FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas swimming and diving team opened the 2017-18 season with a 149-83 victory over the SMU Mustangs Saturday at the HPER Natatorium. With the win, the Razorbacks have won three consecutive season openers.
Arkansas’ season opening win marks the second consecutive over the Mustangs and extends the Razorbacks non-conference dual meet win streak to 27, dating back to the 2011-12 season.
“I was very happy,” said head coach Neil Harper. “I think it was a great team effort. They did really well and wanted they wanted to race someone else. You could see that. There are still a few things we are working on but they have improved from where we were on the first couple of days of practice. It was good to see a lot of people step up.”
The Razorbacks won the first nine events, including sweeping the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle, 1m springboard and 100 free. Arkansas went on to sweep the 3m springboard, as well.
Freshman Peyton Palsha shined in the season opener, taking home the 1000 free title in a time of 10:06.92 in her first collegiate race. She also recorded the fast time in the 500 free with a time of 4:57.75.
“Two big wins for her (Peyton Palsha). That is what I just love about her, she loves to race. She is not afraid to get out and hold on. If someone wants to take her, they are going to have to reel it back in and pass her at the end. She is strong-willed and is eager to learn and train hard. She has been good addition to the team and had bolstered the freshman. They have all brought it to practice.”
Senior Olivia Weekley tabbed two individual wins in the 50 free (23.72) and the 100 fly (55.27).
On the boards, freshman diver Brooke Schultz broke the school record on the 1m springboard in her first collegiate meet, scoring a 343.43. Schultz also won the 3m springboard, breaking the pool and school record with a score of 366.38.
On the 1m, Schultz, freshman Maha Amer (273.15) and senior Nicole Gillis (301.50) all notched NCAA Zone qualifying scores, while Schultz and junior Marissa Green (293.40) qualified on the 3m.
Arkansas will return to the pool on Saturday, Oct. 14, when the Razorbacks travel to Columbia, Missouri, to take on the Missouri Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks in the tri-meet to open conference play.
For more information on Arkansas Swimming and Diving, follow @RazorbackSD on Twitter.