FAYETTEVILLE — For the second consecutive year, seven swimmers from the University of Arkansas were selected to attend the NCAA Championships held in Minneapolis, Minn., from March 20-22. Seven qualifiers ties the program record for number of women sent to NCAAs set last season, and swimmers will participate in 10 individual swims and four relays, the most events in program history.
“It’s exciting,” head coach Sean Schimmel said. “It’s about the here and now and what we have in front of us. I’m certainly excited that we have more opportunities than we did last year. It’s a great meet to go to and be excited about swimming there. We’re going to take it one event at a time and see where we end up.”
Senior Nicole Menzel (Hilton Head, S.C.), juniors Nikki Daniels (Wichita, Kan.) and Susanna White (Forest, Va) and sophomore Anna Mayfield (San Antonio, Texas) were among Division I swimmers invited the participate in individual events. Each swimmer will also contribute to the relay teams.
Menzel will be attending her third NCAA Championships. In 2012, Menzel finished 25th in the 1,650-yard freestyle and improved her time in 2013 to place 19th. She also swam in the 500 freestyle last season. Returning to her specialty in distance swimming for a final season, Menzel will swim in the 500 freestyle and 1,650 freestyle.
Daniels earned All-America honors last year during her first trip to the NCAAs by placing fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Daniels will appear in the 100 and 200 breaststroke this year.
White was a member of the 200 medley relay team last season that clocked Arkansas’ first ever NCAA ‘A’ cut in a relay. White swam on four different relay squads last year at the NCAA Championships. This year, White will swim in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Mayfield attended the NCAA Championships last season and contributed to three different relay events. She will compete in the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 500 freestyle this year.
Additionally, the Arkansas 400 freestyle relay team of White, Mayfield and sophomores Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia) and Maddie Monroe (Godfrey, Ill.) swam an automatic qualification time of 3:16.16 at the 2014 SEC Championships. The swim was a program record and marked the second NCAA ‘A’ relay cut in Arkansas history. White, Mayfield and Drolc each served as members of at least three relay teams last season at NCAAs. Monroe will be making her first appearance at the NCAA Championships. Arkansas will compete in three additional relays to include the 800 freestyle, 400 medley and 200 medley.
Junior Lauren Jordan (Carmel, Ind.) will round out Arkansas’ contingency at the NCAA Championships as an alternate on the relay squads. Last season, Jordan earned All-America honors by finishing 9th in the 1,650 freestyle. This will mark her second consecutive appearance at the NCAAs.
Last year, the Razorbacks placed 26th at the NCAA Championships with a total of 24 points. The finish was the team’s best since 1990.
Arkansas will look to qualify divers for the NCAA Championships at NCAA Zone Diving Championships held March 10-12 in Minneapolis, Minn.
For more information on Arkansas swimming and diving, follow @RazorbackSwim on Twitter.