Houston vs. Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas, January 21. THE 19th-ranked University of Arkansas swimming and diving team blew past the Cougars of Houston with a final score of 153-90 at the Arkansas Natatorium on Friday, Jan. 21.

The Razorbacks (8-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) swept the first two events of the day when the 400 medley relay team stopped the clock at 3:49.18 for first place. Nicole Menzel led the 1000 freestyle in 10:04.06. Ashley Largo (second, 10:07.57), Julia Kucherich (third, 10:09.57) and Sigrun Sverrisdottir (fourth, 10:15.34) followed just behind the freshman.

"This was our first time to compete at home since the first week in November," head coach Jeff Poppell said, "and it's nice to be home and have the great crowd that we did today. We had a lot of kids that were swimming events that they don't necessarily race very often by plan, and we saw some fantastic things out of them."

The Razorbacks also paced the 50 free with a time of 24.39 seconds from Katie Whitbeck, the 200 IM from Jamie Marks with 2:06.38 and the 200 back with Haley Smith posting 2:01.82.

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"This is the last chance for a lot of our girls to swim some of these events prior to SEC's and a lot of them were in-season bests which we are excited about, so overall, I couldn't be any happier."

Houston's Lacey Truelove led the three-meter dive with Razorback Kesha Naylor was in the third slot with a mark of 286.5. The freshman came back on the one-meter board to score 293.55, less than one point away from the top finish. Liana Bugslag came in fourth on the 1m with a mark of 281.93.

"I was very disappointed in the diver's performance in the three meter," diving coach Dale Schultz said, "but they all really came back on the one meter and preformed well."

Liz Braun picked up a career-best time of 2:03.69 in the 200 butterfly, good for second place. Chelsea Franklin led the race in 2:03.01. Sophomore Kelsea Vance and senior Gina Bargiachi also earned a career-best times in the 200 back. Vance stopped the clock at 2:07.71 while Bargiachi clocked 2:14.52.

The 19th-ranked Razorbacks continue at the Arkansas Natatorium as they host top-ranked Drury on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.

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