Kansas Swimming and Diving Rides Waves of Success

April 17, 2007


Season Recap

With an overall season record of 6-1 in dual meet action and a 2-1 finish in the Big 12 Conference, the Jayhawks soared to one of their most successful seasons yet. A third-place finish at the Big 12 Conference Championships for the `Hawks marked the second time in four seasons that KU has accomplished the feat.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Kansas’ only dual meet defeat of the season came early against Big 12 rival Missouri at the Border Showdown. Prior to the loss, the Jayhawks secured victories over Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota State on the road and continued their fall campaign defeating Northern Iowa in Lawrence.

With a short dual season, Kansas entered competition at both the Maryland and Nike Cup-Kenyon Invitationals, stacking second and third place finishes, respectively, before heading into winter training in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. KU’s speed in the pool led to shattered records against Nebraska-Omaha and at the Nike Cup Invitational.

“We were really pleased with how 2006-07 unfolded in a number of different ways,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “Not only with how we competed in the pool, our number of NCAA qualifications and broken school records, but also because of the number of team and individual awards in the classroom.”

The Jayhawks would go undefeated in 2007, recording wins over Northern Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa State. En route to the best conference finish since 2004, Kansas shattered four team records in College Station, Texas, at the Big 12 Conference Championships, while qualifying three swimmers for the NCAA Championships, the most since 1998, and three divers for the NCAA Zone “D” Diving Championships.

2006-07 Schedule

Senior co-captains Jenny Short and Lisa Tilson led the team as they kicked the season off with the annual Crimson and Blue Intrasquad meet. Sophomore newcomer Maria Mayrovich and junior Lauren Bonfe stood out as they carried the Jayhawks through the next double dual meet against Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota State. Both Mayrovich and Bonfe shattered HPER Pool records at the University of Nebraska-Omaha pool. Bonfe recorded a 100-backstroke victory, setting a record time of 57.81 in the event. Mayrovich’s performance in the 100-yard freestyle (51.38) was good for another victory and an additional pool record.

“We had a very good meet against Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota State,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “That weekend was all about getting on the road and racing and I thought we performed well.”

Kansas divers senior Shelby Noonan, junior Jenny Roberts and freshman Meghan Proehl finished first, second and third in the one-meter diving competition, respectively.

The Big 12 Relays in Columbia, Mo., would give the Jayhawks the opportunity to showcase their distance swimmers, especially senior Lia Pogioli, sophomore Molly Brammer and freshman Ashley Robinson, who collaboratively reeled in a fifth-place finish in the 1500-yard freestyle relay.

Noonan, Proehl and Roberts, along with sophomore diver Hannah McMacken and freshman diver Allison Ho collaborated for third-place finishes on both the one-meter board (Noonan, Proehl, Roberts) and three-meter board (Noonan, McMacken, Roberts), showing the improvement of the Kansas diving program under third-season head diving coach Eric Elliott.

“The Big 12 Relays was perhaps the toughest meet on the schedule,” Campbell said. “The meet lasted longer than any other meet did in one day, and it also had the most number of events. It was a very challenging meet and there was a strong sense of accomplishment after performing successfully.”

After their mid-fall setback loss to Big 12 rival Missouri, the Jayhawks were back on their feet again at home in a two-day match-up against the University of Northern Iowa. The Jayhawks would never look back. Kansas divers Noonan, Roberts and Proehl led the Jayhawks in the 99-49 victory with diving qualifications to the NCAA Zone “D” diving championships.

Following the fall dual meet season, Kansas would rally at the Terrapin Cup Invitational in College Park, Md., with a second-place finish at the 15-team invitational. The Jayhawks finished with 609 points behind first-place West Virginia University. Noonan reeled in Big 12 Co-Diver of the Week accolades for her performance at the event. Noonan finished second on both the one-meter board (255.30) and three-meter board (275.85).

“We were really proud of Shelby, she deserved the honor,” Elliott said. “Being a senior, she worked hard and dove well. She was focused and it showed that week.”

A week later, the Jayhawks hit the road again traveling to Gambier, Ohio, for competition in the Nike Cup Invitational (Kenyon Invite), where they would establish twelve Kenyon Athletic Center Natatorium records, the first in the 800-yard freestyle relay (7:32.32). Brammer was victorious in the 1650-yard freestyle event (17:09.22) as well as the 500-yard freestyle (5:01.05), setting the third and fourth records for the Jayhawks. Mayrovich (100, 200 and 50-yard freestyle), Short (100-yard backstroke), sophomore Ashley Leidigh (100 and 200-yard butterfly), sophomore Danielle Herrmann (100-yard breaststroke, 400-yard IM) and the KU 400-yard freestyle relay all set KAC pool records during Nike Cup competition. The Jayhawks went on to place third at the Nike Cup behind second-place University of Pennsylvania and first-place meet host Kenyon College before heading into winter break.

Following the swimming Jayhawks’ January winter training trip to San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where they defeated the University of Northern Michigan, and the diving Jayhawks’ training trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they competed in the University of Hawaii Diving Invitational, Kansas went undefeated in 2007, sweeping Big 12 Conference foes Nebraska and Iowa State.

