Jayhawks in first after day one of the Kansas Classic
TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas swimming and diving team jumped out to a 77-point lead Friday night following the conclusion of the first day of the Kansas Classic at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka, Kansas.
The 305 points the Jayhawks scored were fueled by nine top-five finishes in the five events that covered the first day of the meet. Sophomore Jenny Nusbaum highlighted the group of nine with a season’s-best performance in the 500-yard freestyle that earned her gold with a time of 4:50.64.
“Jenny had a great night,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “She had a really good split in the 200-yard freestyle relay and then came back in the 500-yard freestyle and swam a season’s best. She showed great range and strung together a complete night.”
Nusbaum’s opening-leg split of 23.88 in the 200-yard freestyle relay helped pace her foursome to a fifth-place finish with a time of 1:34.36, 89-hundredths of a second slower than the KU A relay that claimed silver with a time of 1:33.47.
That second-place finishing relay team of junior Haley Bishop, junior Taylor Sieperda, sophomore Carly Straight and freshman Lauryn Parrish set the tone on the night and gave the Jayhawks the early momentum following the first event of finals.
“We kept the momentum from that first relay and did the things that we needed to do in a fall championship meet,” Campbell said. “We carried it over from the first event to the last event of the night and built ourselves a nice lead heading into tomorrow.”
That early lead kept growing throughout the night thanks to those nine top-five finishes and 20 scoring finishes in total.
The Jayhawks landed a three-four-five finish in the 200-yard individual medley with Haley Downey in fifth (2:03.76), senior Madison Straight in fourth (2:03.58) and sophomore Elizabeth Amato-Hanner earning the bronze with a time of 2:03.48.32.
At the same time, back in Lawrence, Kansas, the divers were representing inside Robinson Natatorium at their own Diving Invite, and finished first and second following the conclusion of the one-meter diving event.
Sophomore Caroline McCleary took gold with a score of 259.45 and senior Nadia Khechfe finished in second with a score of 244.20.
“We are ahead of where I was looking at us being at this point in the season,” diving coach Gabe Downey said. “Both Nadia and Caroline were tough and showed a lot of things that I liked.”
The Jayhawks return to the pool for the second day of the Kansas Classic Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Capitol Federal Natatorium. Preliminary heats begin at 10 a.m., with finals to be swam at 6 p.m. The Diving Invite will start at noon inside Robinson Natatorium.
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