FAYETTEVILLE- Arkansas’ swimming and diving team improves to a 5-1 record after sweeping Missouri and South Carolina Friday afternoon at the Arkansas Natatorium, Nov. 5. Arkansas topped Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina 194-106 and beat regional rival Mizzou 181-119.
To lead off the meet, sophomore Chelsea Franklin broke the pool record at the Arkansas Natatorium in the 1,000 free. Her time of 9:50.16 was also a season best for the Razorbacks. Franklin finished first in the 500 free as well, stopping the clock at 4:49.32 and picking up an NCAA ‘B’ cut qualifying time. She also came out with a second -place finish in the 200 butterfly.
"We had a great showing today; best meet of the year so far," head coach Jeff Poppell said. "We had some girls who were swimming some pretty tough doubles and triples with not a whole lot of rest in between, and they pulled it off beautifully. I love this group, they’re tough kids, they love to race and compete and there’s just no quit in them. Chelsea’s (Franklin) time in the 1,000 was pretty exciting for us. It was a new pool record and probably one of the fastest times in the country."
Freshman Nicole Menzel was just behind Franklin in the500 and the 1,000 free events. Her time of10:00.43 in the 1,000 was a career best for the freshman by more than 13 seconds. She clocked 4:54.04 in the 500 free for another career-best time. Alison Templin grabbed the third spot following Menzel in 4:57.72.
"I couldn’t ask for anything more than what we got today. It was a great showing in our first home meet and that’s how we wanted to come out and perform in front of our fans and our school."
Junior Katie Whitbeck and Menzel finished one-two in the 200 free in 1:50.41 and 1:50.80, respectively. Whitbeck finished first with 55.86 in the 100 butterfly with fellow junior Lisa Lunkenheimer following in second with a time of 57.14.
Jamie Marks picked up a first-place finish in the 200 butterfly event with a time of 2:02.00. Franklin and freshman Liz Braun were just behind the senior in second and third. In the 100 free, Mercer was ahead of the pack with a time of 50.87.
Alex Roman became the third Razorback to qualify for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships this season. Her score of 283.95 in the 3-meter dive gave the junior fifth in that event. Freshman Kesha Naylor was just ahead of Roman in third with a score 292.80 after six dives. Going back to the swimming side of the pool, Arkansas finished two, three, four in the 400 IM. Marks came in second while freshman Julia Kucherich and junior Jillienne Schilling were just behind her in third and fourth.
Next, the Razorbacks head to the Purdue Invitational Nov. 19-21, in West Lafayette, Ind.