GAINESVILLE, Fla. –The Arkansas Razorbacks moved up to eighth after placing eight in the top 16 on day three of the 2011 Southeastern Conference Championships on Friday, Feb. 18.
Jamie Marks picked up her career-best time in the 400 IM by more than two seconds. Her time of 4:10.73 is almost four seconds faster than her prelim time in the morning session and moves up in the Arkansas record book to fourth. Julia Kucherich clocked 4:14.33 in the consolation final, good for sixth in the heat and 14th overall. The freshman also improved on her preliminary swim.
"We made up a lot of slack today," head coach Jeff Poppell said. "We are awake now and this was our best day so far in the meet. The girls really stepped up today and we hope to carry this into tomorrow."
The 100 butterfly brought a seventh-place finish in Katie Whitbeck’s heat and 15th in the event. She clocked in at 54.61, which is the second best time in school history. Whitbeck now holds each of the five best times in Razorback history. She came back in the 200 free to finish 14th with a time of 1:49.25. She broke into the UA record book during the prelims with the fifth best tine.
Chelsea Franklin finished third in the consolation finals heat and placed 11th overall in the 200 free. Her time of 1:47.76 also fills a slot in the record book. Sigrun Sverrisdottir picked up the second-best time in school history after her prelim performance. She stopped the clock at 1:47.63 and came back for finals to finish fifth in the heat with a time of 1:48.86.
Freshman Carly Mercer broke two minutes in the same event during the morning session with 1:48.84. She came back in the finals to finish 15th with a time of 1:49.33.
"The last say is typically our best day of the meet. We jumped ahead of Alabama after today but we still have a lot of work to do tomorrow," Poppell said.
Arkansas closes the 2011 SEC Championships with the last five events of the meet, including the mile. The prelims session is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Team Scores after Friday, Feb. 18Georgia – 515 Florida – 463 Auburn – 425 Tennessee – 314.5Louisiana State – 295 South Carolina – 203 Kentucky – 179 Arkansas – 149 Alabama – 141.5Vanderbilt – 64