Jayhawks Swim Past Mavs, While Two Divers Qualify for NCAA Zones

Nov. 19, 2011

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Coach Fox on the victory Coach Elliott on his divers Golden on qualifying for Zones

LAWRENCE, Kan. – It was a banner day for the Kansas Jayhawk swimming and diving team as they won all 11 individual swimming events versus Nebraska-Omaha, en route to a 150-78 victory Saturday at Robinson Natatorium. KU was led by sophomore Morgan Sharp, who won two events, as well as both of its divers, who qualified for the NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Championships in March. With the victory, Kansas moved to 4-3 on the year, making it the 11th straight season the Jayhawks have reached the four win mark. Nebraska-Omaha dropped to 0-6 and is still in search for its first victory.

“It was a good win,” said assistant coach Jen Fox. “We swam some off events today, which gave some of the girls a chance to compete in different events and they did a great job.”

“It is really nice to get that qualifying score done this early, going into the Mizzou Invitational,” said diving coach Eric Elliott. “Now we can work on some dives that we are really going to need once we get to the Championships.”

For Elliott, this makes eight straight seasons that at least one of his divers has gone on to compete at Zone’s. Coincidentally, he has been a coach at KU for the past eight seasons (2004/05 – 2011/12).

Last year, Christy Cash was the lone diver to make the trip but this year will have some company as sophomore Alyssa Golden will be making joining her in Iowa City where they are being held.

“One of my goals this year was to definitely make zones”, Golden said following the meet. “I am really proud that I actually did it and I feel really good, knowing I will be going as a sophomore.”

Golden finished the three-meter dive with a 254.48 score and in second place, while she tallied a 269.02 score later in the meet during the one-meter. Her counterpart, junior Christy Cash finished first in both diving events, with a 269.78 in the three-meter and a 289.04 score during one-meter competition.

On the swimming side of the meet, sophomore Morgan Sharp won two of the 12 total events KU took from the Mavericks on Saturday. She finished first in the 1000 yard freestyle (10:18.25) and again was the fastest in the 100 free with her 53.16 time. Other Jayhawks winning events against Nebraska-Omaha were seniors Kath Liggett and Abigail Anderson, juniors Brooke Brull, Svetlana Golovchun, Rebecca Swank and Brittany Rospierski, while freshman Deanna Marks was the lone underclassmen with a win, as she finished first in the 100 fly (57.79).

“Sveta did a good job and has been getting closer to in-season best times but Brittany Rospierski did an awesome job today and really stood out,” said assistant coach Fox. “Morgan Sharp also did really well today and had some good performances.”

To go along with Sharp’s two victories, Rospierski finished first in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.89) and Golovchun was the fastest in the 50 free (24.17) and the second fastest in the 100 back with her exhibition time of 59.86.

“Today was a good stepping stone,” said Fox. “We had about 30 in-season best times so it will be a good confidence booster going into the break and eventually the invite.”

Kansas will have a brief 11 day window to rest and train, before they travel to Columbia for the Mizzou Invite (Dec. 1-4). The invitational will be the final competitive swimming event the team will take part in during 2011 as they will break for finals and then head to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on a yearly training trip.

More Information on the NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Championships can be found here: http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/NCAA/Championships/Swimming+and+Diving+Championship+Women