Kansas sits in third heading into final day of Big 12 Championship
AUSTIN, Texas – Ten lifetime bests and a school record for the Kansas swimming and diving team highlights day three of the Big 12 Championship at the Jamail Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
The Jayhawks walked away from the third day of competition with a lot to be proud of and sit in third place in the team competition.
Friday morning’s preliminary events started off strong when three out of the five Jayhawks competing in the 100-yard butterfly, Manon Manning (55.26), Katy Schlies (55.64) and Caroline Shultz (56.72), landed lifetime bests and Kansas nailed four ‘B’ final positions with Haley Bishop joining in.
Then in the 400-yard individual medley, all three swimmers received ‘A’ finals positions. Ellie Flanagan swam a time of 4:23.26, just .01 seconds off of her personal record; Madison Straight with a time of 4:23.59; and Haley Downey with a career-best time of 4:20.80, that she would later break again.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Lauryn Parrish, Jenny Nusbaum and Nika Fellows earned three finals spots for the team with Parrish swimming a personal-best time of 1:48.44.
Downey the left her team speechless as she made school history and broke the Kansas 100-yard breaststroke by .50 seconds with a time of 1:01.48, putting her into ‘A’ finals. Joining her in the night’s finals included Lydia Pocisk and Aley Shimel, representing the ‘B’ finalists along with Hannah Driscoll and Briana Balsbough for ‘C’.
“When Downey broke the record we knew she had it in her,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “The question was if she was going to be able to do it after the 400-yard individual medley, and she really answered the bell. She has done so much work outside of just practice. She has really gone the extra step to be the best she can be and she is starting to realize her potential.”
Immediately following the 100-yard breaststroke event, Elizabeth Amato-Hanner posted a personal-best time of 54.51 and an ‘A’ finals spot alongside Manning (54.81). Taylor Siepreda (55.69) and Madison Hutchison (55.76) follow with ‘B’ finals positions.
In the diving well, Caroline McCleary (278.85) and Nadia Khechfe (253.10) barley missed the finals cut-off placing in 10th and 12th place, respectively.
“It wasn’t as good as yesterday, but it was strong and solid,” Campbell said. “We came back and we did better across the board in finals. We challenged them to come back and do better and they did a really nice job.”
Coming back from the day’s rest, the Jayhawks were ready to compete. Bishop won the 100-yard butterfly ‘B’ finals with a time of 54.55. Schlies followed in fifth (56.09), Manning in sixth (56.12) and Caroline Schultz in eighth place tying her preliminary time (56.27).
Downey threw down another personal-best in the 400-yard individual medley, beating her record set in prelims (4:20.78). Flanagan followed in seventh (4:21.98) and M. Straight in eighth place (4:24.60). Immediately after, Parrish (1:48.84) and Nusbaum (1:47.92) both scored in the ‘A’ final for the 200-yard freestyle. In the ‘B’ finals, Fellows set yet another personal-record with a time of 1:49.53.
However, the 100-yard breaststroke finals was one for the books. Downey broke the 100-yard breaststroke record for the second time in one day, turning in a time of 1:01.43 in ‘A’ finals.
“Downey breaking the record twice proves how tough she is,” Campbell said. “She did one of the hardest races right before–the 400-yard individual medley– and she just really showed how mentally tough she is and is a testament to the type of work she has been doing in and out of the pool to make herself the best she can be.”
The 100-yard backstroke had four Jayhawks represent. Manning (54.87), Amato-Hanner (55.06), Sieperda (55.71) and Hutchison (56.04) all posted top-eight times in the event.
“We have four very quick events tomorrow,” Campbell said. “So we have to really be focused on having a ton of energy and enthusiasm tomorrow morning. How we do in preliminaries will set us up for finals. It is about knowing what to do for ourselves and giving energy to everybody on the team as well.”
The Big 12 Championship concludes Saturday, Feb. 24. FloSwimming will continue to live stream all of the preliminary and final events on demand. Swimming and diving fans can also follow the results live through the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship Central website.
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