Fast start propels Jayhawks to a commanding Kansas Classic lead
TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas swimming and diving team used two key victories Friday night at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium to take the early lead at the sixth-annual Kansas Classic by 166.5 points.
The Jayhawks posted 21 top-10 finishes, including 14 in the top five, earning a 166.5-point lead (361.5) over second place Iowa State (195), with North Texas (166.5), Northern Iowa (158), Omaha (92) and Little Rock (72) rounding out the six teams competing in the meet.
Among those 14 top-five finishes for the Jayhawks was a complete sweep in the 500-yard freestyle where Kansas earned first through fifth, respectively, highlighted by a record-breaking performance from junior Jenny Nusbaum.
Nusbaum dropped 2.44 seconds from her prelim time to pace KU’s distance quintet with a swim of 4:48.74 – eclipsing a three-year old meet record by two-hundredths of a second.
That race alone, mixed with a first-place finish by the 200-yard freestyle relay to start the night, sent a surge of energy into the Jayhawk swimmers that charged throughout the night and capped the day off with a first and third finish in the 400-yard medley relay.
- Kansas’ 200-meter freestyle relay ‘A’ team of senior Haley Bishop, senior Taylor Sieperda, sophomore Manon Manning and junior Carly Straight kicked off the evening of finals with a season-best time of 1:32.05.
- Junior Jenny Nusbaum earned the win in the 500-yard freestyle with a Kansas Classic record-setting time of 4:48.74.
- The Jayhawks placed first through fifth in the 500-yard freestyle – Nusbaum; sophomore Crissie Blomquist (4:51.14); sophomore Lauryn Parrish (4:54.48); freshman Claire Campbell (4:54.59); and freshman Katie Callahan (4:55.72).
- KU closed the evening with a first- and third-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay with times of 3:40.94 and 3:43.06, respectively.
Head coach Clark Campbell
On the final results from day one…
“We knew we were going to have a really strong showing and we swam really well – it was a really good first day. Everyone got their individual swims to come back and had a number of athletes get lifetime-bests as well as season-bests and that is to be expected. It was a really good way to start the meet.”
On Jenny Nusbaum breaking the meet record…
“It was a rough start of the race, but she came back really nicely and finished really strong. What I really liked from Jenny was how she finished that last relay and brought it home, she is looking really strong and she has all year.”
On tonight’s focus in preparation for tomorrow…
“Right now it is all about recovering from today’s racing and getting ready for tomorrow. The way these meets are structured helps the swimmers swim a little bit better every day. I think tomorrow will be a better set of events for us than today, and then Sunday we have some really good events. We should get a little bit stronger every day and it is good that we are getting this amount of racing done. When you race this much you start to feel a little bit more coordinated and comfortable at race speeds. I thought we cleaned some stuff up from this morning like our starts, we talked about it, and to their credit they really cleaned those up. We were much better off of the blocks.”
The Kansas Classic continues Saturday, Nov. 17 at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium with the preliminary swims slated to being at 10 a.m., with finals to follow at 6 p.m. Admission to the meet is free.
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