TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team moved to eighth place after the second day of competition at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Freshman Katie Kastes led the Lady Razorbacks setting the school record in the 500 freestyle with a fifth-place finish.
Every single swim by the Lady’Backs was a season-best time and almost every Lady’Back turned in a career-best time.
“I can’t be any more proud of the whole team with their performance today,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “We’re swimming as well as we can swim. We can’t do anything more, and based on performance, I think we’re out performing every team here.”
Kastes and Carr made the finals in the 500 free where they both broke the previous school record. Kastes finished almost 10 seconds faster than her prior career best with a time of 4:43.93. Junior Stephanie Carr touched in 10th with a 4:44.06, marking the second-best time in the records.
Freshmen Ashley Largo (4:53.88), Brittany Kimmitt (4:55.78), Erica Totten (4:58.78), Shara Sutphen (5:01.42) and Kylie Kastes (5:06.97) and junior Macey Webb (5:02.88) all turned in personal-best times in the 500 free. Kimmitt shaved over 10 seconds off her time, while Kylie Kastes bettered her time by almost nine seconds.
In the 200 individual medley, freshman Megan Haskins finished 31st with an individual best 2:06.11, followed by freshman Jessie Clark (2:06.61) and junior Elizabeth Engs (2:06.74).
Sophomore Lynette Ng paced the Lady’Backs in the 50 free placing 20th with a career best 23.37. Touching in just after her were seniors Tifanie Silver (23.45) and Emily Gregory (23.87), junior Summer Jackson (23.98) and senior Katie McGraw (24.92).
Ng bettered her 50-free time by leading off the 200 free relay with a 23.33. Silver, Gregory and Katie Kastes finished the race in seventh place with a time of 1:32.36, which is the second-best in program history.
On the three-meter springboard, junior Hilarie Wilson placed 16th with a score of 240.50 while junior Madison Palmer finished 18th with a 234.85.
The Lady’Backs compete in the 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke and the 400 medley relay tomorrow as the SEC Championship continues at the Alabama Aquatic Center. The prelims are set for 10 a.m. and the finals begin at 6 p.m.
“We have a very good day for us tomorrow, with a lot of opportunities to score,” said Poppell. “We’re looking forward to trying to move up in the standings.”
Florida still leads the championship with 272 points, followed by Auburn (230), Tennessee (200.5), Georgia (187), Kentucky (169), LSU (139.5) and South Carolina (118). Alabama (98) and Vanderbilt (46) sit behind Arkansas which is in 8th place with 105 points.
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