Freshmen shine, but Jayhawks fall to Razorbacks, 181.5 - 106.5
Notes Final Results (.pdf)
Fayetteville, Ark. – After receiving praise from head coach Clark Campbell earlier in the week for their results in the classroom, Kansas swimming and diving’s freshmen earned further recognition for their work in the pool on Saturday in KU’s 181.5-106.5 loss to Arkansas.
“The freshmen are really embracing the challenge,” said Campbell. “It’s good to see when the young ones come in and they don’t have a lot of background in the college swimming scene. All they know is to get up there and do the best they can. They really are good role models for us all.”
Freshmen Jenny Nusbaum and Carly Straight accounted for two of KU’s three individual event wins. Nusbaum swam her second-fastest time (1:51.13) of the year in the 200-yard freestyle, an event she has come to own during her short time on the team. In seven tries this season, Nusbaum has come away with the top spot in the 200 free six times. She also added points with her 5:02.05 swim in the 500 free, good for third place, and her contribution to KU’s first-place 400 freestyle ‘A’ relay team that recorded a time of 3:28.23.
Also on that relay team was Straight, who padded her performance with a first-place finish in the 100 free, her first individual win of the season. Straight raced to a time of 52.10, her second-fastest time this season. She supplied more points for KU with her freestyle leg in the third-place 200 medley relay ‘B’ team that recorded a 1:47.31 swim and her tie for third place with Arkansas’ Erin Kelly in the 50 freestyle, both touching the wall at 24.23 seconds.
Though the competitive outcome was not the one he desired, Campbell believed the trip was a success in sharpening the team for the Big 12 Championship in February, which is more important in the long run. The meet, which started at 10 a.m., the same time Big 12 preliminaries will start, served as an opportunity for the swimmers to gain comfort in their daily routine for conference competition.
“As far as a dry run for Big 12s and prelims, they did a really good job of getting themselves ready to compete at a high level,” Campbell said. “They were right at or a little better than their in-season dual meet times. The reason why we were able to do that was because we were really able to take of business on the front end. From the time they woke up to the time the meet finished, they did a really good job of doing what they’re going to have to do in a few weeks at Big 12s and make sure that’s a special meet.”
“In most team sports they say if you have good workouts Monday through Friday then you’ll see it on game day, well in swimming you don’t. You really don’t see what you did until you taper, shave and put on a technical suit. You just have to be okay and roll with it and compete well. We did a really good job of that; we had some really good performances. We have traditionally struggled on the road in Arkansas. In the recent past, this has been one of our better meets. It’s not what this team is capable of, but it’s so much better than when we have really struggled in here. Today, we performed at a reasonable level considering where we are in our preparation.”
Up next will be a two-day home meet against Iowa State that will run from February 3-4. From here on out, Kansas will be concerned with only Big 12 opponents, as the Big 12 Championship follows KU’s clash with Iowa State. The team will ramp up its already intensive training to prepare for the pinnacle of the season.
“We have probably the toughest two weeks of training of the year coming up,” said Campbell. “We’re going to have Iowa State coming in next week; we’re just going to have to keep plugging away in workouts and dig deep Friday and Saturday against Iowa State. This is where the rubber is getting ready to meet the road in our training. We’re going to definitely step it up in the next two weeks and what’s awesome is after that the swimmers get to enjoy their favorite time of year, which is taper. So we’ve got to train these last two weeks at a really high level and know that we have a competitive Iowa State team coming in. We have to finish out the dual meet season and get ready for the Big 12 Championship.”
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