This weekThe University of Arkansas swimming and diving team travels to Bloomington, Ind., Nov. 15-17 to compete in the Hoosierland Open.
The competitionThe Lady Razorbacks take on Indiana, Cincinnati, Florida International, Tennessee, California, Kenyon, Miami (Ohio), Penn State, and Kentucky (divers only) in the three-day meet. Five of the 10 teams in the competition are ranked in the CSCAA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. California (3), Tennessee (12), Penn State (17), Kentucky (18) and Indiana (23) prove a tough challenge for the Lady’Backs.
Last time outArkansas swimming and diving won a nail-biter against Kansas 150.5-149.5 on Nov. 1 in Lawrence, Kan. The Lady’Backs improved to 4-1 while the Jayhawks dropped to 1-2.
Taking care of business…again In what was almost a three-hour meet, the Lady’Backs won 10 events, while Kansas touched in first in six. The lead changed six times throughout the competition, with Arkansas taking the final lead in the 400 individual medley – the 15th of 16 events.Freshman Katie Kastes led the way with three first-place finishes. Juniors Stephanie Carr and Madison Palmer and freshman Jamie Marks tallied two wins each.
Palmer 6-for-6 on the yearPalmer has won every event she competed in this season. The Olathe, Kan., native swept the diving events in her first two meets going on to earn SEC Diver of the Week honors in week one. Palmer took top honors on both springboards against Kansas with a score of 281.03 on the one meter and 266.70 on the three meter.
That was a close oneArkansas’ 150.5-149.5 triumph against Kansas marks one of the closest wins in school history. The only other one-point win came during the 1983-84 season against Missouri when the Lady’Backs defeated the Tigers 57-56.
Arkansas’ winning waysThe Lady’Backs are off to a 4-1 dual-meet record, the best start the program has seen since the 2001-02 season when Arkansas also began the year 4-1.
Kastes boasts seven winsKatie Kastes already has seven wins after just three meets. She finished first in seven of the nine races she competed. Also tallying wins for the Lady’Backs are Palmer with six, Carr and Marks with three, senior Emily Gregory with two and sophomore Lynette Ng and freshman Ashley Largo with one each.
Great finishesThe Lady’Backs have been racking up points with great finishes in their first three meets, finishing 1-2-3 three times and placing 1-2 in four events. Arkansas grabbed the top three spots in the 200 IM against Georgia and in the 500 free and 1,650 free against Denver. The 1-2 finishes came in the 100 fly against Kansas and the 200 free, 200 fly and one meter diving against Denver and Utah.
What a tough scheduleFive of Arkansas’ dual-meet opponents this season are ranked in the top 25. Auburn (1), Georgia (5), Florida (7), Missouri (20) and Florida State (21) sit amidst the nation’s best. California (3), Tennessee (12), Penn State (17), Kentucky (18) and Indiana (23), five teams Arkansas competes against at the Hoosierland Open Nov. 15-17, are also ranked.
Altitude time conversionsAll of the times from Arkansas’ meet at Denver were adjusted due to the level of altitude. According to the NCAA, it allows times achieved at an altitude of 3,000 feet or higher to be converted to faster times. .10 seconds were taken off for 100-yard events, 1.2 for 200 yards, 5.0 for 400-500 yards and 20.0 seconds for 1,650 yards.
Marks sets school record…almostFreshman Jamie Marks dominated the 400 IM at Denver finishing first by over nine seconds. Her converted time of 4:19.85 would have been good enough for a new school record. She did earn the fourth spot in the school records with her original time of 4:24.85.
Kastes sets school recordKatie Kastes’ time of 2:01.63 on Oct. 12 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.
Current Lady’Backs in the top fiveKastes has the top spot in the 200 fly with a time of 2:01.63. Largo sits third in the 1,000 free with a time of 10:01.65. Marks notched the fourth position in the 400 IM with a time of 4:24.85. Palmer is fifth in the record book in one meter diving with a score of 295.10 that she earned last season. Gregory holds the first, third, fourth and fifth spots in the 100 fly, and the second and third spots in the 200 fly.
Arkansas goes 2-for-3 in SEC weekly awardsPalmer earned Southeastern Conference Diver of the Week honors and Ka. Kastes earned Freshman of the Week honors 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 – Week 1Palmer, 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 – Week 1In 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.
2007-08 PreviewLeading 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 backArkansas 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 doublesThis 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.).
CollegeSwimming.com says…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 divingJosh 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.
2006-07 RecapArkansas 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.