Jayhawks increase lead at Kansas Classic
TOPEKA, Kan. – Eighteen top-five finishes, including five golds paced the Jayhawks to a 395-point advantage as day two of the Kansas Classic came to a close Saturday night at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium.
The Jayhawks scored 487 points during Saturday’s session – more than second-place team Iowa State’s total (453.5) – en route to amassing a total of 848.5 points through two-thirds of the meet. North Texas (412) sits in third place, while Northern Iowa (333), Omaha (189) and Little Rock (164) round out the six teams competing in the meet.
Kansas’ 200-yard medley relay ‘A’ squad picked up where the Jayhawks left off Friday night with a record-setting swim to kick off the evening of finals. KU earned that first-place swim with a time of 1:40.94, breaking the previous meet record set on Nov. 21, 2015, by 28-hundreths of a second (1:41.32).
Junior Carly Straight made that victory possible on the 50-yard freestyle leg of the race when she erased a 58-hundreth of a second deficit with a 22.29 split as the squad’s anchor.
The wins kept rolling for the Jayhawks as junior Jenny Nusbaum claimed gold with a time of 1:48.37 in the 200-yard freestyle. Freshman Kate Steward followed suit with a career-best time of 1:01.88 in the 100-yard breaststroke while sophomore Manon Manning hit a personal-best time of 54.02 in the 100-yard backstroke – both claimed first-place finishes.
The night came full circle when Kansas closed the way it started, with a win in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The Jayhawk quartet of senior Haley Bishop, Nusbaum, freshman Claire Campbell and sophomore Lauryn Parrish earned the victory by over seven seconds with a swim of 7:20.36.
- The Jayhawks’ 200-yard medley relay posted a come-from-behind victory to kick off the evening of finals with a meet record swim of 1:40.94 – breaking the previous mark set on Nov. 21, 2015 by 28-hundreths of a second.
- Junior Jenny Nusbaum touched the wall first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.37.
- Freshman Kate Steward swam a winning time of 1:01.88 in the 100-yard breaststroke – a career-best swim.
- Sophomore Manon Manning followed suit with a first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.02 – a personal-best mark.
- Kansas closed with a win in the 800-yard freestyle relay, posting a time of 7:20.36 – over seven seconds more than runner-up finisher Northern Iowa (7:28.02).
Head coach Clark Campbell
On the progression the swimmers have made…
“The points from this meet come from the ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals so we really focus on getting as many swimmers as we can in those races. We had a lot more swimmers in the ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals – many of them had four or five Jayhawks. We swam well in the morning so we came into tonight and really went for it. Because we got it done in the morning we had the opportunities tonight. I thought they did a great job of maximizing every opportunity almost across the board, everyone was a little bit faster than they were this morning. They are keeping it rolling and tomorrow we have an even better set of events.”
On looking toward tomorrow…
“We want to see progression, especially with our team. The 200 strokes are probably better than the 100 strokes for a majority, and the 100 free is a really good event tomorrow and we also have the 1,650 free which is another really strong event for us. So, each day kind of builds from the last and we want to use the momentum from tonight into tomorrow, like we did yesterday until today.”
On junior Jenny Nusbaum’s performance…
“She is swimming at a really high level and what is great about Jenny is that we are focusing on nationals, so she is not at the same level of preparation as she was last year. Last year, this was her big meet for the fall. This year, for her, it is opening weekend to make trial cuts when we go to Greensboro, and so we are really focusing on that. She is at a different stage and I know she is not fully satisfied now, which is fine because we want to be satisfied when we go to Greensboro and USA Nationals.”
Junior Jenny Nusbaum
On her performances…
“I feel good, it has been nice to see what I can do when I get up and go. Some of us rested and some of us didn’t and mid-season is a good time to see where you are and how your training has been going. Everyone has been training so well and it has been so much fun to watch everyone swim so well with lifetime bests. That has definitely helped me get excited!”
On how she feels compared to last year’s meet…
“We definitely have been ramping it up this year, so I have been feeling a lot stronger. Going into this meet I wasn’t really sure where I would be, but I definitely have been really happy with where I am at this time, hoping that at nationals we can really bring it as a team.”
On looking toward tomorrow’s performances…
“I am really excited to see what the mile is going to be like because we have been training a lot of distance, so I think that it will be really good. Everyone who is in the mile I have trained with basically every day and they have been killing it. It is going to be a good race to watch.”
The Kansas Classic concludes Sunday, Nov. 18 at Topeka’s Capitol Federal Natatorium with the preliminary swims slated to begin at 9 a.m., and finals to follow at 2:30 p.m. Admission to the meet is free.
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