LAWRENCE, Kansas, October 29. THE Kansas swimming and diving team won their second straight meet of the season as they improved their record to 3-2, with a 174.5-118.5 victory over the University of Illinois, Saturday at Robinson Natatorium.
Junior transfer Vanessa Hanbury and Sophomore Alison Lusk set the pace for the Jayhawks as the pair finished first in a total of four events, while netting 18 points apiece. Hanbury was fastest in the 50 free (24.19) and the 100 free (52.33), while Lusk claimed first place honors, swimming in the 100 breaststroke (106.36) and the 200 breast (2:22.62).
"We swam really well and had some athletes step it up," head coach Clark Campbell said. "Rebecca Swank was exceptional, Morgan Sharp had a very good 200 free and Malia Johnson had an outstanding 500 free, not to mention Alison Lusk had two very solid races."
"We really came together as a team," senior captain Shannon Garlie said after the meet. "It was exciting and everyone swam pretty well."
The Jayhawks got off to a fast start after the first whistle, winning the first nine events of the dual meet, including relay and diving events.
"It definitely sets the tone," Garlie said. "The relays are really important to win in the beginning because we get more points for them."
Also chipping in during the victory were seniors Stephanie Payne and Abigail Anderson who each won an event. Payne came in second in another event, which teammate Alison Lusk won.
"We are getting better every single week and we are training well," Campbell said. "We are excited at where we're at right now."
On the boards, divers Christy Cash and Alyssa Golden had good performances as Cash finished first in the three meter dive (264.75) and Golden finished third (246.97) in the same event.
Kansas took 13 of the 16 events both squads competed in Saturday, dropping the Fighting Illini to 0-2 on the season.
"It's good to be in a position like this," Campbell said. "We trained and did a two-hour, long course practice this morning and then came back and swam in the meet this afternoon, so I am really happy with our fitness level."
The hard work paid off for the Jayhawks and Coach Campbell, who notched his 75th victory as head coach of Kansas since his arrival before the 2002-03 season.
Campbell, Garlie and the rest of the team will now how two weeks to rest before entertaining a tough Missouri team in Lawrence, but both think Saturday's strong performance will give them a boost heading into their meet with the Tigers.
"They are our number one rival, so we are going to be pumped for them," Garlie said. "I think winning this meet will give us a lot of momentum going into that match-up."
"Missouri always brings out the best in us, so we are looking forward to our meet with them," Campbell said. "Hopefully it is not the last time we swim against them in Big 12 competition but you never know. Regardless, they are very good and we will have our work cut out for us."
The aquatic version of the Border Showdown will take place Friday, Nov. 11, at 5 p.m. inside Robinson Natatorium. Kansas now, 3-2 will try to defeat the Tigers for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
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