HAPPY VALLEY, Pa. — University of Arkansas sophomore diver Kesha Naylor broke the school record in the one-meter and three-meter diving events on Saturday as the No. 20 Razorbacks split a double dual meet against Penn State and Navy at McCoy Auditorium. Arkansas defeated Navy 232.5-67.5, but fell to Penn State 167.5-132.5.
Naylor’s score of 360.60 on the three-meter board broke her own record of 352.80 set earlier this season. She eclipsed the one-meter record of 318.83 set by Madison Palmer in 2008 with a score of 326.25.
"I had been anticipating Kesha breaking both records," said Arkansas diving coach Dale Schultz. "She’s been diving like that in practice, and that’s how she dove at Canadian Nationals. She battled back today from a sore back and really put together all six dives, especially on the one-meter."
Naylor was not the only Razorback who found success on the boards on Saturday, as Arkansas swept the top three finishers in both events. In the one-meter, senior Alex House finished second with a score of 302.50, and senior Liana Bugslag earned third with a 271.50. In the three-meter, House was second with 341.70 and Bugslag was third with 317.80.
"We dove pretty well considering we were on the road and coming off a tough training trip," Schultz said. "Alex House and Liana Bugslag dove outstanding. We’ve just got to continue to be consistent and get ready for the conference championships."
Arkansas head coach Jeff Poppell commented that he was pleased with many of the his team’s swims and times on the day, but that it was losing a number of close swims that prevented the Razorbacks from defeating Penn State.
"I’m disappointed we lost," Poppell said. "A lot of performances today were the best dual meet swims that we’ve ever had in season. If you looked at times, we had a pretty good meet. We just had a lot of close races that we got out-touched on."
Arkansas dominated the distance events, placing the first three finishers in the 500 freestyle and the first two spots in the 1,000 free. Junior Chelsea Franklin won the 500 free with a time of 4:52.63, and was followed by sophomore Nicole Menzel, who finished in 4:55.45. Senior Alison Templin placed third, stopping the clock at 4:58.30.
In the 1,000 freestyle, Franklin built an early lead and never looked back, placing first in the event with a time of 9:59.73. Templin had a tremendous race to win her heat and place second overall with a season-best time of 10:05.79. The senior was in second place by more than a body length halfway through her heat, but rallied in the final stretch to touch first.
"Templin did a fantastic job," Poppell said. "That was her best dual meet swim in the 1,000 freestyle. The way she finished that race was great."
Senior Katie Whitbeck continued her successful season in butterfly events, grabbing a first-place finish in the 100 fly with a time of 55.52. Whitbeck held a lead in the 200 fly as well, but was edged late in the race and finished second in 2:01.25.
Freshman Susanna White had a strong all-around day for Arkansas, placing first in the 200 IM, second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 50 freestyle. All three were White’s best dual meet swims of the season. White built a lead early in the 200 IM and held it for the entirety of the race, winning handily by 1.24 seconds.
Freshmen Nikki Daniels and Julia Banach had a strong day in breaststroke events, finishing second and third in both the 100 and 200 breast. Daniels clocked 1:03.16 in the 100 breast, with Banach right behind her at 1:03.56. In the 200 breast, Daniels’ second-place time was 2:16.16 and Banach was right behind her in 2:16.96.
The Razorbacks finish their regular dual meet season with two home events, starting with a dual meet Saturday, Jan. 21 at 9 a.m. against Kansas inside the Arkansas Natatorium. For more information about Razorback swimming and diving, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.