Kansas trails Liberty after day one of dual meet
The Kansas swimming and diving team kicked off its 2017-18 campaign Friday evening inside Robinson Natatorium, as the Jayhawks hosted Liberty in dual-fashion.
Day one of the meet consisted of 10 events where Kansas finished the day six points behind the Flames in the team scoring, 96-90. Of those 10 events, the Jayhawks claimed victories in five, including a come-from-behind feat in the night’s final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“That might have been our best event of the night,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “(Junior) Haley Bishop closed the gap and it sure was nice to have (sophomore) Carly Straight on it – she is a fast finisher.”
The relay of freshman Lauryn Parrish, sophomore Jenny Nusbaum, Bishon and Straight cut Liberty’s lead down to six points, and set the tone for the Jayhawks heading into Saturday’s conclusion.
Bishop swam the third leg of the relay and made up over one second of time before turning it over to Straight for the anchor. Straight swam a split of 52.03, helping the squad edge Liberty by 15 one-hundredths of a second.
“That type of effort is what we need to carry over into Saturday,” Campbell said. “Like I told the team, it’s about what we do tonight and in the morning that will determine if we are successful.”
There were a lot of successful swimmers and divers for Kansas that claimed victories that included a one-two-three finish in the one-meter dive. Senior Nadia Khechfe finished first, redshirt-sophomore Caroline McCleary in second and sophomore Peri Charapich in third. The trio combined to score 16 points on the night.
“We were successful tonight in the one-meter dive,” Campbell said. “That kind of gave us some momentum heading into that final relay, and put a positive stamp on our night.”
Kansas also shined in the 1000-yard freestyle, where it took all three-spots on the podium. Nusbaum claimed the gold by over four seconds, swimming a time of 10:17.40. Junior Libby Walker and senior Nika Fellows followed suit, finishing second and third with times of 10:21.79 and 10:33.49, respectively.
“Jenny’s 1,000 was really good,” Campbell said. “And we are really proud of Libby because she’s injured and she still came through with a solid swim.”
In addition to the relay, Parrish also claimed the top spot in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.76. Senior Madison Straight was the only other Jayhawk to take home first, as she finished with the best time of 2:06.79 in the 200-yard individual medley.
“We made some mistakes today that we need to clean up,” Campbell said. “We are going to have to be ready tomorrow, because Liberty is a good relay school, so we are going to have to bring it.”
Kansas is back in the pool to finish out the dual meet against Liberty, Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m. Prior to the meet, the Jayhawks will recognize its senior class for its contributions to the program over the last four years. Fans are encouraged to attend, as admission is FREE.
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