Jayhawks fall to Razorbacks 199-96, in road dual

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Jan. 21, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – The KU swimming and diving team came up short in their first road test of the New Year, losing to Arkansas 199-96, Saturday morning in Fayetteville. The loss brought the Jayhawks’ record to 5-4 on the season, while the Razorbacks improved to 2-3.

“Our overall team performance was poor,” said head coach Clark Campbell. “There were a couple glimpses (of good performances) here and there, but I thought we were just not that competitive.”

Arkansas got out of the starting blocks quickly, winning the meet’s first seven events heading into the diving break. The Jayhawks were unable to recover from the home team’s fast start, putting just two first place finishes up on the board. Despite the loss, Campbell was able to see some bright spots in some of his swimmers’ individual performances.

“I thought Rebecca Swank had a very hard triple, with the three distance events she did,” he said. “She competed in the 500 (free), the mile (1650 free), and the 400 IM. She performed at a fairly high level at all three.”

Swank compiled a second place finish in the mile (17:00.97), earned third in the 400 IM (4:37.09) and came in fourth during the 500 free (5:00.72).

“Morgan Sharp’s mile was pretty solid and Brittany Rospierski’s breaststrokes were good races,” Campbell went onto explain. “I also thought Brooke (Brull’s) 200 back was pretty good, so those were some of the highlights.”

Sharp, who is the school record holder in the 500 free, finished fourth in the mile (17:08.06), while Rospierski finished third in the 100 breast (1:05.83), and fourth in the 200 breast (2:24.87). Junior Brooke Brull ended up second in the 200 back with a time of 2:03.04.

Other Jayhawks with some top performances in the defeat, were Stephanie Payne, who took home KU’s only solo event victory in the 400 IM (4:29.21), as well as junior Svetlana Golovchun, who came in second in the 100 free (53.17), and third in the 100 back (59.84). Freshman newcomer Kaja Kolsek continued to improve, as she finished third in the 50 free (24.770), while fellow freshman Deanna Marks had a pair of third place performances in the 200 and 100 fly.

The team’s lone relay victory came during the meet’s final event, a 7:38.18 time and a first place finish in the 800 free relay. On the diving boards, junior Christy Cash earned third place finishes in both the one meter (250.43) and three meter (255.00) diving events.

Coach Campbell thought that there were a variety of factors that may have played into his team’s un Kansas like performance, Saturday morning at the Arkansas Natatorium.

“This week there was just so much new stuff being thrown at them (the athletes),” he explained. “We started a new training phase, a new lifting program and they started school, so when you have this much new stuff, I have found that it takes them a while to find their groove.”

The new training regimen that Campbell and his staff implemented this past week is all aimed at helping his swimmers become faster, so that they are able to peak at Big 12’s in late February.

“In a sense what we are trying to do (over the course of the season), is make a bigger engine and right now we are trying to make that engine faster,” the head coach explained. “So there is a bit of a transition period between the different styles of training, because having a big engine will not help you, if it doesn’t go fast.”

The Jayhawks will have a little less than two weeks to become comfortable with their new training phase, as they travel to Ames, Iowa to take on the Cyclones in a two-day dual meet scheduled for Fri. Feb 3-Sat. Feb 4.

“We just have to be better, bottom line,” Campbell said. “We need to come in and get consistent. We are a lot better than what we were today, but if there is a silver lining, it is better to be poor in January than to be poor in February.”

If KU’s track record is any indication of their pending performance in Ames, they have not lost a February dual meet since 2003, and that includes six wins against the Cyclones during that same stretch of time.