Arkansas swimming and diving travels to Columbia, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 12 facing No. 18 Missouri and No. 20 Missouri State at 1:00 p.m.
Last time out
The Lady Razorbacks fell to No. 7 Florida in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, 86-114. Arkansas tallied four first-place finishes against the Gators in their first meet of 2008. Indian River Community College also swam in the meet. The Lady’Backs defeated IRCC 161-41.
Lady’Backs top finishes
Sophomore Lynette Ng picked up the Lady’Backs first win of the meet in the 50 freestyle. Freshman Katie Kastes turned in a time of 2:00.56 to win the 200 butterfly and put her name third in the school records. Arkansas’ best finish was in the 200 breaststroke where freshmen Jamie Marks (2:20.99) and Erin Neuman (2:22.08), senior Katie McGraw and junior Elizabeth Engs took the top four spots. The Lady’Backs followed with a 1-3-4 finish in the 400 free relay. Kastes, Ng, freshman Erica Totten and junior Summer Jackson touched in first with a time of 3:32.52.
Junior Stephanie Carr turned in two runner-up finishes in the 500 free and the 1,000 free. Carr’s time of 10:00.09 in the 1,000 free was a season-best and placed her second in the school records.
What a tough schedule
Five of Arkansas’ dual-meet opponents this season are ranked in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Top 25. Auburn (2), Georgia (1), Florida (7), Missouri (18), Florida State (20) and Missouri State (20-mid-major rankings) sit amidst the nation’s best. California (5), Minnesota (9), Tennessee (8), Penn State (11) and Indiana (22), five teams Arkansas competed against at the Hoosierland Open Invitational, are also ranked.
Kastes boasts seven wins
Katie Kastes leads the Lady’Backs with eight wins this season. Also tallying wins for Arkansas is junior Madison Palmer with six, Carr and Marks with four, Gregory and Ng and with two and freshman Ashley Largo with one.
No. 18 Missouri comes into Saturday’s meet having not competed in almost two months. In their last meet, the Boilermaker Invitational Nov. 16-18, the Tigers (7-1, 1-1 Big 12) totaled 821.5 points which put them more than 185 points ahead of second-place Purdue. Mizzou faced three top-25 teams this season defeating No. 22 Indiana and No. 23 Virginia Tech. The Tigers fell to No. 6 Texas A&M. Arkansas leads the all-time series with the Tigers 11-6, while Missouri won the last meeting in 2003, 81-59
Scouting Missouri State
No. 20 (mid-major ranking) Missouri State has had almost a month off from competition and last swam at the Delta State Invitational Dec. 15-17. The Bears finished first with 984 points. Missouri and Missouri State faced each other in mid-October with Mizzou coming out on top 382.5-339.5. Arkansas has not lost against the Bears in the history of the program (6-0) winning the last meet in 2007, 185-115.
Totten wins three medals at the Southeast Asian Games
Erica Totten earned a silver medal and broke the Philippians’ national record in the 200-meter butterfly with a personal-best time of 2:16.79 at the Southeast Asian Games in Thailand in December. Totten took bronze medals in the 200-meter freestyle and the 4×100 free relay.
Bringing her “A” game
Kastes is the only Lady’Back with an NCAA A Standard Qualifying Time with a 1:58.98 in 200 fly.
Who’s getting B’s?
Arkansas accumulated 17 NCAA “B” Cuts this season. Kastes has seven, Carr owns four, Totten and Gregory earned two and Largo and Marks touched in with one apiece.
Current Lady’Backs in the top five
Kastes has the top four spots in the 200 fly with times of 1:59.58, 1:59.58, 2:00.56 and 2:01.63. She also holds the top spot in the 100 fly with a 55.05 and the 400 IM with a 4:20.70. Gregory holds the second, third and fifth slots in the 100 fly and the fifth slot in the 200 fly. Carr is second in the 1,000 free with a 10:00.09 and third in the 1,650 free with a 16:24.61. Largo sits fourth in the 1,000 free with a time of 10:01.65. Marks notched the fifth 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.
Katie Kastes, Freshman of the Week – Nov. 20
Kastes broke three school records, had an NCAA “A” cut time and three “B” cuts. She finished second in the 200 fly, first in prelims. Both times were school records. Her prelim time of 1:58.98 stands as the record. Kastes placed third in the 400 IM with a time of 4:20.70, setting another school record. Her time is fifth in the SEC. Kastes’ swam the100 fly time in 55.05, posting her third school record.
Madison Palmer, Diver of the Week – Nov. 20
Palmer placed third on the three meter with a 283.20 after finishing first in both the prelims and the semis. Her best score was 284.30 in the prelims. She finished third on the one meter, recording a season best of 287.90. Palmer also had a career-best score of 210.60 on the platform with a sixth-place finish.
That was a close one
Arkansas’ 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.
Altitude time conversions
All 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.
Arkansas goes 2-for-3 in SEC weekly awards
Palmer earned SEC 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 1
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 – Week 1
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.
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.