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#25 Lady’Backs cruise to victory over Vanderbilt

BY ANDRES FOCIL
#25 Lady’Backs cruise to victory over Vanderbilt

FAYETTEVILLE – The 25th-ranked University of Arkansas swimming and diving team won 12 out of 13 events and cruised to a 195-38 win over Vanderbilt Saturday at the Arkansas Natatorium.

Nine different Lady Razorbacks won individual events. Arkansas placed 1-2-3-4 in six events, 1-2-3 in four and 1-2 in one event.

Junior diver Madison Palmer set a school record on the one-meter springboard with a career-best score of 318.82. Palmer swept the diving events, also winning the three meter with a 336.15, the third best score in program history.

On Senior Day, every Arkansas senior picked up a win. Emily Gregory finished first in the 50 freestyle while Katie McGraw and Tifanie Silver won the first races of their Lady’Back careers. McGraw touched first the 200 breaststroke and Silver took the 100 free. The three seniors along with junior Summer Jackson also placed first in the 400-free relay.

“We had a fantastic last meet at home,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “We swam great, we dove great and our three seniors came away with wins in their events as well as the last relay. The day before this meet we found out we were ranked in the top 25 in the country and I don’t think we could have scripted a better meet today or a better way to send out all our seniors.”

Arkansas got off to great start placing 1-2-3 in the 400 medley relay. The squad of Silver and freshmen Jamie Marks, Kylie Kastes and Ashley Largo took first.

The Lady’Backs followed with a 1-2-3-4 finish of the 1,000 free. Freshman Shara Sutphen touched first (10:20.30) followed by freshman Erica Totten (10:26.02) and juniors Macey Webb (10:34.64) and Elizabeth Engs (10:36.02).

In the next two events, the 50 free and the 400 individual medley, Arkansas swept first through fourth place. Gregory was victorious in the 50 free (24.66). Kylie Kastes placed second with the best time and finish of her career (25.14). She was followed by sophomore Allison Chinn and freshman Gina Bargiachi. Largo took top honors in the 400 IM with an individual-best 4:29.37. Freshmen Erin Neumann and Brittany Kimmitt and junior Emily Fletcher rounded out the top four in the event.

Marks touched in a time of 2:02.88 in the 200 butterfly to win the event, while Silver (53.08) took first in the 100 free and Totten (54.34) placed second.

In the 200 backstroke sophomore Lynette Ng had a career-best time of 2:07.25 to win the event, followed by Kimmitt, Engs, and Webb.

Freshman Katie Kastes won the 500 free by almost 12 seconds with a time of 4:57.34. Haskins took second, Jackson was third and Fletcher finished fourth.

McGraw’s first win as a Lady’Back was in the 200 breast with a time of 2:24.72. Clark, Haskins and Sutphen gave Arkansas the top four spots.

The senior relay team touched first in the 400 free relay with a 3:36.73, followed by the other two Arkansas relay teams.

Vanderbilt freshman Leigh-Ann Axt won the Commodores only race, the 200 free.

Every Arkansas diver scored at minimum season bests on the one and three meter springboards. Junior Hilarie Wilson qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving meet on the one meter with a career-best 284.55. Junior Kellyn Williams qualified for Zones on the three meter with a season-best 282.90.

The Lady’Backs return to the pool Feb. 9 traveling to Auburn, Ala., to face No. 1 Auburn and No. 22 Florida State.

For more information about Arkansas swimming and diving, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Swimming & Diving (W)