WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Arkansas senior Yi-Ting Siow automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships Sunday on the final day of the Purdue Invitational at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center.
Siow touched in at 2:09.01 in the 200y breaststroke to earn her second event win of the invitational. Siow’s time represents the fastest in the NCAA this season by almost two-and-a-half seconds.
The No. 18 Razorback swimming and diving team picked up six more NCAA “B” cuts Sunday to bring the weekend total to 16. The Hogs also return to Fayetteville with new school records in the 100y butterfly and the 400y medley relay.
“The girls had a phenomenal day today to finish out the meet,” Arkansas coach Jeff Poppell said. “As I have said before, typically this is our best day of the meet and it certainly was today. The girls did a fantastic job in the morning setting themselves up to have swims at night. And then they came back at night and did a stellar job.
“There were too many great performances today to single out anyone but obviously Yi-Ting’s “A” cut and her and Jamie’s win in their individual events today were fantastic. It was a phenomenal invitational for us and as I have said before this is probably the best midseason invitational we have had since I have been here so I am really proud of the outcome.”
Senior Leah Pierce followed Siow in the 200y breaststroke in third place with an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:14.47 which better her preliminary time of 2:16.41. Erin Neumann finished eighth with a time of 2:19.84. Her best time of the day, 2:18.92, came in the morning session. Sophomore Sarah Howard touched in at 2:22.28 to finish 14th and set a new career mark while junior Shara Sutphen stopped the clock at 2:22.42 to place 21st.
An All-American in the event, Jamie Marks took first place in the 1,650 freestyle with a NCAA “B” cut time of 16:20.78. Marks’ time represents the fifth fastest in the NCAA this season. Freshman Chelsea Franklin finished just behind Marks in third place with a time of 16:40.84, also an NCAA “B” cut. Alison Templin clocked in at 16:42.03 to take fourth place while sophomore Sarah Howard finished sixth with a career-best time of 16:52.95. Juniors Shara Sutphen (16:59.23) and Ashley Largo (17:03.47) placed eighth and 11th, respectively. Sophomore Maddie Fogel touched in a career best 17:36.84, as did Sarah Rowland with a time of 17:38.80.
“The distance swimmers were outstanding today,” Poppell said. “To have five finish in the top eight was phenomenal. They contributed 75 points alone from the one event which were vital in the overall team performance we were looking for this weekend.”
Arkansas posted six of the top 16 times in the 200y butterfly, including finishing four in the top eight. Sophomore Katie Whitbeck touched in at 2:00.33 to take second place and earn an NCAA “B” cut time. Sophomore Lisa Lunkenheimer followed in third with another NCAA “B” cut time of 2:00.38. Marks stopped the clock at 2:01.42 to take fifth. The junior swam an NCAA “B” cut time of 2:00.65 in the preliminaries. Junior Erica Totten placed seventh with a time of 2:02.31. Junior Erin Neumann (2:03.46) and Franklin (2:04.27) finished 10th and 14th, respectively. Ashley Largo turned in a career-best time of 2:10:03 to take 19th after she swam a career-best 2:07.95 Sunday morning.
Haley Smith was the top finisher for the Hogs in the 200y backstroke. The freshman placed sixth and set a new career mark with a time of 2:00.80. Sophomore Jillienne Schilling touched in at 2:01.62 for a seventh-place finish after the St. Louis native swam a career best time of 2:01.15 in the preliminaries. Freshman Dannica Brennan finished 13th with a time of 2:02.92 while Katie Davis clocked in at 2:04.13 to take 16th place. Brennan (2:02.29) and Davis (2:03.98) both swam their best time of the day in the morning session.
In the 100y freestyle, Whitbeck clocked in at 51.40 to finish 11th followed by Lunkenheimer in 14th with a new career mark as she stopped the clock at 51.96. Lynette Ng touched in at 52.84 to place 22nd and Courtney Hubbard finished 23rd with a time of 53.01. Hubbard swam a career best 52.74 in the morning session.
Sophomore Alex Roman finished ninth in the women’s platform diving event with a score of 168.90. Freshman Alyssa Tomlinson took 10th with a 109.75.
The Razorback quartet of Siow, Lunkenheimer, Ng and Whitbeck finished fifth in the 400y freestyle relay with a time of 3:26.27.
Other action from the morning session in the 100y freestyle event included Megan Haskins who stopped the clock at 54.28 and Alicia Meinz who finished in 55.69. Gina Bargiachi followed in 56.71, as did Courtney O’Grady in 57.59. Freshman Kara Wilkerson clocked a time of 2:13.72 in the 200y backstroke event.
In the 200y breaststroke event, O’Grady missed qualifying for the finals with a time of 2:28.46, followed by Sarah Rowland who touched in at 2:31.95.
In team standings, the Razorbacks finished the weekend in third place with 680 points. Michigan took first place with a total of 774.5 points followed by Louisville in second with 739.5 points. Purdue, Ohio State and Missouri State rounded out the top six.
The Arkansas diving team will return to action Jan. 3-5 at the Georgia Diving Invitational, while the entire squad returns to the pool with a dual meet against North Texas, Jan. 9 at Arkansas Natatorium.
For more information about Arkansas’ swimming and diving team, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.