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Razorbacks make history on Senior Day

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks make history on Senior Day

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 18 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team honored its seven seniors on Friday night prior to recording the program’s first-ever 10-win season as the Razorbacks (10-1, 3-1) recorded a 160-112 victory over the Drury Panthers.Seniors Stephanie Carr, Elizabeth Engs, Emily Fletcher, Summer Jackson, Madison Palmer, Macey Webb and Kellyn Williams and their families made their way out onto bulkhead at the Arkansas Natatorium prior to the start of the meet, to be honored by their coaches, teammates and fans in their last home meet of their Arkansas careers.

“I am just so proud of these seniors,” head Razorbacks coach Jeff Poppell said. “We could not have asked for a better way to send them out in their last year at Arkansas.

“When these girls were freshmen, they endured a tough 1-10 season,” Poppell said. “As seniors, they were a part of the first team in Arkansas history to finish 10-1. This program has improved dramatically over the last three years and these seniors were the foundation for our success.”The seniors were sent out in style, as seniors Emily Fletcher and Elizabeth Engs each placed first for the first time in their careers in their final meet at Arkansas. Fletcher took first in the 200 fly with a personal-best time of 2:03.82 and Engs won the 200 back, touching in at 2:21.89.

“For some of our girls, this was their championship meet of the season,” Poppell said. “Emily Fletcher had her first win as a Razorback in her last meet of her career at Arkansas. In addition, Sarah Rowland, Maddie Fogel and Gina Bargiachi took their swimming to new levels. We had many fantastic performances today. I would also like to recognize Liz Engs, Jillienne Schilling and Shara Sutphen for their first career wins as well.”

As she has numerous times already this season, junior Yi Ting Siow pushed her way into the record books, winning the 200 IM and taking over the second place in the school record books with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 2:00.65.

Madison Palmer, in her last home meet as a Razorback, won the one- and three-meter (313.43) springboard events, her score of 342.53 on the three-meter board, the second highest score in Arkansas history. The score is also a personal best for Palmer and a season high for the team. Both of Palmer’s scores are NCAA Zone Diving qualifying scores.

“We switched up the dives Madison did this meet and she was outstanding on both boards,” head Razorbacks diving coach Dale Schultz said.

Including Palmer’s personal best on the one-meter springboard, the Razorbacks set 13 personal best times and scores against the Panthers, four of the times in the 1,000 free.

Freshmen Liana Bugslag and Alex Roman had spectacular career nights in diving. Bugslag, performing an exhibition on the 10-meter platform, scored a career-high 251.925, a Zone Diving qualifying score. For her part, Roman crushed her previous one-meter best score, racking up 282.98 points and placing second in the event behind Palmer.

“Liana performed her best on tower for the season tonight,” Schultz said. “She did tower for the purpose of being judged and she did her job. She was excellent.

“I am really excited about Alex and the way she has come on this year, improving in each meet,” Schultz said. “She has been working so hard all year and we’re looking forward to her stepping in and taking over for Madison next year.”

Next weekend, the Razorback will take to the road for their final meet of the season, going to Columbia, Mo. for the Missouri Grand Prix, Feb. 13-16. For complete coverage of Arkansas swimming and diving, log onto ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Swimming & Diving (W)