Kansas Swimmers and Divers Look to Make Splash in Tucson

Oct. 6, 2011

Coach Campbell previews the Arizona meet

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas swimming and diving travels to the desert to take on the Arizona Wildcats Saturday at noon in its first dual meet of the 2011-12 season. The Jayhawks are fresh off of their intrasquad meet last week, where the Blue team defeated the Crimson team 144-123. It was from that exhibition that head coach Clark Campbell decided, which 18 of his 23 swimmers he would chose to make the trip.

“We do this each year during fall break as an incentive to having a good summer of training and a good early fall,” Campbell said. “Based on the results, we take our 18 best swimmers and reward them early on.”

There were some performances in Campbell’s mind that stood out from last Friday’s intrasquad meet, starting with the upperclassmen.

“Stephanie Payne is well ahead of where she was last year and Brooke Brull had a really solid meet,” Campbell said. “I was also really pleased with Brittany Rospierski, who had a very good summer, trained with us and has continued that into the fall season.”

Campbell was also impressed with freshman Deanna Marks’ performance in the pool last week as she was first in the 100-yard butterfly and helped her team finish on top in the 200 medley relay.

As for KU’s task at hand, Coach Campbell is looking forward to making the trip out to Arizona, but knows it will be an important test early on in the season. The Wildcats placed fifth in last season’s NCAA Championships and return eight All-Americans from a year ago.

“Arizona is one of the perennial top five teams in the country and we get a chance to go down there, compete against and watch some of the best athletes in the country,” he said.

This is the second straight year Kansas will be taking on Arizona as they competed against the Wildcats in a quad dual meet alongside Arizona State, New Mexico State and UNLV in 2010. KU will be looking to avenge the 178-84 loss they suffered at the hands of the Wildcats at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

“This will be a really great opportunity for our athletes who want to compete at the NCAA Championships and Olympic Trials, because they will see what it takes to compete in a meet style environment early on,” Campbell said.

The Wildcats are a relatively young squad led by just three seniors, Alyssa Anderson and Emma Darlington (freestyle), as well as Grace Kittle in the breaststroke events. Arizona is coming off a season in which they went 7-4 in dual competition.

The meet between Kansas and Arizona takes place Saturday at noon. Log on to kuathletics.com for all the results, recaps and post-meet interviews.