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Swimming And Diving Wins Missouri Invitational

Athletic Communications
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FAYETTEVILLE - The No. 21 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team placed first out of 11 teams at the Missouri Invitational on Saturday. The team’s final total of 809 points was 111 points more than second-place Utah and 112 points more than SEC opponent Missouri. 

“I think the final day was definitely our best day over the last session,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “We came into our own there, made a statement there. We talked about what we were going to bring into the second half of the season which leads into our championships in February and I’m just really proud of the way they handled the situation. They prepared themselves all the way through in a championship manner to have the type of day like we could have today.”

Saturday’s finals were highlighted with three event wins by junior Nikki Daniels (Wichita, Kan.) in the 200-yard breaststroke, senior Kesha Naylor (Saskatchewan, Canada) in platform diving and Arkansas’ ‘A’ 400 freestyle relay team. 

The 400 freestyle relay team of junior Susanna White (Forest, Va.), and sophomores Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia), Anna Mayfield (San Antonio, Texas) and Maddie Monroe (Godfrey, Ill.) not only won the event with a time of 3:17.65, but they also set a new Arkansas school record with the finish. The same team of swimmers set the previous record last season.

“It was just awesome,” Coach Schimmel said. “It was a great experience on the pool deck. Those women stepped up big time. All four of them swam great. That’s the type of experience I want this team to be able to have.”

Naylor led Arkansas’ divers during the three-day competition, and won platform diving with an NCAA zone qualification score of 268.85.

“Kesha winning today was a big deal,” Coach Schimmel said. “Of course Jeff (DiNicola) is doing an outstanding job with them and getting them to do things they’ve never done before. It’s starting to come around and showed up today with Kesha.”

Daniels led the Razorbacks in the 200 breaststroke with a personal-best time of 2:09.34, closely followed by junior Julia Banach (Eilat, Israel) in fourth place. 

In the 1,650 freestyle, senior Nicole Menzel (Hilton Head, S.C.) led the highly-talented Razorback contingency of distance swimmers by placing second in 16:26.09. Razorbacks also claimed third, fifth and seventh place in the championship final.

Mayfield placed second in the 200 backstroke in 1:56.06, with Jordan’s eighth-place finish of 2:01.39 completing the championship final. Drolc finished third in the 100 freestyle in 49.31. White and Monroe also placed fifth and sixth in the championship final, respectively.

Seven Razorbacks swam in the 200 butterfly finals. Senior Aubrey Golbek (Noblesville, Ind.) took 12th place in a personal- best swim of 2:03.75. 

The Razorbacks have completed their fall schedule and will return to competition on Jan. 11 when the team faces Alabama and Kentucky in a double-dual meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“It’s an important time for us athletically and academically,” Coach Schimmel said. “We’re trying to get on track academically, while at the same time going through a different phase of training. We’re going to get a lot of really strong work in and build up a lot of things we did this fall.”

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

1,650 Freestyle (Finals)
2nd - Nicole Menzel (16:26.09) *
3rd - Julia Kucherich (16:32.94) 
5th - Lauren Jordan (16:42.64)
7th - Rachel Stoehr (16:46.38)
15th - Leia Bates (17:06.73)
20th - Rachel Kessler (17:25.09)

200 Backstroke (Finals)
2nd - Anna Mayfield (1:56.06) *
8th - Lauren Jordan (2:01.39)
14th - Sarah Easterling (2:03.45) #
X - Aubrey Golbek (2:03.61)

100 Freestyle (Finals)
3rd - Nina Drolc (49.31) *
5th - Susanna White (49.46) *
6th - Maddie Monroe (49.96) #*
15th - Shelby Cox (52.39)

200 Breaststroke (Finals)
1st - Nikki Daniels (2:09.34) #*
4th - Julia Banach (2:12.98) *
15th - Mary Margaret Soderberg (2:18.40) 
25th - Erika McGovern (2:19.86) #

200 Butterfly (Finals)
12th - Aubrey Golbek (2:03.75) #
13th - Katie Kearbey (2:03.80) #
16th - Rachel Kessler (2:06.17) 
19th - Rebekah Harvey (2:04.51) 
22nd - Molly Milborn (2:07.43) 
25th - Anna Williams (2:05.60) #
29th - Jordan Kimmey (2:07.12) #

400 Freestyle Relay (Finals)
1st - Arkansas 'A' (White, Drolc, Mayfield, Monroe) (3:17.65) *
7th - Arkansas 'B' (Cox, Stoehr, Golbek, Menzel) (3:23.97)
16th - Arkansas 'C' (Bates, Harvey, Easterling, Soderberg) (3:31.37)
22nd - Arkansas 'D' (Whitbeck, Milborn, Kucherich, McGovern) (3:32.56)

Platform Diving (Finals)
1st - Kesha Naylor (268.85) Z

X - exhibition swim
# - personal best
* - NCAA 'B' cut time
Z - NCAA zone qualification score

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