Four more wins for Bishop leads to CSCAA's Big 12 Swimmer of the Week honor
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Haley Bishop is a winner – at 50 yards or 5,000 meters, and apparently every distance in between. The Kansas sophomore has 12 swims since the start of the fall semester and has won them all, including four during last week’s swimming and diving dual win over TCU. Her winning ways have drawn the attention of the College Swim Coaches Association of America, which tabbed her as the organization’s Big 12 Swimmer of the Week Tuesday.
Bishop, who was crowned co-champion of the CSCAA National Collegiate Open Water Championship in September, has been unbeatable since, contributing to 40 total points in the Jayhawks’ 190-108 rout of the Horned Frogs in Robinson Natatorium last Thursday to move Kansas to 3-0 on the year. Bishop swam a tough double but swept the 100- and 200-yard butterfly swims against TCU and helped the Jayhawks bookend a nearly flawless effort in the pool with a pair of relay wins.
“She’s really competitive and last week the whole team was pretty jazzed,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said of the performance against TCU. “It was a Thursday meet, which is different. It was on TV, which is different. It was against a Big 12 opponent, which is different. So everybody was pretty amped up.
“She went into it a little tentative because she was doing the 200 fly and she was really nervous about that race. What was great about it was that she came through it with flying colors. She really executed the race plan very, very well. I think she got a lot of confidence from that and on her fly and she had a good relay. She’s in a good spot and I’m really happy for her, getting this national recognition.”
Bishop’s 100- and 200-yard butterfly swims both rank among the top-150 NCAA Division I women’s swimming times at this point of the season and the team’s 200-yard medley relay has the second-fastest clocking in the Big 12 this season to date. In addition to tying Libby Walker for the top spot at the 5K open water race, Bishop swam in and won four events at the Crimson and Blue Intrasquad, three more in a double dual against Missouri State and North Dakota, and four against the Horned Frogs.
The award marks the fifth time that Bishop, in her second year as a Jayhawk, has been selected as the Big 12’s top swimmer according to the CSCAA. Additionally, she was also selected as the Big 12 Coaches’ pick once last year.
To Campbell it’s just business as usual for a swimmer with high aspirations.
“I’m not really surprised,” Campbell said. “It’s just she has really big goals of going to the NCAAs, making trials in 2020 and that type of thing. So what we’re doing is really meeting expectations. If she didn’t have those goals then I’d think it’d be a surprise, but we’ve talked about what she needs to do in training and in meets and in the approach to her life of what it’s going to take to reach those goals. Those goals are so high and so challenging, it’s great to see somebody do the work that’s meeting those expectations. We’ve talked the talk, now seeing the walk match the talk; you’re really seeing the blossoming of an elite athlete. It’s really cool to see when you take somebody who’s good and take them from good to great.
“There’s definitely a process and you have to honor that process. There are no shortcuts. There’s nothing easy about it. You have to do certain things and she is just hitting every checkmark along the way.”
Kansas continues a string of three consecutive weeks with a competition when it travels to Nebraska for a 2 p.m. dual meet Saturday, Nov. 5. Kansas topped Nebraska, 180.5-119.5, at Robinson Natatorium in a televised dual last season, the first meet after a four-year competitive hiatus between the programs following the Huskers’ move to the Big Ten. Both teams will also compete at the Kansas Classic (Nov. 18-20), the Jayhawks’ championship-style, capstone meet for the fall.
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