Jayhawks fall short against Arkansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A strong start Friday night inside Robinson Natatorium propelled the Kansas swimming and diving team to a strong finish, but it wasn’t enough, as the Jayhawks fell to Arkansas, 180-120, in dual-meet fashion.
Having won just one event a year ago in Fayetteville, Kansas showed a renewed spirit winning four of the first eight events, swimming even with Arkansas to the first break.
That fast start pushed the Jayhawks to their strongest finish against the Razorbacks since 2011, when they finished within 40 points, 170-130.
“We swam better than our expectations today,” junior Haley Bishop said. “It was a real confidence booster. We are further along right now than we were at this point last year, and it will help us along as we swim toward the Big 12 Championships.”
Kansas claimed first in the 200-yard medley relay to ignite that fast start. The foursome of freshman Manon Manning, sophomore Haley Downey, Bishop and freshman Lauryn Parrish posted the team’s second-fastest time of the season at 1:43.36 – 55-hundreths of a second faster than Arkansas’ ‘A’ squad.
Parrish then followed suit in the 200-yard freestyle where she swam the second-fastest time of her career at 1:50.89 to win by over a second to teammate and sophomore Jenny Nusbaum (1:51.98).
Manning carried over her momentum into the 100-yard backstroke where she was 65-hundreths of a second off pool-record pace turning in a time of 54.78.
Bishop rounded out the four first-place finishes to start the meet with a time of 2:01.43 in the 200-yard butterfly.
“We started really well today,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “But you could tell in the second half of the meet, we were pretty tired. We raced really well, but our fatigue showed. I am really excited, however, because in a month, we won’t be as tired, and that comes right in time for the Big 12 Championships – we should be swimming pretty quick.”
After the break, the Jayhawks found themselves in a tight race, before Arkansas began to slip away. The Razorbacks won seven of the final eight events to claim the victory.
Kansas’ lone victory down the stretch came in the 100-yard fly when Bishop blew past they field by exactly one second, finishing with a time of 55.44.
The Jayhawks are back in action Feb. 2-3, when they travel to Ames, Iowa, for a two-day dual meet against Iowa State.
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