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Fulop dominates in home opener

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Fulop dominates in home opener

FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas senior Mariann Fulop dominated the field Saturday morning at the Arkansas Natatorium, despite a 132-168 loss against Southeastern Conference opponent Louisiana State University. Fulop had three of Arkansas’s seven wins and turned in three career-best times. She swept the backstroke events, turning in a 57.49 in the 100 backstroke and a 2:03.80 in the 200 backstroke. Fulop’s third and final win of the day came in the 400 individual medley as she cruised to first-place finish with a time of 4:28.75, beating her nearest competition by over six seconds. “Mariann has done a fantastic job training,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “She is very consistent and that is paying off. With each meet she is getting better and setting personal-best times and I can’t be any more pleased with the way she has been swimming.” As a team the Lady’Razorbacks had another strong meet, turning in eight personal-best times. Poppell said he was happy with his team’s performance and the fact that the Lady’Backs keep improving with each meet. “Today’s meet represents our best meet of the year thus far,” said Poppell. “We were excited to compete against a strong LSU team and the young ladies did a great job.” While the veteran Fulop led the meet, junior Emily Gregory also shined. Gregory, who holds the school record in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events, swept the events today posting a 55.64 in the 100 and a 2:04.59 in the 200. Her time in the 100 fly put her third in the Arkansas record books and was the second-best time in the SEC this year. Gregory’s time in the 200 was just .05 seconds off the Arkansas top five list. Also picking up wins for the Lady Razorbacks were Summer Jackson (24.03) in the 50 freestyle and Kristen Thibodeaux (5:04.79) in the 500 free. Numerous other Lady’Backs earned career-best times including sophomore Emily Fletcher in the 1,000 free, sophomore Macey Webb in the 200 and 500 free and freshman Allison Chinn in the 200 free. On the boards, Madison Palmer took second-place in both the one- and three-meter diving events. In the relays, the Lady’Backs finished second in the 200 medley relay (Fulop, Katie McGraw, Gregory, Jackson) with a season-best time of 1:46.48. Arkansas took second in the 400 free relay (Jackson, Gregory, Thibodeaux, Tifanie Silver) with a 3:31.78, beating their best time of the year by almost six seconds. The Lady’Backs have a weekend off before continuing their season Nov. 17 in Athens, Ga. Arkansas will take on Georgia, the 2006 NCAA runner-up and Emory, the back-to-back Division III national champion, in a double-dual meet. For more information on Arkansas swimming and diving, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Swimming & Diving (W)