WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.— The No. 18-ranked University of Arkansas swimming and diving team set a new school record in the 400-yard medley relay and posted six NCAA “B” cut times on the first day at the Purdue Invitational at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Ind.
“We had an incredible first day of the meet,” Arkansas coach Jeff Poppell said. “It was by far the best first day of an invitational I have been associated with since I have been at Arkansas. From the 500y free to the 200y IM all the way down to the 50y freestyle, there were some phenomenal things. We broke the school record in the 400y medley relay to finish off the night, which was a great way to end the day.
“I couldn’t be anymore pleased with the way we started off the first day. Usually the first day of these meets is our weakest day and we started off so much better than any meet we have been to, so we are really looking forward to building on that the next two days.”
The 400y medley relay team of Lynette Ng, Yi-Ting Siow, Lisa Lunkenheimer and Katie Whitbeck swam a NCAA “B” cut time of 3:42.69 to break the previous school record of 3:43.65 set last season at the Southeastern Conference Championships.
The Hogs kicked off Friday’s evening session by taking three of the top eight spots in the 500-yard freestyle event led by junior Jamie Marks in fourth place with a time of 4:48.83. Sophomore Alison Templin finished fifth with a career-best time of 4:51.58 followed by Jillienne Schilling in sixth with a career-best time of 4:49.39. Freshman Chelsea Franklin also swam a career-best time of 4:52.55 to finish ninth while sophomore Sarah Howard, who set a new career mark by almost five seconds with a time of 4:57.47, and junior Erica Totten finished 11th and 13th, respectively. Marks, Templin, Schilling and Franklin all swam under the NCAA “B” cut time of 4:52.41.
Siow finished second in the 200y individual medley event, touching in at 1:59.41, earning both her fastest time of the season and a NCAA “B” cut time. The time is also the fifth fastest in Arkansas history. Freshman Dannica Brennan touched in at 2:05.35 to take eighth after she set a new career mark with a 2:05.29 in the morning’s preliminary session.
Sophomore Katie Davis finished 13th with a new-career time in 2:05.41 followed closely by Lunkeheimer in 14th and Leah Pierce in 15th. Lunkenheimer swam her career best time of 2:05.43 in the morning’s preliminary round while Pierce turned in her career best time (2:06.07) in the finals. Freshman Haley Smith won the 200y IM “C” final and finished 17th with a time of 2:05.76. Erin Neumann placed 21st when she touched in at 2:06.65.
In the 50y freestyle final, junior Megan Haskins stopped the clock at 23.58 to place 13th while Ng finished in 23.66 to place 15th. Ng advanced to the final after edging out Purdue’s Lauren Gustafson by a hundredth of a second with a time of 23.49 in a swim-off during the morning session.
The 200y freestyle relay team of Ng, Siow, Haskins and Whitbeck finished seventh with a time of 1:34.50.
Sophomore Alex Roman finished 13th in the 3-meter diving event with a score of 210.15. Freshman Alyssa Tomlinson scored 162.35 to place 19th.
Other action from the morning session in the 500y freestyle included Shara Sutphen in 5:04.25, Sarah Rowland in 5:05.96, Courtney Hubbard in 5:10.68 and Maddie Fogel in 5:11.85. Freshman Kara Wilkerson touched in at 2:12.52 in the preliminaries of the 200y IM.
In the preliminaries of the 50y freestyle event, Brennan missed qualifying for the final with a time of 24.64, followed by freshman Courtney Hubbard who swam a career-best time of 25.11. Fellow newcomer Alicia Meinz stopped the clock at 26.05 with junior Gina Bargiachi on her heels in 26.11. Both marks set new career times. Court
Saturday begins with preliminaries in the 400y IM at 10 a.m. Eastern time followed by the 100y butterfly, 200y freestyle, 100y breaststroke and the 100y backstroke. The women’s 1-meter diving preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
For complete results and a recap from Saturday, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Live results can be found at purduesports.com.