Arkansas swimming and diving hosts Southeastern Conference opponent Vanderbilt Saturday, Jan. 19 at 10:00 a.m. at the Arkansas Natatorium.
Saturday = Senior Day
At Saturday’s meet, seniors Emily Gregory, Katie McGraw and Tifanie Silver will be honored as they compete in the last home meet of their careers.
Last time out
The Lady Razorbacks downed the 18th-ranked Missouri Tigers on the road, 151-149. The Lady’Backs also defeated Missouri State 247-53, marking the highest dual-meet score in the history of the program.
Arkansas’ team effort included seven wins from five different Lady’Backs, 26 season-best times and 22 career-bests. All of this came against two top-25 opponents on the road.
Carr creams the competition
Junior Stephanie Carr led the Lady’Backs with two wins. Carr took first place in the 1,000 and 500 freestyles. Her time of 9:54.08 in the 1,000 free was second best in the school records and Carr’s best of the season. In the 500 free, Carr beat her nearest opponent by over five seconds.
Lady’Backs top finishes
Also picking up wins for Arkansas was freshman Jamie Marks in the 200 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley, junior Summer Jackson in the 100 breast, freshman Katie Kastes in the 200 butterfly and Gregory in the 100 fly. The Lady’Backs took first in the 200 medley relay with a season-best time of 1:44.18. Arkansas also turned in a season-best time of 1:35.71 in the 200 free relay.
Arkansas with six wins
The Lady’Backs have a 6-2 overall record and are 0-2 in the SEC. Six wins is the most the program has had since 2001-02 when Arkansas finished 8-4 in dual meets.
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 nine wins
Katie Kastes leads the Lady’Backs with nine wins this season. Also tallying wins for Arkansas is Carr, Marks and junior Madison Palmer with six, Gregory with three, Lynette Ng with two and freshman Ashley Largo and Jackson with one.
The Commodores reinstituted swimming and diving in 2006-07 and last had a team in 1990. The Commodores are 0-7 in dual meets this year and hosted their first home swim meet in 15 years last Friday losing to Miami 186-74. Freshman Leigh-Ann Axt should give Arkansas swimmers a run for their money as she leads the team with 12 individual wins and top times in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles and the 100 and 200 butterflies. This is the first dual meet between Arkansas and Vanderbilt.
Bringing her “A” game
Kastes is the only Lady’Back with an NCAA automatic qualifying time. Her time of 1:58.98 in the 200 fly qualifies her for the NCAA Championships in March.
Who’s getting B’s?
Arkansas accumulated 18 NCAA “B” Cuts this season. Kastes has eight, 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 revamped the top five spots in the 200 fly with her name and times of 1:59.58, 1:59.58, 2:00.56, 2:01.43 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. Carr is second and third in the 1,000 free with a 9:54.08 and a 10:00.09, and third in the 1,650 free with a 16:24.61. Largo sits fifth 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.
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.
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.