The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team travels to Denver, Colo., to face Denver and Utah Saturday, Oct. 27 in its second double-dual meet of the year.
Last time out
Freshman Katie Kastes and junior Madison Palmer paced the Lady Razorbacks to a 210-90 victory over North Texas on Friday, Oct. 12, marking the first time in school history Arkansas scored over 200 points in a meet. The Lady’Backs also fell to Georgia 168-127.
Arkansas goes 2-for-3 in SEC weekly awards
Palmer earned Southeastern Conference Diver of the Week honors and Ka. Kastes earned Freshman of the Week honors the league office announced Tuesday, Oct. 16. The duo went 6-for-6 in the events they competed, contributing 56 points to Arkansas’ 210 team total against the Mean Green. Palmer and Kastes marked the first time two Lady’Backs won SEC swimming and diving honors in the same week.
Madison Palmer, SEC Diver of the Week
Palmer, an Olathe, Kan., native, qualified for the NCAA Zone meet on both the one- and three-meter springboards Oct. 12. Palmer swept the diving events, winning the one meter with a score of 283.70, eight points shy of her career best, and placing first on the three meter with a 286.85.
Katie Kastes, SEC Freshman of the Week
In Kastes’ first competition as a Lady’Back, she broke the school record, earned a B’ cut time and life-time best time of 2:01.63 with a first-place finish in the 200 butterfly. She beat her nearest opponent by almost three seconds. The Palm Harbor, Fla., product also touched in first in the 100 fly with a time of 56.26 to sweep the butterfly events. She was not done there, winning the 200 individual medley by almost two seconds with another personal-best time of 2:05.90 before she anchored the 200-freestyle relay squad to a victory.
Kastes sets school record
Ka. Kastes’ time of 2:01.63 earned her the new Arkansas school record in the 200 fly. Kastes beat the previous 200-fly record set by current Lady’Back Emily Gregory (2:02.88) in February 2007.
It’s easy as 1-2-3
Arkansas finished 1-2-3 in the 200 IM against Georgia and North Texas. Ka. Kastes, freshman Jamie Marks (2:07.89), and junior Elizabeth Engs (2:08.89) were the top three finishers. The Lady’Backs also placed 2-3-4 in the 1,000 free. Freshman Ashley Largo (10:01.65), junior Stephanie Carr (10:02.96) and Marks (10:09.19) swam the event.
The Pioneers return 13 letterwinners to a squad that finished last season with a 6-6 dual-meet record. Denver finished third at the Sun Belt Conference Championships last season and welcome seven newcomers who are under the direction of second-year head coach Brian Schrader. The Pioneer swimmers touching in first in all nine of the individual events and both relays, winning a quad meet against Air Force, Colorado College, Mines and Metro State Oct. 13. The Lady’Backs lead the series 1-0.
Their last meeting
The Lady’Backs took their first win from the Pioneers last season with a 168-130 victory at home Jan. 6. Kristen Thibodeaux and Emily Gregory took two wins each as Gregory swept the butterfly events and Thibodeaux was victorious in the 200 and 500 freestyle races. Arkansas started the meet with a first-place finish in the 400 medley relay (Fulop, McGraw, Gregory, Thibodeaux). Arkansas dominated the boards, going 1-2-3 on the one meter and 1-2 on the three meter. Summer Jackson earned another win for the Lady’Backs in the 100 breaststroke.
Under first year head coach Greg Winslow, the Utes comes off a season in which they placed second at the Mountain West Conference Championships after a 10-0 dual meet season. Utah competed in the NCAA Championships last season as well. The Utes opened up the 2007-08 season Oct. 13 with a 137-104 win over New Mexico. Arkansas competed against Utah last season at the Ohio State Invitational, but this is the first dual meet between the two teams.
Current Lady’Backs in the top five
Ka. Kastes has the top spot in the 200 fly with a time of 2:01.63. Palmer notched the fifth spot in the record book in one meter diving last season with a score of 295.10. Gregory holds the first, third, fourth and fifth spots in the 100 fly, and the second and third spots in the 200 fly.
Leading the 13 returning Lady’Backs are this year’s seniors, Emily Gregory, Katie McGraw and Tifanie Silver. Joining the roster are 12 newcomers including all-Americans, state champions and U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers.
Look who’s back
Arkansas returns three seniors to this year’s squad, including Emily Gregory (Burnsville, Minn.), Katie McGraw (Keswick, Va.) and Tifanie Silver (Honolulu, Hawaii). Also returning are juniors Stephanie Carr (Jacksonville, Fla.), Elizabeth Engs (Cambridge, Ontario), Emily Fletcher (Kingwood, Texas), Summer Jackson (Sequim, Wash.), Dashya Kimmel (Bentonville, Ark.), Madison Palmer (Olathe, Kan.), Macey Webb (Columbia, Tenn.), Kellyn Williams (Manhattan, Kan.) and Hilarie Wilson (St. Louis, Mo.). Rounding out the 2007-08 returners is sophomore Allison Chinn.
Swimming and diving roster doubles
This year’s team is almost two times the size of last year’s team, welcoming 12 newcomers. Joining the 2007-08 Lady’Back squad is Gina Bargiachi (Memphis, Tenn.), Jessie Clark (St. Louis, Mo.), Megan Haskins (Orlando, Fla.), Katie C. Kastes (Palm Harbor, Fla.), Kylie A. Kastes (Palm Harbor, Fla.), Brittany Kimmitt (Germantown, Wis.), Ashley Largo (Sarasota, Fla.), Jamie L. Marks (Beesley’s Point, N.J.), Erin Neumann (Chesterfield, Mo.), Lynette Ng (Singapore), Shara Sutphen (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Erica Totten (Jacksonville, Fla.).
The 2007-08 recruiting class was ranked fifth in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com. Four incoming freshman, Marks, Largo, Kastes and Totten, were named to the CollegeSwimming.com Top 100 Recruits list.
Also new to Arkansas swimming and diving
Josh Morgan enters his first year with the Lady’Backs as the director of swimming and diving operations. Morgan’s primary team responsibilities include video editing and handling the day-to-day office duties for head coach Jeff Poppell.
Arkansas finished the regular season 4-4 in dual meets, the most wins the program has seen since the 2002-03 season when the Lady’Backs finished 5-5. The Lady’Backs also posted 89 personal best performances.