Jayhawk Insider: First time for everything
On a sunny Saturday morning at Lone Star Lake, the six University of Kansas swimmers swam their mark at the third-annual College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Open Water Championship.
The split set of three veterans and three newcomers accumulated a total score of 40 points, ranking them third in the nation for the open water event.
Starring in their first-ever collegiate open water race, freshman Claire Campbell and Katie Callahan finished with times of 1:05:16.78 and 1:08:07.33, respectively. Alongside them was sophomore Crissie Blomquist making her first open water appearance with a time of 1:09:02.64.
“I feel really accomplished and proud of myself and my team,” Campbell said. “It was so much fun and such a different experience to have the opportunity to swim in a lake. The first time I ever swam in open water was two weeks ago when we came out for a practice, so this was my second time ever swimming in a lake.”
Along with Campbell, Callahan experienced her first-ever collegiate race just weeks after joining the KU swimming and diving family.
“I think it went really well,” Callahan said. “I didn’t really know what to expect because I have never done this before, but I’m glad we practiced at the lake and swam the course beside people who had done it before. They (the upper classmen) were super encouraging so that was awesome.”
The support from the upper classmen, who have competed in this event before for KU, made the two freshmen confident and happy heading into this big race. With years of experience under their belt, they were able to remain confident and keep the freshmen’s spirits high as they faced the grueling 5,000-meter course.
“They stayed really positive about this race, and leading up to it, they talked about how much fun it was,” Campbell said. “It is cool to be a part of the open water team because not very many people get to represent KU in this type of way.”
Junior Jenny Nusbaum completed the race for the third time Saturday morning and remembers when she was a freshman completing the open water course for the first time.
“I had never done an open water swim until my freshman year at KU and I had no idea what to expect,” Nusbaum said. “It so much fun to see the freshman and Crissie (Blomquist) compete in it for the first time today because they all did really well and had fun.”
The Jayhawks return to the pool Friday, September 28th at 3p.m. inside Robinson Natatorium for an exciting alumni meet to cap off Homecoming Weekend.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.