GAINESVILLE, FLA. – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team fell to No. 7 Florida at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Saturday, 86-114.
The Lady Razorbacks tallied four first-place finishes against the Gators in their first meet of 2008.
“We knew we had a tough challenge against Florida and we wanted to come and swim well,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “We had a very good meet after having a month-and-a-half lay off from competition.”
Sophomore Lynette Ng picked up the Lady’Backs first win of the meet in the 50 freestyle. Ng’s time of 24.09 was just .04 seconds off of her career best.
Freshman Katie Kastes turned in a time of 2:00.56 to win the 200 butterfly and put her name third in the school records.
Arkansas’ best finish was in the 200 breaststroke where freshmen Jamie Marks (2:20.99) and Erin Neuman (2:22.08), senior Katie McGraw (2:26.18) and junior Elizabeth Engs (2:31.31) took the top four spots. The Lady’Backs followed with a 1-3-4 finish in the 400 free relay. The squad of Kastes, Ng, freshman Erica Totten and junior Summer Jackson touched in first with a time of 3:32.52.
Prior to Ng’s top finish, junior Stephanie Carr and freshman Ashley Largo finished 2-3 in the 1,000 free. Carr’s time of 10:00.09 was a season-best and placed her second in the school records. Largo touched in with a 10:11.73.
Kastes placed second in the 200 free with a time of 1:51.37.
In the 200 IM, freshmen Jamie Marks and Totten touched in third and fourth with times of 2:07.74 and 2:07.93. Totten’s time was an individual best.
Carr had another runner-up finish in the 500 free. She touched in less than .40 seconds behind Florida’s Stephanie Proud with a 4:52.45. Largo placed fourth in the event with a 5:02.47, while freshman Shara Sutphen earned a career-best time of 5:08.51.
“Florida set us up for the caliber of competition we’ll see at the Southeastern Conference Championships,” said Poppell. “We definitely have some room for improvement and we have six weeks before SECs to make those improvements.”
Indian River Community College also swam in the meet Saturday. The Lady’Backs defeated IRCC 161-41.
Arkansas diving was in competition this weekend as well, competing at the Georgia Invitational in Athens, Ga.
Junior Madison Palmer led the way on the boards finishing fifth on the one-meter (258.75) and 12th on the three-meter (237.15) and the platform (196.80). Junior Hilarie Wilson also dove, placing 21st on the one meter with a 209.40 and 16th on the platform with a 116.90.
Arkansas returns to the pool Jan. 12, traveling to Columbia, Mo., to face No. 18 Missouri and No. 20 Missouri State.
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