INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Led by a ninth-place finish by University of Arkansas sophomore Lauren Jordan in the 1,650 freestyle, the Razorbacks concluded the final day of the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship with a 26th-place finish, which is tied for the seventh-best in program history in the first season under head coach Sean Schimmel.
The 26th-place finish is the best for the Razorbacks since 1990 when Arkansas placed 25th overall. Arkansas’ 24 points scored at the Championship is the most scored by a Razorback team since 2004 when Arkansas nabbed 24 points and finished 27th overall.
“I’m certainly proud of our women and their efforts all the way through the season and up to this meet,” Schimmel said. “We are content with where we finished as a team, but we are certainly not satisfied. We are excited that we are 26th and that we are in that realm of teams, but we are always looking to do better. It was great to leave NCAA’s with All-Americans, best times and team records.”
Jordan made her mark in the third heat of the 1,650 freestyle and recorded the third-fastest time in school history, a personal-best 16:04.06. The Carmel, Ind., native shaved 9.80 seconds off her time of 16:13.86 from the SEC Championship. Her time placed her first in the field until the fifth heat when Georgia’s Brittany MacLean clocked a 15:54.63, placing her in second before the final heat.
After the final heat wrapped up, Jordan sat 9th overall earning her honorable mention All-America accolades, and making her the second Razorback to All-American at the NCAA Championship this season and the 34th in school history. Sophomore Nikki Daniels earned All-America honors on day two with a fourth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke. Daniels is the first Razorback in the history of the program to All-American in the 100 breaststroke. Jordan’s top-notch mile was part of a day three heave that moved Arkansas from 28th back into 26th overall.
“Lauren had a great mile,” Schimmel said. “This was her best time ever by about four seconds and it was her best time this season by 10 seconds and it was a long time coming. It was also a great time to show up. She took control of the race about 500-600 yards in and she never looked back.”
Also competing in the mile was junior Nicole Menzel. Menzel put together a strong race that culminated in a 19th-place finish while nabbing a time of 16:11.13 to wrap up her second-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championship.
Kicking off the morning prelims for the Razorbacks was Daniels in the 200 breast. The Wichita, Kan., native opened with a 29.43 split for her first 50 yards and a 32.92 split after her second 50. On the back end of the race Daniels was consistent with a 34.01 and 34.33 respectively to close the race. With that, Daniels clocked her second-fastest time with 2:10.69 to place 21st overall.
Wrapping up the morning preliminaries was the 400 free relay team of Susanna White, Nina Drolc, Shana Lim and Anna Mayfield. White opened the race with a 50.37 split before handing it off the Drolc, who nabbed a blistering 49.97, which was the fastest split for the Razorbacks. Lim followed with a split of 50.97 and Mayfield came up with the anchor time of 50.06. The quartet finished the race with a time of 3:21.37 for the third-fastest time in school history.
“For this season I am really proud of the steps we have made and I am excited about the progress and the fast swimming we had, the great diving and the team records put together,” Schimmel said. “I think we definitely turned some heads and got the program moving in the right direction.”
Arkansas wraps up the NCAA Championship with two new school records and two new All-Americans. With new school records in the 100 breaststroke and the 800 free relay, the Razorbacks finish the season with 11 school record broken under Schimmel. With the addition of Daniels and Jordan as All-Americans, Arkansas now has 34 individual All-Americans with a total of 77 All-America honors in the 40 year history of the program.
For more information regarding Razorback swimming & diving or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com and follow the Razorbacks on Twitter (@RazorbackSwim).
9th – Jordan – (16:04.06) ^
19th – Menzel – (16:11.13)
21st – Daniels – (2:10.69)
400 free relay
28th – White, Drolc, Lim, Mayfield – (3:21.37)
* Indicates top-8 finish/advance to finals
^ Indicates top-16 finish/advance to consolation finals
& Indicates personal best
! Indicates school record