HOUSTON, Tex.– The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team is bringing home their third win of the season after beating Rice University, University of Incarnate Word and University of Houston with a total of 1162 points. The Razorbacks also shattered three facility records on Friday evening and three on Saturday at the Rice Aquatics Center Competition pool.
Arkansas had no problem showing up and racing this weekend at the Rice Invitational in Houston, Tex. Session 1, the ladies had a terrific day in the water and set the tone for the rest of the meet. Arkansas shattered three facility records, including one record that had already been held by the Razorbacks from 2011. Anna Mayfield, Madison Strathman, Natalie Burnett, and Maddie Monroe broke the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:45.02. Senior Anna Mayfield bounced back from the 400 medley relay and went straight into the 500 freestyle. She went a time of 4:51.36 and broke the facility record. The last event of the evening, Mayfield, Monroe, Chloe Hannam, and Aiden Lister shattered the facility record in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:26.61.
Lister also went under the 500 freestyle record and placed second with a time of 4:51.48. In the third event of the evening, Chloe Hannam finished first and broke the facility record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:04.47. Teammates Chelsea Tatlow took fourth, Jessie Garrison (sixth), and Strathman (seventh). Drolc (23.76) and Burnett (23.80) took first and second in the 50 freestyle, while Caitlin Tootill (24.13) took fifth and teammate Monroe (24.15) placed sixth.
The Razorbacks ended the first session with a total of 330 points, with the Owls behind them with 257 points. Houston was third with a total of 192 points and Incarnate Word in fourth with 136 points.
Mayfield, Strathman, Burnett, and Drolc started the second session in the right foot by winning the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:45.72. The Razorbacks did not stop there. Hannam won her second individual event of the weekend in the 400 individual medley (4:24.31) and placed third in the 200 backstroke in the third session. Chelsea Tatlow came in fifth, Madison Umberger in eighth and Mary Margaret Soderberg in ninth.
Going into session two, Head coach Sean Schimmel said, “They were a little flat and were not at the level of execution, so we challenged them to respond for session three. We wanted them to have their performances and efforts reflect the type of team Arkansas is and what we aspire to become.”
In the 100 butterfly, Burnett placed second in her second individual event of the weekend. Only two-tenths of a second away from Rice University’s Kiley Beall, Burnett went a time of 57.29. Teammates Olivia Weekley placed fourth (58.00), Garrison in sixth (58.48), and Taylor Weiss (58.58) in seventh. Burnett also took third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.48.
Mayfield went four for four in her individual events at the Rice Invitational. After breaking the facility record in the 500 freestyle, Mayfield took first in the 200 freestyle (1:50.71), first place and new facility record in the 100 backstroke (55.37) and her third individual facility record in the 200 backstroke (1:58.28). Mayfield was also apart of the two relays at session one that broke the facility records. Mayfield had a fantastic weekend by breaking a total of five facility records.
Drolc had a great weekend in the pool at the Rice Invitational. In the 100 freestyle, took first with a time of 51.16 and third in the 200 freestyle (1:53.90) during the second session.
The 100 freestyle was an exciting race in the third session. Arkansas took first, second, and third in the event. Behind Drolc, Monroe came in second (51.56) and in third was Tootill with a time of 52.31.
Strathman finished her last individual event of the weekend by winning the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:19.41. Teammate Sydney Angell took fourth and Sarah Easterling placed eighth.
Tatlow and Garrison competed in their last individual event of the weekend in the 200 butterfly. Takiing second, Garrison finished right behind Tatlow. Tatlow went a time of 2:04.01.
The Razorbacks went five for five in the relays at the Rice Invitational. Burnett, Drolc, Mayfield, and Monroe took first place in the 200 freestyle relay at the second session of the day with a time of 1:35.96. The last race of session two, Lister outreached her opponent in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 17:08.23.
The last relay of the two day meet, Arkansas finished first and fourth. Drolc, Mayfield, Burnett, and Monroe won the race by seven seconds, with Rice University in second. The relay also broke another facility record at the Rice Aquatics Competition Pool. This was the third relay facility record broken by Arkansas this weekend. Tootill, Weekley, Carney, and Lister finished fourth with a time of 3:37.29.
“In session three, the team responded and finished the invite out strong. I was really encouraged with how they responded and came together as a team” Schimmel said.
Taking second, third, fourth, and sixth in the one-meter diving competition, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh in the three-meter, and having several personal records this weekend, the Arkansas divers had a great weekend at the University of Houston.
“The girls dove well yet again and have improved in scores in all the meets so far.” Diving Coach Jeff DiNicola said. “To hear people in the stands say “those Arkansas divers are a strong group” is a great feeling to have.”
Nicole Gillis and Hannah Bortnick qualified for the Zones Diving Championships at the beginning of the season against Nebraska. This weekend, senior Shelby Bartlett qualified for Zones and will be heading to College Station in March.
“It is great to have Shelby qualify for zones. We have only two more diver to qualify and they have scores that are so close. I am hopeful for that qualifying standard to be this semester.” DiNicola said.
Gillis took second in the one-meter diving (291.30) and third in the three meter diving (305.05). Barlett placed third in the one-meter diving (290.50) and sixth in the three-meter competition (277.45). Senior Bortnick took fourth in the one-meter diving (281.90) and fourth in the three-meter competition. She also had a personal record on the tower exhibition on Friday, as well as teammate Gillis.
Incarnate Word: 548
The Arkansas swimming and diving team will travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to compete against the Volunteers on Nov. 6 at 2:00 p.m.
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