FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Yi-Ting Siow, who won the 200 breaststroke title at the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, has been named to the first team All-Southeastern team, the league office announced today.
“It’s amazing to win the event and be named the conference team,” Siow said. “But I’m not winning it for myself I’m winning it for the team. It’s very meaningful for the team to finally have someone win an SEC event again. I hope my title helps the swimming program at Arkansas in the future.”
Siow’s winning time of 2:10.33 in the 200 breastis a University of Arkansas record and an NCAA ‘B’ cut time, one one-hundredth of a second behind the NCAA automatic qualifying time of 2:10.32.
“One of my goals was to win the 200 breast,” Siow said. “There were other swimmers in the race who had faster times than my personal best going in, so I was a little worried. I just tried to calm myself down and relax and have fun.”
Siow is the first Razorback to win an SEC title since Nicola Atkinson won the 1,500 free and 200 meter fly titles in 1992. She is also the first Razorback to claim a conference title under head coach Jeff Poppell.
“It is very special to have an SEC champion on this team,” Poppell said. “It’s the first SEC champion for me and it’s Yi-Ting’s first title as well, so that means a lot. To hear the Arkansas fight song and see her up on the podium with two Georgia swimmers on either side of her was very special.”
In his three years at Arkansas, Poppell has taken a team who finished 1-7 in 2006 and given it new life. His first 2008 and 2009 recruiting classes ranked in the top 25 and he continues to bring in top transfers from around the country, including Stephanie Carr (Georgia), Leah Pierce (Purdue) and Siow.
“Coach Poppell is the reason I transferred to Arkansas,” Siow said. “I’ve trusted him all my life, since swimming for him at the Bolles School before going to college. I believe in him and I know he believes in me.”
In her short career at Arkansas, Siow has already had a significant impact on a team that posted a program-best 10 wins in the regular season and its highest SEC finish ever, placing fifth at the SEC Championship meet.
Since joining the Razorbacks in competition in January, Siow has won eight dual races, her first SEC championship title, and set three Arkansas records (100- and 200 breast and 200 individual medley).
This weekend, the Razorbacks (10-1, 3-1) will send five swimmers to Columbia, Mo. for the NCAA Last Chance Invite where the swimmers will have the opportunity to improve their times in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships in March.
For complete coverage of Arkansas swimming and diving, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.