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Razorbacks Break Eight Records At SEC Championships

Athletic Communications
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ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team closed a very successful outing on Saturday at the 2014 SEC Championships at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., in front of a sell-out crowd at Gabrielsen Natatorium. Over the course of the five-day championship meet the Razorbacks marked 40 personal records, broke eight school records and clocked 10 record-breaking swims. The team finished the meet in 6th place out of 12 teams with a total of 572 points and ended the meet with an NCAA ‘A’ qualification time in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“I think you’ve just got to pay attention to what you’re doing and the entire process of planning for the races until the last stroke,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “We talk about that, finishing strong, and that helped. We just stayed strong and finished with an ‘A’ cut on top of the team record. The team feels great. I think they’ve just got to be excited about where Arkansas swimming and diving is, not only in the conference, but where we are within the entire NCAA.” 

Junior Susanna White (Forest, Va.) had her fifth individual school-record swim of the championships in the B final of the 100 freestyle. White’s 48.75 marked a personal-best time and a new Arkansas record. Sophomore Maddie Monroe (Godfrey, Ill.) contributed a personal-best time in the C final with a 49.06, the fourth-fastest time in program history. Monroe swam a personal-best time in every event she participated in during the week. Sophomore Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia) swam a 49.53 to round out scoring for the Razorbacks. Each swim was an NCAA ‘B’ cut time. 

Sophomore Anna Mayfield (San Antonio, Texas) represented the Razorbacks in the A final of the 200 backstroke. Mayfield was one of two Razorbacks to swim in an A final during the championships. Mayfield swam a personal-best, NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:54.50, the fastest time in program history and Mayfield’s second individual Arkansas record of the meet.

Junior Nikki Daniels (Wichita, Kan.) and Julia Banach (Eilat, Israel) represented Arkansas in the B final of the 200 breaststroke. Daniels placed third with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 2:10.32 and Banach placed eighth with a 2:16.94. 

Senior Nicole Menzel’s commanding performance in the 1,650 freestyle earned her eighth place in the finals. The Hilton Head, S.C., native had a season-best and NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 16:15.14. She was followed by a well-paced group of Arkansas swimmers. Junior Lauren Jordan (Carmel, Ind.) swam a season-best 16:27.28 to place 15th and freshman Aiden Lister (Toowoomba, Australia) cut 32.32 seconds off her previous record, swimming a personal-best time of 16:30.34. Both Jordan and Lister earned NCAA ‘B’ time cuts. Senior Julia Kucherich (York, Pa.) swam a season-best time of 16:32.00 and sophomore Rachel Stoehr (Lake Forest, Ill.) and freshman Leia Bates (San Antonio, Texas) both swam personal records. In total, five Razorbacks placed high enough to contribute points to Arkansas’ team score. 

On the diving side, senior Kesha Naylor (Saskatchewan, Canada) led the Razorbacks in platform diving with an NCAA zone-qualifying score of 246.20. Sophomores Shelby Bartlett (Noblesville, Ind.) and Hannah Bortnick (Mission Hills, Kan.) both had career-best performances in the platform diving event. Bartlett earned a total score of 221.30 and Bortnick collected a total score of 201.10 during the afternoon prelims. Each diver contributed points to Arkansas’ team score from their platform diving performances. 

The team ended the meet in spectacular fashion by earning a school-record and NCAA ‘A’ cut time in the 400 freestyle relay. White, Drolc, Mayfield and Monroe combined to swim a 3:16.16, finishing in sixth place. The swim cut 1.49 seconds off the record the same team set earlier this season at the Mizzou Invitational. 

A 90-minute highlight show of the women’s competition will air on ESPNU on March 4 at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on Arkansas swimming and diving, follow @RazorbackSwim on Twitter.

1,650 Freestyle (Finals)
8th – Nicole Menzel (16:15.14) ^B
15th – Lauren Jordan (16:27.28) ^B
17th – Aiden Lister (16:30.34) !B
18th – Julia Kucherich (16:32.00) ^
19th – Rachel Stoehr (16:35.65) !
38th – Leia Bates (17:04.51) !

100 Freestyle (Finals)
11th – Susanna White (48.75) !@B
18th – Maddie Monroe (49.06) !*B
21st – Nina Drolc (49.53) B

200 Backstroke (Finals)
7th – Anna Mayfield (1:54.50) !@B

200 Breaststroke (Finals)
11th – Nikki Daniels (2:10.32) B
16th – Julia Banach (2:16.94)

400 Freestyle Relay (Finals)
6th – White, Drolc, Mayfield, Monroe (3:16.16) @A

Platform Diving (Prelims)
14th – Kesha Naylor (246.20) z
21st – Shelby Bartlett (221.30) !
24th – Hannah Bortnick (201.10) !

A – NCAA ‘A’ time
B - NCAA ‘B’ time
z – NCAA zone-qualifying score
! – Personal-best mark
^ - Season-best time
*  - Arkansas top-five time
@ - Arkansas record

2014 SEC Swimming & Diving Championships Final Team Rankings
1. University of Georgia (1,589)
2. Texas A&M University (1,204)
3. University of Florida (1,130)
4. Auburn University (804)
5. University of Tennessee (780)
6. University of Arkansas (572)
7. Louisiana State University (548)
8. University of Alabama (526)
9. University of Missouri (475.5)
10. University of Kentucky (426)
11. University of South Carolina (260)
12. Vanderbilt University (186.5)

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