INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Led by personal-best performances in the 500 freestyle by sophomore Lauren Jordan and junior Nicole Menzel the University of Arkansas swimming and diving team concluded competition on the first day of the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship.
“Today’s 500 freestyle swims by Nicole and Lauren were really a great start to the NCAA Championship,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “The two went 4:43, which is the fastest they have gone all year and I think we were really solid there.”
To kick off NCAA’s the Razorbacks recorded the second-fastest time in school history in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:31.33. Arkansas opened the race with a 22.74 opening split by sophomore Susanna White. White handed things off to freshman Nina Drolc who made up some ground nabbing the fastest split for the Razorbacks with a 22.48. Mayfield and Lim would follow with splits of 23.24 and 22.87 respectively to compile the impressive time. With the swim the Razorbacks would finish 21st overall.
In the 500 freestyle prelims Jordan put up a tough performance in the 500 free for a personal-best time of 4:43.74, shaving 0.50 off of her entry time and previous personal-best. The Carmel, Ind., native put swam a consistent race, never clocking more than 29 seconds on each of her legs. Jordan made up some ground on her final 50 yards with her second-fastest leg of the race, a 27.78. Jordan would finish the meet 28th overall.
Menzel put on a show in the 500 free in heat two, as the Hilton Head, S.C., native won the second heat of the 500 free with a personal-best time of 4:43.97, finishing 29th overall. Menzel dropped 0.76 off her previous personal-best time, which she clocked at the Southeastern Conference Championship this season. Menzel put together a strong surge in the middle of the race to break away from the competition and solidify her lead.
Closing out the first day at the NCAA Championship it was the 400 medley relay team of Lim, sophomore Nikki Daniels, White and Drolc who nabbed a 3:36.83 for the second-fastest time in school history. Lim started things off with a speedy 53.98 in the backstroke before handing it off to Daniels, who went 59.87 in the breaststroke. It was up to White in the butterfly to keep things moving as the Forest, Va., native clocked a 53.86. Drolc closed things off for the Razorbacks with a 49.12 in the freestyle in the final leg.
“We certainly have our work cut out for us moving forward here at NCAA’s and we have a lot of other swims remaining, which is exciting,” Schimmel said. “We are looking to get some top-eight and top-16 performances in the next two days.”
The Razorbacks return to the pool tomorrow with a full slate of events beginning with the 200 medley relay, which the Razorbacks hold the 12th-fastest time in the country. Arkansas will also see action in the 100 breaststroke, where Nikki Daniels is looking to best her school-record time of 59.26, which ranks ninth nationally. Arkansas’ Menzel and Jordan will compete in the 200 freestyle and the 800 freestyle relay team will wrap up the second day of competition for the Razorbacks.
For more information regarding Razorback swimming & diving or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com and follow the Razorbacks on Twitter (@RazorbackSwim). PRELIMS200 free relay21st — White, Drolc, Mayfield, Lim — (1:31.33)500 freestyle28th — Jordan— 4:43.74 &29th — Menzel — 4:43.97 &400 medley relay22nd —Lim, Daniels, White, Drolc — 3:36.83 * Indicates top-8 finish/advance to finals^ Indicates top-16 finish/advance to consolation finals& Indicates personal best! Indicates school record