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Kastes Pierce shatter records

Kastes Pierce shatter records

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Sophomore Katie Kastes broke her sixth University of Arkansas swimming and diving record and Leah Pierce her second in as many meets, on Friday at the Minnesota U.S. Grand Prix in Minneapolis, Minn. Kastes set a new school best in the 200 IM, winning the “A” final with a time of 1:59.86. Last season, Kastes broke records in the 200 and 500 free, 100 and 200 fly, and 400 IM. Pierce, in her first season with the Razorbacks (6-1, 2-1), came in third in the “A” final in the 100 breast with her record-breaking time of 1:02.74.

“Both Leah and Katie’s swims were fantastic,” head Arkansas coach Jeff Poppell said. “Leah’s time was the fastest swim for her in the 100 breast in three years and sets her up for great performances at the end of the year. Katie’s 200 IM dropped 5 seconds off her best time and shattered the old school record by nearly four seconds.”

Freshman Katie Whitbeck continued her tear through the early season on Friday, winning the “B” final of the 200 free in a time of 1:50.89. In her first months at Arkansas, Whitbeck is already showing how valuable she can be for the Razorbacks, and Jillienne Schilling is making her mark as well, placing second in the “C” final of the 200 free finals with a time of 1:5381.

Also putting in solid performances on Friday were Lynette Ng, Erin Neumann, and Elizabeth Engs who all set personal best times during the meet’s first day. Ng touched in fifth in the “C” final of the 100 fly with a career best 57.96. Eng set her best time in the prelims of the 100 breast, touching in 13th at 1:05.81, and Neumann broke her record in the 200 IM “C” final with a time of 2:08.62; Neumann’s previous top time of 2:09.96 in the 200 IM was set Friday morning in the prelims where she finished 23rd. Neumann also finished 12th in the 100 breast prelims, tying her personal best of 1:05.38.

“I’m very proud of how the girls raced today and we hope to continue to swim well over the course of the weekend,” Poppell said. “Today there were a number of individuals that were faster than they have ever been, setting many new personal bests and two school records.”

The Razorbacks qualified 10 swimmers for the 200 IM final, the most in any event for the team during the first day of the meet. Jamie Marks took second in the “B” final, in her time of 2:07.58, and both Engs and Lisa Lunkenheimer finished fourth in the “B” and “C” finals, respectively, Engs at 2:08.01 and Lunkenheimer with a time of 2:08.72. Also competing in the 200 IM finals were Schilling who came in sixth in the “A” final in 2:09.25 and Jessie Clark, also in the “A” final, with a time of 2:09.26, in seventh. In the “B” final, Erica Totten finished fifth in 2:08.34 and Pierce touched in at 2:08.87, in eighth place. Katie Davis came in sixth in the “C” final, with a time of 2:09.39.

In the 1,000 free, senior Stephanie Carr was the first Razorback to touch in, coming in fifth with a time of 9:55.35; the event was won by Olympian Chloe Sutton who sliced through the water to finish well ahead of the rest of the field in 9:39.26. Also in the final for Arkansas, Alison Templin finished in seventh place with a time of 10:08.81 and was followed by Marks in 10th place at 10:13.65, Sarah Howard in 12th with her time of 10:16.80, and Shara Sutphen touched in at 10:24.98, in 16th place.

Other Razorbacks competing in the 100 breast finals were Neumann who finished seventh in the “A” final with a time of 1:06.11, Engs, also in the “A” final, coming in eighth with a time of 1:06.16 and Summer Jackson in the “B” final, finishing seventh in a time of 1:06.47.

In the 200 free, Kastes touched in at 1:50.97 in the “A” final to take the sixth spot and Carr finished seventh in the “B” final with a time of 1:53.93. In the “C” final with Schilling were Totten, in third place at 1:53.92, Megan Haskins in fourth with 1:53.93, and Templin claiming the sixth place at 1:54.49.

In the finals of the 100 fly, Lunkenheimer came in fourth in the “B” final in 57.25 and Whitbeck finished the same final in seventh with a time of 57.78. Jackson swam in the “C” final, taking the fourth spot in 57.89 and Davis followed in eighth with a time of 58.77.

The last event of the night was the 800 free relay, in which the team of Kastes, Whitbeck, Carr, and Schilling took third place with a time of 7:30.25 and the team of Totten, Templin, Howard, and Haskins came in sixth in 7:43.30.

In preliminaries on Friday morning, Pierce led the Razorbacks in the 100 breast finishing in 1:03.37, in 3rd place, followed by Neumann and Eng. Jackson touched in at 1:06.26 in 17th place, and Jessie Clark finished 25th with a time of 1:07.48.

In the 200 free preliminary event, Kastes was the first Arkansas swimmer to reach the finish, coming in fifth in 1:50.95. Whitbeck finished ninth in 1:52.19, and Carr was right behind her in 10th, with a time of 1:52.21. Schilling and Templin were next to reach the wall for the Razorbacks, Schilling in 17th at 1:53.29 and Templin in 19th at 1:54.35. Totten claimed her spot in the final with a time of 1:54.58, in 20th place and Haskins followed in the 21st spot at 1:54.74. Howard came in 29th with a time of 1:55.94, Kylie Kastes had a final time of 1:57.30 in 40th place, and Shara Sutphen rounded out the 200 free for Arkansas in 54th place with a time of 1:59.13.

Another successful event for the Razorbacks in the morning session was the 100 fly where Lunkenheimer came in 10th at 57.22, her best of four times this fall in the event. Whitbeck was two spots behind her fellow freshman in 12th in a time of 57.38 and was followed by Ng in 18th at 58.18; Jackson touched in 20th at 58.27, and Davis was the last swimmer from Arkansas to qualify for the finals, finishing 22nd with a time of 58.63. The other Razorbacks to compete in the 100 fly prelims were Neumann who came in 25th in a time of 59.17 and Kylie Kastes was a one-hundredth of a second behind in 26th place with a time of 59.18. The final finisher for Arkansas was Emily Fletcher who touched in at 1:02.27, 61st place overall.

In the best finish for the Razorbacks in the prelims, Katie Kastes came in second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:05.47. Clark came in eighth at 2:08.22 and was followed by Totten at 2:08.33 in 10th place and Marks in 11th with a time of 2:08.42. Next for Arkansas was Engs in 15th at 2:08.60 and Pierce in 16th with a time of 2:08.71. Davis touched in at 2:09.44 in the 21st spot with Lunkenheimer just moments behind with a time of 2:09.55 in 22nd place. The final two swimmers for Arkansas in the 200 IM were Haskins who placed 27th with her time of 2:10.29 and Fletcher in 77th place with a time of 2:20.62.

The final preliminary event for the Razorbacks was the 1,000 free, and Templin, Howard and Sutphen each qualified for Friday night’s final.

Day two of the Minnesota U.S. Grand Prix gets started at 9 a.m. Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Saturday’s preliminary events begin with the 400 IM, followed by the 50 free, 200 breast, 100 back, 500 free, and the morning session will draw to a close with the 400 medley relay; the finals of each event will take place Saturday night at 6 p.m. For updated results and for complete coverage of the Arkansas Razorbacks swimming and diving team, visit

Sports Category : Swimming & Diving (W)