Jayhawks open 2017 at UCLA double dual

Notes Final Results (.pdf)

LOS ANGELES – Madison Straight brought in the new year by touching first in the 400-yard individual medley at Spieker Aquatics Center in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. The Kansas junior edged fellow Jayhawk Libby Walker by 11-hundredths of a second to take the win, and Haley Downey gave the Jayhawks the top-three times in the event by finishing seconds behind Straight and Walker.
In the double-dual hosted by No. 20 UCLA, the Jayhawks fell to the Bruins 202-92, and were edged out by No. 29 Boise State, 191-131.
Straight’s victory marks the second this season in the 400 IM for the Fort Worth, Texas native. Finishing in 4:29.23, the junior posted her second-fastest time of the season in the event. Her time of 4:22.43 at the Kansas Classic in November stands as her fastest time this season.
“With the 400 IM being my last race of the day, I really focused on finishing the meet strong,” Straight said. “I used Coach Campbell’s advice on building each 100 of each stroke and then giving it all I had in the freestyle. I saw Libby down a few lanes right with me so it motivated me to really race until the end.”
Walker’s second place finish added to a solid day for the Columbia, Missouri native, after picking up third place finishes in the 1,000-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly earlier in the afternoon. The sophomore just missed a second-place time in the 1,000 free, touching at 10:12.54, four-hundredths of a second behind UCLA’s Sandra Soe.
“Haley and Katy (Schlies) did very well and gave it their all in the next heat as well,” Straight added. “Our IMers have worked very hard this year in each and every practice, and I think that showed a little bit today. I’m excited to see what we can do at conference.”
Kansas freshman Jenny Nusbaum picked up a top-three finish in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing 1.2 seconds off the leader at 1:51.49, behind Emma Chard (1:50.29) and Felicity Cann (1:51.04) from Boise State.
The Jayhawks’ day ended with third and fourth place finishes in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Haley Bishop paced the Kansas A team with a 52.70 split, followed by a 52.79 split from Carly Straight. Nusbaum completed the third leg in 52.63, before Yulduz Kuchkarova brought it home with a 52.17 split for a team time of 3:30.29. The B team of Breonna Barker, Leah Pfitzer, Hannah Driscoll and Taylor Sieperda finished in 3:35.22.
In diving action, Nadia Khechfe finished seventh on the one-meter board and Amanda Maser took eighth on the three-meter board.
“It was an extremely fast meet from the start,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “We ended the day very strong, and it will give us some momentum going into the USD shootout tomorrow”
The Jayhawks have little time to recover, as they travel over 100 miles down the coast of California to San Diego for the University of San Diego shootout on Saturday. The meet is slated to begin at Noon CT, and will feature Colorado State, North Texas and the host Toreros.
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