody and Gean chipped-in individual second place finishes in the 100-breaststroke (1:04.31) and 100-backstroke (57.64), respectively. Junior Erin Flanigan swam a 4:57.70 to take second in the 500-free after a 10:12.51 in the rugged 1,000. True freshman Marita Sailor contributed second place points in the 200-butterfly (2:07.86) and 400-individual medley (4:33.16).
The Rice swimmers are now 2-3 in five dual meets this season, with each of the team’s losses hands of former conference rivals who have all been ranked in the national Top 20 at some point this season (Arkansas, Texas A&M and Texas) – and all the meets were away from home. The Owls close out the weekend road swing competing in a dual meet at Arkansas-Little Rock on Jan. 26 at 11 am.
Clemson Press Release
The Clemson women’s diving team tied Arkansas, 19-19, on Saturday in the first ever meeting between the two. The Tigers are now 7-1-1 in dual meets this season.
“Our ladies had a great day in the diving well,” said Head Coach Leslie Hasselbach Adams. “It was a total team effort and I am thrilled with our level of competitive maturity and confidence. Everyone keeps getting better.
“A majority of our ladies had major breakthroughs today and have created positive momentum going into our upcoming week of training. We learned a lot from this meet and have some great takeaways. I am proud of our team and where we are heading. I am excited for the next stop on our journey.”
Megan Helwagen led the Tigers with an NCAA Zones qualifying score of 291.08 to finish third in the three-meter event. It was her first time qualifying for Zones in that event in 2013-14. She joins Emily Howard as the only other Tiger to qualify in two events this season.
Arkansas was able to take the top two spots in three-meter diving while Clemson took each of the following three spots. Razorback divers Meghan Clark and Hannah Bortnick each recorded qualifying scores to take first and second in that event.
Freshman Danielle Reitsma followed Helwagen coming in fourth with a score of 275.63. Chelsea Uranaka finished in fifth with a 267.45.
Emily Howard finished first overall in the one-meter with a Zones qualifying score of 271.58. It was her third-highest one-meter score of the season and her fourth time finishing first in an event this year. Reitsma finished second with a score of 262.13, a season-high in the one-meter competition. She has now finished in the top-five in four of the five events in her first two collegiate meets.
“Emily Howard was the “comeback kid” today,” Adams said. “She showed excellent mental fortitude and brought the “Eye of the Tiger” for the one-meter event.”
The Tigers took the top two spots in one-meter competition and Arkansas would take each of the next three spots causing the two to tie for the meet. It is the first time that Clemson has finished in a tie this season.
Clemson will return to the pool next Saturday, February 2, at 12:00 PM when they play host to College of Charleston for the second time this season.