BLOOMINGTON, IND. – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team travels to Bloomington, Ind., for the Hoosierland Open Nov. 15-17 where the Lady Razorbacks compete against five of the best teams in the nation.
California (3), Tennessee (12), Penn State (17), Kentucky (18) and Indiana (23) are the top-25 teams at the meet, in addition to Cincinnati, Florida International, Kenyon and Miami (Ohio).
“It’s going to be a fantastic field and a great meet for us,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “We want to achieve a national ranking and to be able to compete against teams that are already in the top 25 puts us in a position to get there.”
The Lady’Backs are off to a 4-1 start, already earning as many wins as last season. With this being the first meet that Arkansas will not receive a win or a loss with a team score, Poppell still looks for progress.
“This meet will be a lot more individually focused than our dual meets,” he said. “I’d like to see improvement, not just in times, but technically in the way we swim our races. I want to see our athletes compete well against high-caliber individuals. If there’s any meet that’s going to give us an indication of where we’re at at this point in the season, this is it.”
Arkansas has already given a glimpse of what it is capable of in the pool this season, displaying just one loss to the fifth-ranked team in the country, Georgia. Its schedule does not get any easier, however, with four ranked teams slated for the second half of the season.
Freshman swimmer Katie Kastes leads the team with seven wins, followed by junior diver Madison Palmer with six. Both Lady’Backs earned Southeastern Conference weekly awards. The Lady’Backs finished 1-2-3 three times this year and 1-2 in four events.
“We started off with a bang,” said Poppell. “We look forward to the second half to be equally successful as to what we’ve done up to this point.”
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