Kansas rolls past TCU in matinee dual
LAWRENCE, Kan. – There was nothing leisurely about Kansas’ mid-afternoon swim at Robinson Natatorium Thursday, but it sure was fun. The Jayhawks opened the meet with seven straight event wins and claimed the top spot in 13 out of 16 to hand Big 12 foe TCU a 190-108 loss. Kansas improved to 3-0 in dual meets this season and 3-0 in televised home meets over the last three seasons.
Libby Walker won the 1000- and 500-yard freestyle.Haley Bishop, Haley Downey and Yulya Kuchkarova each contributed to relay and individual event wins before the Horned Frogs were able to get on the board with a win in three-meter diving. The Jayhawks won eight straight swimming events when Breonna Barker claimed the 100-yard freestyle before Elise Forzley stopped the run by winning the 200-yard backstroke.
“Swimmers are very observant of what’s going on around them, especially when they look at the scoreboard,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “You win one race and the next they think, ‘We don’t want to be the first event that loses.’ It kind of spurs them on.
“TCU’s Forzley is a really good kid, we recruited her, we knew she was going to be tough to beat today. It really adds a lot to the next event when the event right before you does so well. We were kind of feeding off each other’s performances and each other’s energy and came away with a really good meet.”
Kansas opened the dual with a nearly three-second victory in the 200-yard medley and closed the meet with an even more dominant, nearly eight-second win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. In between, Kansas dropped just one race while claiming 13 of 14 swimming events.
Libby Walker made it back-to-back wins for the Jayhawks by leading wire-to-wire in the 1000-yard freestyle. She dropped more than five seconds off her time from KU’s season-opening, double dual just four days ago to finish in 10:15.03. She’d later drop another five seconds while cruising to a win in the 500-yard freestyle (5:00.80).
Jenny Nussbaum made it an official streak when she claimed the 200-yard freestyle (1:52.78), with Yulya Kuchkarova claiming the 100-yard backstroke (56.74), Downey the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.25), Bishop the 200-yard butterfly (2:04.86) and Taylor Sieperda the 50-yard freestyle (24.21) to run it to seven in a row before the diving break.
TCU’s Tyler Sides scored a 253.73 to top KU’s Amanda Maser (234.30) and a field of six to win the three-meter diving competition and temporarily stop the Jayhawk run. Sides later won the one-meter diving competition with a 253.23 to top her teammate Megan White (234.15) and Maser (217.73).
Kansas and TCU traded wins as Barker opened the middle session with a winning 52.75 in the 100-yard freestyle and Forzley out-dueled a trio of Jayhawks to take the top points in the 200-yard backstroke (2:03.28). Still, with the second through fourth finish, Kansas scored nine points in the event to TCU’s 10 and neared the clinching tally. Kansas rattled off five consecutive wins in the pool, including a 1-2 finish in the relay to close the meet.
The Jayhawks have topped three opponents in the last five days and will have a relatively long break – a week and a half – before travelling to Nebraska for its final dual of the fall. Kansas will clash with the Cornhuskers at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5th.
“It’s a good way to start, it’s better than being 0-3 – I’d rather go that route,” Campbell said. “It’s a really good gauge of where we are right now. We’re going to have a really tough opponent next week at Nebraska. They always swim at a very high level at home and we’re going to have to use a week plus – I’m excited to have a few extra days – to finish this week out and have a whole week going in. Hopefully we’ll go up there and perform even better than we did today.”
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