Blue streaks to 70-25 win over Crimson
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomores Breonna Barker and Haley Bishop each won a pair of individual events and contributed to relay victories while helping the Blue team to a near sweep of the Crimson squad, 70-25, inside Robinson Natatorium late Friday afternoon. The Blue team won 9-of-11 events, including four straight to open the meet.
Crimson’s Hannah Driscoll enters the water during the 100-yard freestyle.Bishop helped the Blue side open with a 200-yard medley relay victory then contributed wins in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, and led off the 200-yard freestyle relay win to close the meet. Barker won both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle – out-touching teammate and fellow sophomore Taylor Sieperda by less than half a second in the latter – and was on the winning 200 free relay team.
“One team, KU, won,” a pleased Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said, “but the Blue team really brought it today. I was pleased to see the young ones step up and race really well this early in the year. They were excited, hyped up and ready to swim fast. It was really almost surprising, their early season performances.
“I really liked how Breonna swam the 200 free and the 100 free. She really swam with a lot of confidence. Bishop was as solid as ever. I was really impressed with (freshman) Elizabeth Amato-Hanner. She had a really nice 200 IM and came back and won the 100 backstroke. She is coming off of a gimpy ankle and she really performed. Right after the 100 backstroke she got up and did the freestyle relay. I thought she had an outstanding meet. Also, I was really happy with Taylor Sieperda. She had two really good relays and was second in the 100 free. She was actually our Swimmer of the Meet and just had a huge year-over-year progression for her.”
Junior diver Nadia Khechfe temporarily stopped the Blue charge with Crimson’s first win on the one-meter diving boards, leading the way with a 95.10 score on three dives. Blue’s Graylyn Jones (88.10) and Peri Charapich (81.75) each scored more than 80 points while finishing second and third, respectively.
Bishop and Barker claimed the next two events before Libby Walker won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:08.05, Crimson’s only other event victory.
One of the tightest finishes of the meet came in the 100-yard backstroke when Amato-Hanner (57.50), a freshman from Omaha, out-touched perennial backstroke leader Yulya Kuchkarova (57.78). In the next race, Haley Downey, a freshman from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, who swam at the 2016 US Olympic Trials, touched first in the 100-yard breaststroke, highlighting strong debuts from a talented freshman class that has added to the Jayhawks’ depth.
“I think our team as a whole swam better than expected,” Senior captain and Blue team architect Hannah Angell said. “That is extremely exciting for our season to come. I think we have a lot of potential for our upcoming dual meets in the fall and spring. I think we can surprise the coaches a little bit.
“My first intrasquad meet I remember thinking, ‘This is the first time I’m swimming fast in front of my teammates,’ and I just wanted to make a good impression on them and the coaches. I was really pumped about it. That was part of my strategy to get freshman on my team, because I knew they would be pumped up and they also have a lot of potential.”
Kansas opens the 2016-17 campaign officially on Oct. 21-22 when the Jayhawks welcome Missouri State and North Dakota for a two-day double dual at Robinson Natatorium. On Friday, Oct. 21, the Jayhawks will raise awareness and support as part of the Jayhawks for a Cure campaign, and on Saturday, Oct. 22, the program will recognize the contributions of its nine-member senior class.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.