After the 154.5-145.5 road victory over Nebraska, Kansas would celebrate its seven seniors, Bri Brotherson (Colleyville, Texas), Emily Knopp (Wichita, Kan.), Shelby Noonan (Edmond, Okla.), Lia Pogioli (Peoria, Ill.), Jenny Short (Olathe, Kan.), Lisa Tilson (Mercer Island, Wash.) and Tricia Tindall (Morristown, Tenn.) in a two-day dual meet victory over Iowa State, 192.5-103.5, in Lawrence. Helping Kansas to a victory over Iowa State were Roberts, Noonan and Proehl, who finished first, second and third, respectively in the one-meter diving competition.

Big 12 Conference Championships

The Jayhawks paved the path to a third-place finish at the Big 12 Conference Championships in College Station, Texas, the best Conference finish for Kansas since 2004, when Kansas also placed third. Four broken records completed the 448.50 point finish behind swimming and diving powerhouses Texas A&M and Texas.

The Kansas 200-yard medley relay, composed of senior Jenny Short, sophomore Danielle Herrmann, junior Lauren Bonfe and sophomore Maria Mayrovich, swam to a third place finish (1:41.01), breaking the Kansas record of 1:42.02, while the Kansas 400-yard medley relay, composed of the same members, also finished third (3:42.54), breaking a second Kansas team record.

Short and Herrmann led the way for the Jayhawks in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard breaststroke, respectively, both shattering Kansas records in the events to complete the four broken records at the Conference Championships. Short’s backstroke record during preliminaries of the event (54.76) landed her a sixth-place finish in finals of the event. Herrmann shattered her own Kansas record in the breaststroke with a time of 1:02.40, good for a fifth-place finish in the 100-yard event in College Station, Texas.

“This year we made a commitment to peak when it counted and for us, that’s at Big 12s,” Campbell said. “Our success is measured in our records and in our performances from the bottom to the top and this year we can say, `mission accomplished.’ Our plan was to focus and not only did we stay focused, but we executed our plan and that was a big step.”

NCAA Zone “D” Diving Championships

Kansas Jayhawks Shelby Noonan, Jenny Roberts and Meghan Proehl represented Kansas at the NCAA Zone “D” Diving Championships at the Jermail Texas Swim Center March 2-4 on the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas.

In the one-meter diving competition, Noonan posted a finals score of 491.00, good for an eighth-place finish. Proehl and Roberts finished 13th (446.95) and 15th (434.15), respectfully. Roberts led the way for the Jayhawks on the three-meter board with a 10th place finish (514.25), while Noonan finished close behind in 12th (499.35). Proehl rounded out Kansas’ competitors with an 18th place finish, posting 449.40 points. As the only KU diver in the platform competition, Proehl wrapped up Sunday competition 13th in platform diving, recording 331.10 points.

NCAA Championships

Three Kansas swimmers would receive invitations to compete in the 2007 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships March 8-10 in Minneapolis, Minn., at the Minnesota Aquatic Center. Kansas’ three swimmers, Danielle Herrmann, Ashley Robinson and Jenny Short, were the most since 1998 when the Jayhawks also sent three athletes.

Herrmann would compete at the Minnesota Aquatic Center in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events as well as the 200-yard individual medley, while Short received an invitation to compete in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events. Robinson, who excelled throughout the season in distance freestyle events, would be invited for competition in the 500 and 1650-yard freestyle events at NCAAs.

Short’s performance in the 200-yard backstroke (1:59.92) landed her a 32nd-place finish, good for a Kansas team record as well as a season-best time. Herrmann finished 25th in the 100-yard breaststroke and recorded a 32nd-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke event. Robinson reeled in a 29th-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle event, finishing with a time of 16:31.14.

“NCAAs were a big step for us this year because we had the most qualifications in about 10 years,” Campbell said. “Our three competitors did a marvelous job and competed well. We are proud of Jenny (Short) for re-breaking her backstroke record. Ashley (Robinson) and Danielle (Herrmann) are excited about getting back next year and bringing more of their teammates with them.”

In the Classroom: 2006-07

The Jayhawks didn’t stop their 2006-07 success poolside. Sixteen Kansas swimmers and divers were named to the Academic All-Big 12 team. Kansas’ 16 swimmers were divided with 14 first team members and two second team members.

First team members earned a Fall 2006 GPA of 3.2 or higher. Leading the way for the Jayhawks was sophomore Jessica Brozek, one of two Academic All-Big 12 team members to post a GPA of 4.0. Junior Lauren Bonfe, sophomore Molly Brammer, senior Bri Brotherson, sophomore Danielle Herrmann, sophomores Rhynn Malloy, Kendall Matous and Hannah McMacken, senior Lia Pogioli, juniors Jenny Roberts and Terri Schramka as well as seniors Jenny Short, Lisa Tilson and Tricia Tindall joined Brozek with first team honors.

Seniors Emily Knopp and Shelby Noonan rounded out the Jayhawks academic accolades as second team members posting GPAs between 3.0-3.19.