Sharp Sets School Record as KU Gets off to Quick Start in Columbia

Dec. 1, 2011

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Riding the wave of momentum from sophomore Morgan Sharp’s record breaking performance in the 500 freestyle, the Kansas swimming and diving team reeled off 120 points en route to having five other swimmers set KU career and lifetime best standards.

Sharp’s time of 4:48.01 was a lifetime best and surpassed the old Kansas program benchmark of 4:48.77 set by Gina Gnatzig in 2006.

“It doesn’t happen too often to have a record fall this early in the season, but Morgan just did an awesome job” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “We have been working with her and tweaked her stroke a bit and she has taken to it really well.”

Other Jayhawks setting new collegiate and lifetime best standards for themselves were seniors Sarah Hettenbach and Abigail Anderson. Hettenbach’s came during the preliminaries of the 50 yard freestyle, where she finished with a time of 24.28, while Anderson set her new fastest time in the 100 fly, where she placed second with a 53.39 performance.

Not to be outdone by their senior counterparts, Caroline Patterson, Alison Moffitt and Svetlana Golovchun also saw high water marks in the pool on Thursday. Patterson, a freshman swam to a 2:08.66 time in the 200 IM, while Moffitt, a sophomore set a new KU career high with her 4:56.24 and tenth place finish in the finals of the 500 free.

Junior transfer Sveta Golovchun continued to improve in short course completion, setting a new standard for herself during the preliminaries of the 50 free, with a 23.06 time. She would be the fastest KU swimmer in the event finishing seventh, just eight seconds off of her morning swim.

“It was a really good start to the meet,” Campbell said. “We came in and kicked-off the morning really well as our 500 freestylers did a very good job of creating momentum as did our 100 flyers.”

Campbell’s squad also performed quite well as a unit, placing in the top five in both relay events. The team of Golovchun, Brooke Brull, Anderson and Hettenbach came in second in the 200 free (1:33.49), while the grouping of Anderson, Deanna Marks, Brittany Rospierski and Shannon Garlie claimed third place in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:42.95.

“I am pleasantly surprised with our performance,” Campbell said. “The vast majority of the team is just so far ahead of where we were at the Georgia Invite this time last season. I would have never thought that we would be in this position, especially with us changing around our training routine this year.”

In the lone diving event on Thursday, KU junior Christy Cash finished sixth in the three meter, with her 232.30 score. Cash earned a 268.20 mark during preliminaries, while sophomore Alyssa Golden tallied a 198.90 score also in pre-lims, good enough for 15place overall.

“These meets are fairly emotional,” Campbell explained. “If you get the momentum going the right way it can really help. With that said, we have to celebrate what have done today, but be done with it so we can get some sleep and be ready to attack the challenges of tomorrow.”

Those challenges will come in the form of preliminaries in the morning and then a finals session in the afternoon on Friday. The events on tap for Campbell and the Jayhawks tomorrow include the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back as well as the 800 yard freestyle relay. Competition wraps up tomorrow night with one meter diving, which will carry the invite into its third and final day.

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RESULTS: 200 free relay Get Acrobat Reader / 50 free Get Acrobat Reader / 500 free Get Acrobat Reader /100 fly Get Acrobat Reader /200 IM Get Acrobat Reader /400 medley relay Get Acrobat Reader / 3 meter diving Get Acrobat Reader