FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team is set to take on a second straight Southeastern Conference foe in the Florida Gators for their first home meet of the year Thursday, Oct. 20, at 5 p.m. inside the Arkansas Natatorium.
Arkansas enters with an 0-1 dual meet record after falling at Auburn 142.50-100.50 on Oct. 5. Florida won its first dual of the season 171-122 over LSU Oct. 15, and also finished first in the All-Florida Invitational Oct. 7-9. The Gators have yet to compete away from Gainesville.
Both Auburn and Florida, Arkansas’ first two 2011 opponents, finished last season ranked in the top 10 by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, and finished in the top 10 at the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Coach Poppell has been pleased with his team’s response to the challenge of starting the season against two elite programs.
"They’ve responded really well," Poppell said. "I’ve seen several of the girls take their swimming to new levels. I want them to continue to set that bar higher knowing what we’re going to see at the end of the year is the best of the best."
After its season-opening meet at Auburn, Arkansas has a few athletes of its own ranked among the best of the best. 14 Razorback times rank among the Top 25 in the country in their event, including four in the top 10.
Arkansas placed first in four different events against Auburn, including a sweep of the first four finishers in the 500 freestyle. Freshman Susanna White won the 200 IM in 2:03.27 and her time ranks eighth nationally. Fellow freshman Nikki Daniels placed second in the 200 breast and ranks seventh in the country with her time of 2:16.67. 2011 All-American Chelsea Franklin swam a 10:03.10 in the 1,000 free, good for eighth best in the nation so far.
In diving events against Auburn, Kesha Naylor achieved an NCAA qualifying score in the three meter with a score of 315.30, placing second. Naylor took fourth place in the one-meter diving with a score of 246.15, and Liana Bugslag finished fifth with a score of 241.05. Alex House finished fifth in the three meter with a score of 260.10.
After hosting Florida, the Razorbacks are away from home until Jan. 21 when they take on Kansas at 9 a.m.
Thursday’s meet at the Arkansas Natatorium inside the HPER Building is set to begin at 5 p.m. and will be free of charge. Seating will be available in the balcony on Level 3 of the building. Follow HPER Building signage to pool seating.
For more information about Razorback swimming and diving, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.