Jayhawks `Go the Distance' on Big 12 Championships Final Day

Feb. 25, 2012

Senior Day Ceremonies / Alison Moffit / Coach Elliott on Cash / Christy Cash

Platform Dive Get Acrobat Reader / 400 Free Relay Get Acrobat Reader / 200 Back Get Acrobat Reader / 100 Free Get Acrobat Reader / 1650 Free Get Acrobat Reader / 200 Breast Get Acrobat Reader / 200 Fly Get Acrobat Reader

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Backed by strong performances by its distance swimmers, Kansas finished out the 2012 Big 12 Championships strong and fast, reeling off a total of 180 points on the four-day meet’s final night. The Jayhawks would see their strongest performances from a quartet of milers and six 200 flyers who combined for 87 points. Kansas left the Mizzou Aquatic Center, having finished fourth and scoring 305 points during the last two days of the championship meet.

Following a special ceremony honoring all the conference’s seniors, the final night of action got underway. The first event on the last day was the 200 back, where both Caroline Patterson (2:04.55) and Brooke Brull (1:58.03) would earn best times. Brull finished in ninth place and scored nine points, while Alyssa Rudman’s 2:04.94 time was good enough for 13th place and four points.

Next up for the ‘Hawks was the 100 free, an event they had a total of four athletes swimming in. Two of those four would end up scoring points for their school and one of those was junior Svetlana Golovchun, with her 50.68 time and ninth place finish that netted her seven points. Kaja Kolsek was not too far off of her fellow countrywoman’s pace, placing 13th, with her career best 51.45 time, which earned her four points.

The Jayhawks would bolster their hold on fourth place over the Cyclones in the 1650 free, thanks to 41 total points that would be scored by distance swimmers Rebecca Swank, Alison Moffitt, Shannon Garlie and Morgan Sharp. Swank was the highest placing Jayhawk in the event, achieving 14 points with her 16:38.18 time and fifth place finish. Following Swank’s lead was Alison Moffit, who finished seventh, scoring 12 and earning a career best time of 16:48.59 in the process. Shannon Garlie, at 17:02.95 also finished in the top ten in the event, coming in ninth and scorning nine additional. Morgan Sharp was the final contributor in the 1650 free, tallying six points with her 11th place performance and 17:09.72 time. Following the mile, Kansas extended their lead over the Cyclones for fourth, from 28 points to 59 at 308-249.

Clark Campbell’s squad would add to that margin during the night’s next event, the 200 breaststroke. That’s where Alison Lusk would nearly break her own school record in the event, finishing in fifth place with a 2:14.73 time, just 16 tenths of a second off of the 2:14.57 time she posted during last year’s Big 12’s in Austin, Texas. Lusk would score 14 points for her team, while teammate Brittany Rospierski would add another 11 on the heels of her career best 2:16.22 performance and eighth place finish.

Up next for the surging Jayhawks was the 200 fly, where six of them would be competing in scoring heats. By the time the third finals heat was finished, Kansas would have three swimmers finish in the top 10 and all six score. Senior Stephanie Payne placed fifth (2:01.06) and scored 14 points, while freshman Deanna Marks finished seventh with her career best time of 2:02.45, as she netted 12 points in the process. Rounding out the top 10 was newcomer Sofiia Filatova who placed ninth (2:02.99), and scored nine points. The rest of the scorers in the 200 fly included sophomore Malia Johnson (2:04.59/11th), freshman Rachel Snyder (2:06.41/13th) and senior Kath Liggett (2:08.09/16th). KU would score a total of 46 points in the event between six different swimmers to open up a commanding 106 point lead over ISU for fourth place at Championships.

Junior diver Christy Cash would add to her team’s total, before the night was through, putting up a career high score of 240.00 on the platform dive and finishing in seventh place, which earned her team 12 points. Cash’s 240 score was the second highest by a platform diver in program history, with Casey Topol’s 281.90 score at 2005 Big 12’s being the only one that was better. Sophomore Alyssa Golden chipped in with four points of her own, finishing in 13th place with a 145.95 score during her first ever try at the event.

The final event of the night and of the meet was the 400 freestyle relay, which Kansas came in fourth place with their 3:23.78 time.

KU had a total of 18 swimmers and divers combine for 150 points on the night, with an additional 30, coming from the 400 freestyle relay. The Jayhawks bested their performance at the 2011 Big 12’s by 13.5 points, and the 423 points, were the most scored by a Kansas team at conference since 2005, when they scored 505 and also finished in fourth.

Complete Championship Coverage: http://www.big12sports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10410&ATCLID=205177413

022612aaa_602_7479672.jpegFINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1) Texas A&M -1,019 pts
2) Texas -873 pts
3) Missouri -630 pts
4) Kansas -423 pts
5) Iowa State -328 pts

Day #4 NOTES
–Caroline Patterson (2:04.55) and Brooke Brull earned KU career best times in the 200 back.
–Kaja Kolsek swam to a lifetime best time of 51.45 in the 100 free
–Brittany Rospierski (2:16.22) and Cora Powers (2:22.57) both compiled career best times in the 200 breast
–Deanna Marks (2:01.67), Sophiia Filatova (2:02.99) as well as Rachel Snyder (2:06.41), swam to lifetime best performances in the 200 fly.
–Alison Moffit compiled a new career best time in the 1650 free with her 16:48.59 time and seventh place finish.
–Diver Christy Cash set a new career high for points in the platform dive with her 240.00 score and seventh place finish, and Alyssa Golden did the same with her 145.95 score and 13th place finish.

Kansas head coach Clark Campbell
On his team’s performance on the meet’s final day:
“We saved our best for last. It was an awesome way to end the meet and we ended with a lot of momentum. We had a lot of season best times, championship finalists and consolation finalists.”

On KU’s basketball victory influencing his team’s performance:
“I think the basketball game helped because once they found out (about the win), there was more pep in their step, so thanks to the basketball program.”

On his four seniors:
“All four of them brought something special to the program and you will never replace that, but you build on it. We really appreciate all four’s contribution to our program.”

On his team’s 180 point performance Saturday night:
“We put people in scoring opportunities. The 1650 really helped and I was really happy with our milers. They performed at a very high level and really stepped up. You earn your way to have the opportunity to score points, so we did that, and once we got there, we moved up.”

Diving Coach Eric Elliott
On junior Christy Cash’s performance in the platform dive:
“I was really extremely proud of her today. She had okay prelim event and just got in, but then she broke her personal best (in platform) by 15 points, so that is a big accomplishment.”

On her strength in the platform dive:
“She is stronger on the platform with her gymnastics background and the lack of fear to get up there and do what you do on 10 meter is pretty tough.”

Sophomore swimmer Alison Moffit
On her team’s performance:
“Overall I thought we did great. I just love how our team came together today because yesterday was a little rough for us.”