COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team swept Missouri, Kentucky and Southern Illinois in a triple dual meet on Friday, in their first away meet of the season. En route to the three victories, the Razorbacks tallied 10 event wins and three one-two finishes to go 3-0 on the day.
"It was really important for us to see how the women would handle themselves on the road,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “It was a tough competition with two SEC opponents. We talked about having the energy from the deck all the way through the meet and they did it right from the first relay and right from the first dives.”
The Razorbacks (3-1, 2-1 SEC) once again started out strong taking the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:42.69. The Razorbacks started the race off fast and in second place after the first leg. Sophomore Nikki Daniels made up some ground and gave the Razorbacks the lead after clocking a 28.95 split, and she was the only swimmer to break 28 seconds in any leg in the race. However as the final leg approached, the Razorbacks were behind, but freshman Nina Drolc out-touched Missouri at the wall clocking a 22.76 split in the freestyle to take first place for the Razorbacks. After winning the first race, Arkansas took the lead over all three schools and never looked back.
The second event brought more Razorback success as the UA took first, third and fourth place in the 1000 freestyle. Senior Chelsea Franklin clocked the top time with 10:00.95 to take first. Franklin had a solid lead throughout much of the race; she finished with a six second lead over the second place finisher. Junior Julia Kucherich took third place with 10:06.47. After the first events the Razorbacks had a 26 point lead over Southern Illinois, a 22 point lead over Kentucky and an 18 point lead over the hosts, Missouri.
Sophomore Lauren Jordan took a commanding win in the 200 freestyle, taking the win by a half a second with a time of 1:50.04.
In the 100 breaststroke Arkansas recorded their first one-two finish on the afternoon as sophomore Julia Banah and Daniels nabbed the top spots. Banach took the lead from the get go and never surrendered it as she finished with a time of 1:04.08. Daniels followed with a time of 1:04.12. In the 200 breaststroke, Banach and Daniels went one-two again with times of 2:18.38 and 2:18.67 respectively. Banach was in second place after the second leg and swam a strong 35.88 split in the third to make up some ground, her strong final leg (35.37) sealed the victory.
Later on in the 100 yard freestyle Drolc took the victory for the UA clocking a personal best on the way with a time of 50.89. Drolc had a great start on the first 50 yards as she clocked a 24.34, the only swimmer under 25 seconds in the race.
The 200 backstroke was dominated by the Razorbacks as they took three of the top-four spots. Freshman Anna Mayfield bested her previous score of 1:58.69 by five hundredths of a second to take first in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:58.64, while recording a personal best. Mayfield was in the lead from the start of the race with a strong jump off the blocks, as she was the only swimmer under 29 seconds on any leg in the race. Jordan and Kucherich scored for the Razorbacks, coming in third and fourth with times of 1:59.27 and 2:04.34 respectively.
As the meet went on the Razorbacks never stopped the pressure. The 500 freestyle was a banner event, as it was the final one-two performance for the Razorbacks, with Jordan and Franklin with the top finishes. Jordan had a commanding lead throughout much of the race as she clocked a final time of 4:54.54, beating out Franklin (4:56.43).
On the boards, junior Kesha Naylor was the top finisher in both the three-meter and one-meter. Naylor took first in the three-meter with a score of 290.50, while taking second on the one-meter with a score of 260.70.
With the meet wins already in the bag, Arkansas finished strong with first-place wins in the final two events. White took first in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:03.53 as the relay team of Drolc, Mayfield, Lim and White closed out the meet with first in the 400 yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:25.02.
The swimming and diving team returns to the pool on Nov. 15 as they compete in the Houston Cougar Invite in Houston, Texas.
Arkansas vs. Missouri, 197-103
Arkansas vs. Kentucky, 212-88
Arkansas vs. SIU, 244-56