Miller Shatters Records on Day Two of League Meet
AUSTIN, Texas – Chelsie Miller has been one of the most successful swimmers to come through Kansas and she continued to add to her legacy Thursday morning during prelims of the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships. Miller etched her name in the KU record books in a fifth event by lowering the school mark in the 500-yard freestyle and garnered her third NCAA ‘B’ cut, before finishing third in the event during finals. Kansas ended the second day of competition at Jamail Swimming Center in third place with 200.5 points, behind Texas (376) and Iowa State (203.5) and ahead of West Virginia (171) and TCU (150).
The lone Jayhawk to ever win an individual Big 12 title, Miller shattered the previous Kansas record in the distance race, turning in a time of 4:43.07 to bump Morgan Sharp’s mark of 4:48.08. Miller shaved 12 seconds off of her previous best time in the event and forced Texas’ Joanna Evans to fight for the top seed (4:42.88) heading into the finals session Thursday night.
“It was really fun,” Miller said. “It’s not something I usually swim so it was nice to go out there without any expectations. And then to go that time was pretty surprising. It feels pretty good to have another school record, it’s definitely cool to see my name up there. It’s fun to be able to improve the team records and allows us to have higher goals to break them.”Pia Pavlic
The Houston, Texas native now has her name listed in the record book five times – the other events include the 1,650-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly, and the 200- and 400-yard individual medleys. She owns more all-time swimming records than any other Jayhawk.
Miller finished third in finals and neared her lifetime performance from the morning, but was unable to better it (4:43.24). A pair of Texas freshman took the top-two places in the event with Evans winning it all (4:39.97) and Quinn Carrozza taking second (4:42.28). Kansas’ Sammie Schurig also competed in the ‘A’ finals turning in a time of 4:58.72 and placing eighth, while Lindsay Manning registered a season-best time of 4:59.13 in the ‘B’ finals.
“The 500 free was something we decided awhile ago for something different because she has usually done the 200 IM on the first day,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “This year presented an opportunity to put her in the event and I think it was something she always wanted to do at the conference championship down deep. She really embraced it and I think really enjoyed training for it this year and had a tremendous race, lifetime-best by a lot and school record by a lot so it was really fun to see.”
Junior Pia Pavlic had a lifetime performance of her own in the 200-yard individual medley in the ‘A’ finals with a swim of 2:01.69. The Medvode, Slovenia product may have found a boost of energy having her family in the stands watching her compete collegiately for the first time in her three-year career as she trimmed her previous time by nearly two seconds. Longhorn junior Madison Cox turned in a meet record with a time of 1:54.31 to win the event.
“Pia has been swimming really well which is just a product of what she has done all year,” Campbell said. “She’s really brought her swimming to a higher level and still has a lot of races to go. Today really set a good tone for her.”
Kansas closed out the individual competition with a strong outing in the 50-yard freestyle. Freshman Haley Bishop represented KU in the ‘A’ finals with a swim of 23.32, placing seventh in the event. A trio of Jayhawks took the blocks in the ‘B’ finals with Breonna Barker leading the way in a fourth-place finish (23.51), Yulya Kuchkarova (23.53) and Leah Pfitzer (23.60) followed close behind.
Kuchkarova, Hinde, Pavlic and Barker came close to lowering another school record in the 400-yard medley relay, swimming a 3:39.61 and finishing second for the third time in as many relays. Texas carved a record of its own in the relay, taking down the meet and conference top times with a combined swim of 3:30.43.
Junior Graylyn Jones opened the diving competition for the Jayhawks with a top-10 finish in the one-meter competition, scoring 251.55 on the boards, but narrowly missed qualifying for finals.
Competition will resume Friday morning at 10 a.m. with the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke prelims on deck. At noon, the women take the three-meter boards for prelims, with the top-eight advancing to finals, beginning at 5 p.m.
The top-24 swimmers from the morning will advance to finals beginning at 6 p.m. Live results can be followed at Big12Sports.com.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.