FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 18-ranked Arkansas swimming and diving team faces a tough road test this weekend, taking on No.25 Missouri at the Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia, Mo., at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Razorbacks (5-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) are coming off a 192-106 victory over North Texas in a dual meet at Arkansas Natatorium. Swimmers Chelsea Franklin, Yi-Ting Siow and Haley Smith, along with diver Alex Roman, each won two events. Fourteen event wins carried Arkansas to its fifth dual-meet victory of the season.
“This meet against Missouri is going to be our biggest challenge of the season thus far, without a doubt, in terms of dual meets,” Arkansas coach Jeff Poppell said. “They are a top-25 program right now, but I still feel like they are a very underrated program. Just for example, we will compete in a 16-event, dual-meet format and, looking at their times, they have a performer who can beat us in 10 of the 16 events. So even though we are ranked 18th in the country and they are just inside the top 25, I felt all along they are more like a top-15 program, and I think people around the country will see that this weekend when they look at our results.”
Missouri comes into the meet with a 2-2 dual meet record on the season. The Tigers last competed Dec. 4-6 at the Missouri Invitational, where they earned a first-place finish behind 11 event wins and three NCAA provisional marks. The Hogs hold a 13-6 all-time record against the Tigers.
“Missouri is a fantastic program and they possess a lot of talent,” Poppell said. “We are going to have to swim really, really well. There is not a lot of room for us to make mistakes, but at the same time, we are going to need some huge help from our divers. Our divers are going to have to play a significant role for us to have a chance to beat Mizzou this weekend.”
In the last meeting, the No. 22 Arkansas team upset the No. 23-ranked Missouri squad 159-141 in a double dual meet with Kentucky on Jan. 10, 2009, at Arkansas Natatorium. Yi Ting Siow won three events in her debut with the Razorbacks, taking first place in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.04), 200y breaststroke (2:14.40) and 200y individual medley (2:03.83).
The Razorbacks racked up seven first-place finishes at the meet, including wins by senior Stephanie Carr in the 1,000y freestyle (9:57.99) and the 500y freestyle (4:52.62), while Lynette Ng won the 100y backstroke race in a time of 57.04 seconds.
Arkansas last visited Columbia on Jan. 12, 2008, when it fell to the Tigers 151-149.
The Razorbacks have one final meet on their schedule, Jan. 30 against Utah, before heading to the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 17-20 in Athens, Ga.
For complete results and a recap of Saturday’s meet, log onto ArkansasRazorbacks.com.