FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 21 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team completed its first day of competition Thursday at the Missouri Invitational in Columbia, Mo. The team is currently first of 11 teams with a total of 262 points.
"I thought they were really good in some spots," head coach Sean Schimmel said. "I was excited about a lot of swims that happened today. We certainly have some things we need to work on."
The day was highlighted by standout performances from Arkansas’ distance swimmers. Senior Nicole Menzel (Hilton Head, S.C.) picked up Arkansas’ first win of the invitational in the finals of the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:45.53.
The 500 freestyle championship final was stacked with Razorbacks as the team placed third, fifth and seventh in addition to the event win. Additionally, junior Anna Mayfield (San Antonio, Texas) swam an exhibition time of 4:43.47 to lead the Razorbacks.
"They certainly put a step forward," Coach Schimmel said. "Anna led the way with a 4:43 and Nicole was right behind her. Those were two really outstanding swims. Rachel had one of her best times and so did Leia. That was really great. Distance stepped it up and they really let the work show up."
Junior Susanna White (Forest, Va.) placed seventh in the championship final of the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.60, followed closely by senior Aubrey Golbek (Noblesville, Ind.) in 55.87. Freshman Anna Williams (Naperville, Ind.) swam a personal-best time of 56.60, claiming 18th.
Freshman Mary Margaret Soderberg (San Antonio, Texas) placed 14th for Arkansas in the 200 individual medley with a personal-best time of 2:04.63.
Sophomore Nina Drolc (Velenje, Slovenia) and sophomore Maddie Monroe (Godfrey, Ill.) placed third and seventh, respectively, in the 50 freestyle finals. Monroe tied a personal-best time of 23.36 and Drolc touched the wall in 23.11.
Senior diver Kesha Naylor(Saskatchewan, Canada) placed fourth in 3-meter diving with an NCAA zone qualification score of 298.95.
Arkansas’ ‘A’ 200 freestyle relay team placed second in 1:30.78, the second-fastest time in Arkansas history. In the 400 medley relay, Arkansas’ ‘A’ team took fourth with a time of 3:39.35.
Friday’s events include the 400 individual medley, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay, 800 freestyle relay and 1-meter diving.
"I’m looking for us to come back," Coach Schimmel said. "We had a good day today, but we were a little rough around the edges. I want us to get out here and be a better team. There is a lot of swimming left and a lot of opportunities. I’m looking for us to maximize on those."
A live stream of each session and live stats will be available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m. and finals will begin at 6 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas swimming and diving, follow @RazorbackSwim on Twitter.
200 Freestyle Relay (Finals)2nd – Arkansas ‘A’ (1:30.78)7th – Arkansas ‘B’ (1:33.85)17th – Arkansas ‘C’ (1:37.77)20th – Arkansas ‘D’ (1:38.83) *
500 Freestyle (Finals)1st – Nicole Menzel (4:45.53) *3rd – Rachel Stoehr (4:48.71)5th – Lauren Jordan (4:52.63)7th – Julia Kucherich (4:55.10)11th – Leia Bates (4:51.86) #X – Anna Mayfield (4:43.47) *X – Rachel Kessler (5:01.56)
100 Butterfly (Finals)6th – Susanna White (55.60)7th – Aubrey Golbek (55.87)18th – Anna Williams (56.60) #29th – Molly Milborn (57.45)30th – Rebekah Harvey (57.57)
200 Individual Medley (Finals)14th – Mary Margaret Soderberg (2:04.63) #16th – Susanna White (2:06.06)27th – Sarah Easterling (2:05.95) #28th – Julia Banach (2:06.95)X – Maddie Monroe (2:03.42)
50 Freestyle (Finals)3rd – Nina Drolc (23.11)7th – Maddie Monroe (23.36) #T13th – Shelby Cox (23.67)14th – Nikki Daniels (23.91)X – Mary Margaret Soderberg (24.28) #
400 Medley Relay (Finals)4th – Arkansas ‘A’ (3:39.35)8th – Arkansas ‘B’ (3:47.10)14th – Arkansas ‘C’ (3:50.07)17th – Arkansas ‘D’ (3:52.05)
3-Meter Diving (Finals)4th – Kesha Naylor (298.95) Z
* – NCAA ‘B’ cut time# – personal best at ArkansasX – exhibition swim