Swimmers and Divers Head to Fayetteville for Matchup with Razorbacks
Jan. 20, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Fresh off a senior day victory over Nebraska last weekend, the 5-3 Kansas swimming and diving team will head to south to Arkansas to take on the 20th ranked Razorbacks, Saturday Jan. 21 at 9 a.m.
Kansas is currently on a two meet win streak, having taken their last two dual meets against Nebraska-Omaha (150-78), on Nov. 19 and versus Nebraska (155-145), Jan. 14. Arkansas enters the meet with a record of 1-3 out of the SEC, having finished first and fourth in their two additional invites throughout the year.
“They are going to be tough and are one of the better teams in the SEC,” said head coach Clark Campbell. “Arkansas is known for their distance program but they have gotten better in the shorter stroke events as well, so they are very strong. Our athletes just need to keep the races in their own lanes and be focused on what they need to do to perform at a high level.”
Even though the two squads are in separate conferences, Campbell is aware that both schools are no stranger to one another inside the pool and out.
“What is interesting for us and Arkansas is that we often recruit the same kids because we are close by and are going after the same pool of talent,” he explained. “Our teams know each other very well because they have recruited our athletes and we have recruited a lot of their athletes, so we are well familiar.”
While familiarity may be a slight factor Saturday at Arkansas Natatorium, Campbell feels some of his swimmers are ready to have breakout performances based on their track record thus far in the New Year.
“Brooke Brull is just lighting it up and is doing really well, as is Rebecca Swank, who is one of our better distance athletes,” Campbell thought. “Stephanie Payne is going to get a chance to swim some of her marquee events, so she should have a good meet as well.”
The trio of Kansas swimmers is coming off of a solid meet versus Nebraska last weekend, where they compiled a total of six first place finishes and an additional two top three performances.
As for his team as a whole, the ten year head coach feels they are right where they need to be at this time of the season.
“Coming off of training camp there is always a little bit of a transition period, but the most important thing is that we are healthy,” Campbell said. “We are really excited about Big 12’s coming up (Feb. 22-25), and the athletes really like this part of the year, where the training is focused on fine tuning and sharpening things.”
The Razorbacks are led by a senior corps of eight talented swimmers and divers, while the rest of their squad is made up of 21 juniors and underclassmen. Their distance team is headlined by seniors Alison Templin and Sarah Howard, while the remaining four swimming seniors each compete in different events. Katie Whitbeck (freestyle), Courtney O’Grady (breaststroke), Lisa Lukenheimer (butterfly) and Jillienne Schilling (Backstroke), round out the swimming events, while UA claims two senior divers in Liana Bugslag and Alex House.
Arkansas has a talented crop of underclassmen, led by sophomore diver Kesha Naylor and freshman swimmer Susanna White. The pair took home SEC diver and freshman of the week awards respectively, for their performances in a double-dual against Penn State and Navy last week.
Who: Kansas (5-3), (0-1) Arkansas (1-3), (0-2)
When: Sat. Jan. 21 9 a.m.
Where: Arkansas Natatorium (Fayetteville, Ark.)
All-Time Series Record: Kansas leads 17-11
Last Time Out: Jan. 13, 2011 Lawrence, Kan. (Arkansas 170, Kansas 130)
Results: Available on kuathletics.com following the meet