INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — University of Arkansas sophomore Nikki Daniels clocked a 59.18 in the 100 breaststroke at the 2013 NCAA Championship, finishing fourth overall and becoming the 33rd individual to earn All-America honors for the Razorback swimming and diving team. The Razorbacks close out day two sitting back in 28th place with 15 points. The 15 total points is currently the 11th-highest point total in school history at NCAA’s.
“Nikki did a great job today and she earned every bit of her success today,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “I’m really proud of her with her focus and overcoming everything she has over the last few weeks since conference. She put herself in a position to swim in the finals with a top-eight swim in the morning and finishing top-four at NCAA’s is outstanding. It is certainly very inspiring and something we are hoping to build on going into day three.”
To start off the 100 breast finals, Daniels clocked a 28.02 opening leg which put her back in sixth-place. Daniels would make her move on the back end of the race as she clocked a 31.16 for fourth-place overall, the highest finish for the Razorbacks in school history in the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA Championship. She finished with the second-fastest time in school history, 59.18, second only to her preliminary time of 59.11. With her top-eight finish Daniels earns the 76th All-America honor in Razorback swimming and diving history, scoring 15 points for Arkansas.
In the morning preliminaries, the Wichita, Kan., native began her school-record breaking swim with a blistering 28.11 split on the opening leg, which put her in first place in her heat. Daniels had built up enough of a lead to hold off her competitors while nabbing a 31.00 flat on her closing leg, attaining a personal-best.
Also swimming in the evening session was the 800 free relay team of Lauren Jordan, Nicole Menzel, Anna Mayfield and Nina Drolc. Jordan led things off for the Razorbacks with a leadoff time of 1:47.32, the fastest split for the Razorbacks. Menzel was up in the second leg and didn’t disappoint with a time of 1:47.54 before handing it off to the freshmen. Mayfield clocks a 1:47.72, followed by Drolc with a closing split of 1:48.29. Their combined time of 7:10.87 marks the fastest-time in school history, as the quartet took down the school record by just 0.04 seconds, besting the 2009 record set by Katie Kastes, Katie Whitbeck, Stephanie Carr and Yi-Ting Siow (7:10.91).
“Finishing off day two at NCAA’s with a season-best time and school record in the 800 free relay was a great way to end the day,” Schimmel said. “We’ve been close to breaking that mark this season and to get it done at NCAA’s is great.”
Kicking off day two at Indianapolis in the preliminaries was the 200 medley relay team of Shana Lim, Daniels, Susanna White and Nina Drolc. Lim got things started with a 24.84 split in the backstroke before handing it off to Daniels who clocked a 26.94 in the breaststroke. White nabbed a 24.39 split in the butterfly before giving it up to Drolc to close with a 22.57 split. The quartet put up the second-fastest time in school history (1:38.74) for 18th overall.
“On the morning relays we came up a little bit short,” Shcimmel said. “You have to be perfect on the relays at NCAA’s and we were a little bit off here and there and came short of putting ourselves in scoring position. We have some things to work on going into tomorrow for our final relay.”
Sophomore Lauren Jordan also represented the Razorbacks in the 200 freestyle prelims, clocking a 1:47.75 and finishing third in her heat.
The Razorbacks return to the pool Saturday at 10 a.m. as Jordan and Menzel will compete in the 1,650 freestyle and Daniels will return in the 200 breaststroke. Lastly, Arkansas will compete in the 400 free relay.
For more information regarding Razorback swimming & diving or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com and follow the Razorbacks on Twitter (@RazorbackSwim). 200 medley relayPrelims18th — White, Drolc, Mayfield, Lim — (1:38.74) 200 freestylePrelims41st — Jordan— 1:47.75100 breaststrokePrelims5th —Daniels — 59.11 * & ! Finals4th —Daniels — 59.18 *
800 free relayPrelims19th — Jordan, Menzel, Mayfield, Drolc — (7:10.87) * Indicates top-8 finish/advance to finals^ Indicates top-16 finish/advance to consolation finals& Indicates personal best! Indicates school record