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AUBURN, Ala. – The records continued to fall for the No. 18 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team on day two of the Southeastern Conference Championship meet. The Razorbacks (10-1, 3-1), behind Stephanie Carr and Yi Ting Siow, set school records in the 500 free and 200 individual medley as the team picked up 54 points for a total of 115 points and held steady in seventh place.“This day of competition, with this lineup of events, is typically our weakest day,” head Razorback coach Jeff Poppell said. “However, we did very very well today qualifying four swimmers for the finals tonight as well as Madison Palmer scoring for us in diving.”
Carr, competing in the final of the 500 free, touched in with a Razorback-record time of 4:43.59, an NCAA ‘B’ cut time and good enough for eleventh place.
Continuing to slice through the water at incredible speeds, junior Siow set her second Arkansas record in as many months with the squad, placing sixth in the 200 IM with an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:58.24.
“Stephanie and Yi Ting had fantastic swims, each setting new school records,” Poppell said.
Sophomore Katie Kastes, the previous record holder in the 200 IM, was two spots behind Siow in eighth with a time of 2:01.07. Kastes set a personal best time of 1:59.86 in the 200 IM prelims in Thursday’s morning session. Her prelim time is also an NCAA ‘B’ cut time.
“Katie had a very good morning swim today,” Poppell said. “She qualified for the championship finals with her ‘B’ cut time and we were very pleased with her performance.”
As a team, the Razorbacks set nine personal best times on Thursday, including senior Elizabeth Engs’ time of 2:03.04 in the 200 IM prelims, placing her fifth in the Arkansas record books.
In her final SEC Championship meet with the Razorbacks, senior Summer Jackson set a career-best time of 23.63 in the prelims of the 50 free.
Other personal bests on the day included Leah Pierce (2:05.43) and freshmen Lisa Lunkenheimer (2:06.45) and Katie Davis (2:07.88) in the 200 IM prelims. Alison Templin (4:49.91), Erica Totten (4:51.64) and Jillienne Schilling (4:56.38) all set personal-bests in the preliminary race of the 500 free.
The final swimming event of the day was the 200 medley relay and the Razorbacks sent the team of Lynette Ng, Jackson, Katie Whitbeck and Kastes into the pool. The team touched in ninth with a time of 1:32.87, the fourth-fastest time in Arkansas history.
Madison Palmer came through on the springboard again on Friday, scoring a 272.45 in the one-meter diving event. Her 12th place finish earned her and the Razorbacks points as they aim to work their way up the SEC standings for the second consecutive year.
At the end of day two, Florida led all teams with 312 points and Georgia followed behind in second with 260 points. Auburn, with 254 points, is in third place heading into Friday’s competition.
“We’re very very happy with our performances today,” Poppell said. “Our performances today were better than expected and we hope to keep the scores close as we head into the last day of competition, which is usually our strongest day.”
In addition to the regular schedule of events, Razorbacks Erin Neumann, Jamie Marks and Whitbeck participated in time trials on Thursday, each swimmer setting a personal best in her individual event. In the 200 fly trial, Neumann touched in with a personal-best 2:03.03 and Mark finished the 500 free trial in a career-high 4:50.75. In the 50 free trial, Whitbeck set a personal best time of 23.92.
On Friday, the Razorbacks look forward to freshman Liana Bugslag’s performance in platform diving, her specialty as a 2008 Canadian Olympic Trials finalist. For the swimmers, day three brings the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and the 400 medley relay. Preliminary heats begin at 10 a.m. on Friday at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center, with finals to follow at 6 p.m.
For live coverage of the SEC Swimming and Diving Championship meet and for complete coverage of Arkansas swimming and diving, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.