Kansas sends seniors out on a high note
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The fast and furious pace of Kansas swimming and diving’s double dual against Missouri State and South Dakota continued inside Robinson Natatorium Saturday afternoon.
At the end of the second day of competition, the Jayhawks came away with two victories, defeating South Dakota (252-98) and besting Missouri State (219-128).
The team’s success in the pool on the second and final day was much like the first in that in heat after heat of both individual and relay races, the host Jayhawks continued to dominate, with their two scored competitors taking first, second or third place in all but four swimming events (one relay and three individual swims).
Also on Saturday, the divers continued competition on the three-meter springboard. Senior Peri Charapich recorded a-sixth place with a score of 209.50, while freshman Alison Grass scored 177.65 points to place ninth.
Prior to the start of Saturday’s session, the three Kansas seniors, who have all made an invaluable mark on the program, were honored. Along with their parents, Taylor Sieperda (Spirit Lake, Iowa), Cassaundra Pino (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Haley Bishop (Apex, N.C.) were all recognized, for their time and dedication to, as well as their passion for, KU’s program over the past four years. Senior manager Christina Jewell was also shown appreciation in the Senior Day recognitions for her countless contributions to KU’s swimming and diving program.
- The Jayhawks opened the second session with a victory in the 200-yard free relay, which consisted of senior Haley Bishop, junior Jenny Nusbaum, senior Taylor Sieperda and sophomore Mannon Manning, finishing in 1.35.47.
- Nusbaum claimed gold in the 100-yard free, clocking a time of 52.06.
- Sophomore Lauryn Parrish touched the wall first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:02.44.
- Bishop recorded her second first-place finish of the session in the 100-yard fly, finishing in 56.27.
- Nusbaum finished first in the 500-yard free, her third first-place finish of the session, clocking a time of 4:56.37.
- Junior Haley Downey claimed a victory in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:20.16.
- Kansas’ foursome of Bishop, Nusbaum, Sieperda and junior Carly Straight ended the meet with a first-place finish in the 400-yard free relay with a time of 3:28.71.
Head coach Clark Campbell
Thoughts on first meet:
“I’m really happy with both days, we were really consistent through both sessions. I told the team before the meet that we really see a team that is coming together. They believe in what they are doing and believe in each other. When you have those two things going on, you’re going to have something special. It was a great way to start the season with the entire team.”
On momentum carrying over from Friday:
“We talked before the meet that we had momentum coming into today and really good teams continue that momentum. When you go to a championship meet, it’s all about momentum each session, so we have to practice that. You have to be conscious of it and (the) bottom line (is) we did it.”
Senior Cassaundra Pino
On the emotions of Senior Day:
“It’s a bittersweet moment. You see all the seniors, as a freshman, go through the tradition of it and you look forward to it. Then it gets here and there’s some nostalgia that comes with it. I am super thankful I was able to swim here for four years, to be coached by coach Clark Campbell and coach Jen Betz and swim in this facility. It’s a very thankful moment and I am grateful.”
“For any senior, this ranks among one of the top meets because all of the parents come to town and the underclassmen are very supportive. They do this whole theme (with decorations) and change it up (each year).”
Freshman Claire Campbell
On comeback to place second in her heat:
“I was really excited to come in and help the team in any way possible. The 200 and 500 free are two my best events, so I wanted to score as many points as I could for KU. Seeing my whole team cheering during the race got me really hyped and helped me get my hand on the wall second.”
On being able to swim for the Jayhawks:
“I’ve been dreaming about it since my dad started coaching at KU. It’s always been in my head that I was going to swim for KU. Yesterday, when we all sat down in those bleachers over there, I remember ever since I was little seeing the KU swimmers sit on those bleachers. It was so surreal being the one sitting on those bleachers.”
The Jayhawks return to the pool two weeks from today, Saturday, Oct. 27, when the TCU Horned Frogs come to Lawrence. Swimming & diving action inside Robinson Natatorium is set to start at 1 p.m.
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