COLUMBUS, OHIO – The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team earned two all-American honors at the 2008 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships after freshman Katie Kastes and junior Madison Palmer placed in the top 16 in their events at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the campus of Ohio State.
Kastes touched in 15th in the 500 freestyle and Palmer finished 16th on the one-meter springboard earning both student-athletes honorable mention all-American honors. Kastes’ time of 4:43.96 was just .03 seconds off of her career best and the second-fastest time in program history. Palmer took 16th with a score of 264.90.
“It was a great first day, said head coach Jeff Poppell. “This is the fastest NCAA meet in history and I can’t think of a better way to start off the competition. The fact that Katie and Madison finished in the top 16 and received honorable mention all-American status is fantastic. They did phenomenal.”
Junior Stephanie Carr touched in 20th in the 500 free with a 4:44.99 which is less than one second away from her personal-best time. Freshman Ashley Largo placed 50th with a 4:53.78, only .10 seconds off of her individual best.
Arkansas is in 28th place with three points after the first day of competition. The 2008 NCAA Championships mark the first time since 2004 that any Lady’Back has competed at NCAA’s. It is the most athletes Arkansas has sent since 2003 when five student-athletes qualified. Fifteenth is the best a Lady’Back swimmer has finished since 2003 and the last all-Americans were diver Mandy Moran in 2004 and swimmer Whitney Lynn in 2003.
“Arkansas is on the scoreboard and we’re real excited going into the last two days of the meet,” said Poppell.
The 400 individual medley, 200 free and three-meter diving events are scheduled for Friday and on Saturday is the 1,650 free.
For more information about Arkansas swimming and diving, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.