FAYETTEVILLE –University of Arkansas junior diver Madison Palmer earned Southeastern Conference Diver of the Week honors and freshman swimmer Katie Kastes earned Freshman of the Week honors the league office announced Tuesday.
Palmer and Kastes finished first in five events leading the Lady Razorbacks to a 210-90 win over North Texas last Friday, marking the first time in school history Arkansas scored over 200 points in a swim meet. This is also the first time two Lady’Backs won SEC swimming and diving honors in the same week.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment for our athletes to receive two of the three SEC weekly awards,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. Madison and Katie did a fantastic job and hopefully this is a sign of greater things to come this year.”
Palmer, an Olathe, Kan., native, qualified for the NCAA Zone meet on both the one- and three-meter springboards last weekend. Palmer swept the diving events, winning the one meter with a score of 283.70, eight points shy of her career best, and placing first on the three meter with a 286.85.
In Kastes’ first competition as a Lady’Back, she broke the school record, earned a ‘B’ cut time and life-time best time of 2:01.63 with a first-place finish in the 200 butterfly. She beat her nearest opponent by almost three seconds. The Palm Harbor, Fla., product also touched in first in the 100 fly with a time of 56.26 to sweep the butterfly events. She was not done there, winning the 200 individual medley by almost two seconds with another personal-best time of 2:05.90 before she anchored the 200-freestyle relay squad to a victory.
Going 6-for-6 in the events they competed, Palmer and Kastes alone contributed 56 points to Arkansas’ 210 team total against the Mean Green.
The last Lady’Back named SEC Athlete of the Week was Kristen Thibodeaux in January 2007.
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