LAWRENCE, Kansas, November 1. THE University of Arkansas swimming and diving team won a nail-biter against Kansas 150.5-149.5 Thursday evening in Lawrence, Kan. The Lady Razorbacks improved to 4-1 while the Jayhawks dropped to 1-2.
"This was a huge win for our program," said head coach Jeff Poppell. "It was like a boxing match and the meet could have gone either way; we were just able to be a little better today."
In what was almost a three-hour meet, the Lady'Backs won 10 events, while Kansas touched in first in six. The lead changed six times throughout the competition, with Arkansas taking the final lead in the 400 individual medley – the 15th of 16 events.
Freshman Katie Kastes led the way with three first-place finishes. Juniors Stephanie Carr and Madison Palmer and freshman Jamie Marks tallied two wins each.
Carr earned Arkansas' first win of the meet with a time of 16:50.10 in the 1,650 freestyle.
Kastes and sophomore Lynette Ng touched in first in the next two events, the 200 free and the 100 backstroke, putting Arkansas ahead of the Jayhawks 41-33. Kastes' (1:51.28) and Ng (58.19) turned in personal bests in both races.
Kansas regained the lead after placing 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke, but Kastes answered with her second win of the evening, this time in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:02.35.
A 2-3-4 finish by Ng (24.37), freshman Megan Haskins (24.60) and senior Tifanie Silver (24.86) in the 50 free, and a win on the one-meter springboard by Palmer (281.03) kept the Lady'Backs in front.
The Jayhawks went 1-2 in the next two events pulling ahead once again, 101-87.
Marks touched in with a career-best 2:22.02 in the 200 breast, Carr was victorious in the 500 free with a 4:55.95 and Kastes and senior Emily Gregory finished 1-2 in the 100 butterfly, giving Arkansas a three-point lead. Kastes time of 56.07 was another individual best.
Palmer tied for first on the three meter with a 266.70 and won her sixth straight diving event before Marks broke the pool record in the 400 IM with a 4:25.27. Totten finished second in the 400 IM with a career-best 4:29.18 and helped put the Lady'Backs up by 10 points.
Arkansas finished the last event, the 800-free relay, in second place with a 7:35.99 to stay on top and win the meet.
"This is what makes college athletics so fun, the emphasis was on the team," said Poppell. "Every race and every single dive was so important. I'm very proud of the young ladies."
Special thanks to Arkansas for contributing this report.