Kansas swims past Nebraska, 159-141
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Fueled by stellar performance in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Kansas swimming and diving team defeated former Big 12 foe Nebraska, 159-141, Saturday afternoon inside Robinson Natatorium.
Kansas held a 146-137 advantage heading into that final race, and was neck-and-neck with the Cornhuskers at the first split. That is when sophomore Jenny Nusbaum took over. Nusbaum swam the Jayhawks’ “A” relay team into first place with the fastest split of the day (51.46), and it was all KU after that.
Junior Haley Bishop and sophomore Carly Straight closed the final 200 yards in 1:44.35 to pace that relay team to a 3:28.13 finish and Kansas victory over Nebraska.
“We knew it was going to come down to the last relay,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “We knew we were going to get out to a strong first part and knew that Nebraska was really tough in the middle and at the end. Good thing we did what we needed to do coming out of the gate and then finishing like we did in such a dominating fashion.”
Kansas won 10 of the 16 events scheduled in the dual meet, including the first four races in a row.
The Jayhawks earned gold in the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the meet, before freshman Crissie Blomquist posted a six-second personal-best time in the 1,000-yard freestyle to take the top spot in 10:13.93.
That fast start continued to the 200-yard freestyle where freshman Lauryn Parrish swam a personal-best time of 1:51.34 to pick up another nine points for the Jayhawks. She also claimed the top spot in the 200-yard backstroke with a career-best time of 2:01.92.
Freshman Manon Manning followed suit and shaved 1.03 seconds off her 100-yard backstroke time to take home the gold over senior teammate Madison Hutchison, who finished second with a season-best time of 56.78.
“This is our best dual meet up until this point,” Campbell said. “It was nice to have everyone available. The big thing is that each meet in this three-week span built on the previous meet. Every meet has gotten better and that is what we want to see. We are taking a lot of momentum with us into our mid-season invite.”
Kansas kept it rolling when freshman Ellie Flanagan won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:04.62, and Bishop claimed the top spot in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly with times of 23.97 and 56.16, respectively – both times were a season-best performance. Straight then earned the winning time in the 100-yard freestyle with a 52.77 performance.
However, thanks to the diving events and the 500-yard freestyle, Nebraska was able to pull within nine points heading into that last relay, where Kansas put its final stamp on the meet to score 13 of a possible 17 points for the win.
“I was hoping that we would be here,” Campbell said. “We had people that were on and off, and that is the way dual meets go, but for the most part we had a lot of top performances. It was a good way to end this chunk of dual meets and we couldn’t ask for anything more heading into our mid-season invite in two weeks.”
The Jayhawks are back in action Nov. 17-19, as the team will split in two for the Kansas Classic and Kansas Dive Invite. The Kansas Classic will be hosted at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka, Kansas, while the Kansas Dive Invite will take place inside Robinson Natatorium.
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