Mayrovich and Kuzhil Qualify for the NCAA Swimming Championships

March 5, 2009


Senior Maria Mayrovich and sophomore Iuliia Kuzhil will represent the Kansas swimming and diving team at the 2009 NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas March 19-21. It is each swimmer’s first NCAA Championships. Mayrovich earned an invite to the 50, 100 and 200 yard freestyle events and Kuzhil in the 100 yard backstroke.

Mayrovich, a team captain, is one of Kansas’ all-time top freestyle swimmers. She owns the second-fastest times in the 50, 100 and 200 yard freestyle events in Kansas history. Those times were all set this year at the Big 12 Championships. Mayrovich was also a member of the school record 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 medley relay teams.

Mayrovich currently has the 23rd-fastest qualifying time in the 50 freestyle of 22.37 seconds. Her 100 yard freestyle time of 48.45 seconds is the 18th-fastest in the country. Mayrovich also earned an invite in the 200 yard freestyle by way of her qualification in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. Her time 200 yard freestyle time of 1:47.22 is the 61st-fastest qualifying time. It is still unknown if she will race in the 200 yard freestyle, or choose to focus on the shorter freestyle events.

“We are overjoyed with Maria’s qualification,” said Kansas head coach Clark Campbell. “She has worked extremely hard. This is her third year and she has been oh-so-close the past two years. For her to break through and finally gain an invitation to the meet has been a goal of Maria’s since she stepped on campus. We’re very happy for her.”

Kuzhil, despite being a newcomer this year, wasted no time in re-writing the Kansas backstroke record books. She is the record-holder in the 100 and 200 yard backstroke events. Kuzhil’s 100 yard backstroke time was 53.63, 1.07 seconds faster than the previous record set by Jenny Short in 2007. Her 200 yard backstroke time of 1:58.05 shaved 0.77 seconds off of Short’s school record. Like Mayrovich, Kuzhil was also a member of the school record 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 medley relay teams.

Kuzhil qualified 34th in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 53.45 seconds in her lead-off leg of the 400 yard medley relay. The top 38-41 swimmers qualify from around the nation.

“We’re equally happy for Iuliia,” said Campbell. “It is a tribute to her, because in the year prior she was unable to swim very much in the Ukraine because of the current state of their country and their facilities. She’s made a rapid improvement in a small amount of time. We’re really excited to see what she does in subsequent years when she has more training and experience behind her.”

Narrowly missing out on the NCAA Championships is Kansas’ 200 yard medley relay team. Kuzhil, Mayrovich, Danielle Herrmann and Abigail Anderson’s school record time of 1:38.45 was just 0.05 seconds off of qualification. The relay team placed 18th, and only the top 16 teams are invited.

Kansas’ divers will attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships at the Zone Diving Championships in Columbia, Mo. March 13-15.

For complete results following the Zone Diving Championships and Mayrovich and Kuzhil’s performances at the NCAA Championships, please check back with