WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team picked up three first-place finishes in the finals session on day two of the Purdue Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday.
Jamie Marks picked up a first-place finish in the 400 IM with a time of 4:15.29. Julia Kucherich was just behind her in second when she stopped the clock at 4:17.01 in the finals for the 400 IM. Kucherich improved her career-best performance by more than seven seconds. Nicole Menzel picked up fifth in the A-finals heat as well.
As a team, the No. 17 Hogs dropped to second place behind 20th-ranked Louisville. UA has 492.5 points while Louisville leads the pack with 522 after two days of competition.
"The meet’s are won and lost in the morning session. It’s not in the finals," head coach Jeff Poppell said. "We came in very complaisant this morning and not very aggressive. As a result, we let the other teams back into the meet after we were ahead yesterday."
Sigrun Sverrisdottir paced the B-finals heat of the 200 freestyle when she stopped the clock at 1:49.38. She also helped the 800-free relay team to finish second with an NCAA ‘B cut time of 7:18.45.
Kesha Naylor led the Razorback divers for the second day with her fifth-place finish in both the prelims and finals on the one-meter board. She scored 269.70 in the one meter, while Alex Roman was sixth and Liana Bugslag finished seventh, overall.
"Individually, we did have some great performances," Poppell said. "The divers, I thought did really well. We had three in the finals. That shows that our diving has vastly improved and is obviously helping us in ways that they have not in the past. That’s very exciting."
Erin Neumann set a new career-best time during the prelim session in the 400 IM. Her time of 4:31.82 earned her fifth place. Katie Whitbeck finished third in the 100 butterfly with a career-best of 54.96. Pacing the C-finals heat in the same event was Braun as she earned a time of 55.95. This is also a new career-best time for the freshman.
"The last day of meets like this is typically our best day. We just need to come in and approach the morning swims like a team that wants to win," Poppell said.
The Razorbacks are back for the third and final day of the Purdue Invitational on Sunday, Nov. 21, beginning at 9 a.m. CT.