Nusbaum breaks record, Jayhawks extend lead in Kansas Classic
TOPEKA, Kan. – Sophomore Jenny Nusbaum breaks the meet record in the 200-yard freestyle, as the Kansas swimming and diving team increased it’s lead in the team competition Saturday evening at the Kansas Classic inside the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka, Kansas.
Nusbaum swam the fastest time of the preliminary round (1:48.85) and had prime lane position heading into the night’s finals. Nusbaum led wire-to-wire to build a two-second lead over runner-up finisher Isabelle Morris and break the two-year old Kansas Classic record by 89-hundreths of a second (1:47.81).
“She has been swimming really well,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “She had a good morning swim and it didn’t look like she put out a lot of energy which is good. She came back and rocked it tonight.”
Nusbaum’s record-breaking performance seemed easy as she used the momentum the Jayhawks built following a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the evening. The A relay squad of freshman Manon Manning, sophomore Haley Downey, junior Haley Bishop and freshman Lauryn Parrish nearly missed setting another meet record when they turned in a time of 1:41.90 for the crown – 58-hundreths of a second off the record pace (1:41.32 in 2015).
“The 200-yard medley relay set up the momentum for the rest of the meet,” Campbell said. “It was important to start off the meet with a really good swim. That performance trickled down to our other events where we had a lot of great swims.”
The trickle-down effect started with the 400-yard individual medley where Kansas finished two-three-four. Downey took home the silver with a time of 4:21.14, freshman Ellie Flanagan earned the bronze in 4:23.25 and senior Madison Straight took fourth in 4:23.61. The threesome each shaved off time from their preliminary performance, something Campbell says is important in a championship meet.
“We call it swim for time in the morning, and swim for glory at night” Campbell said. “You see a lot of faster times at night because we encourage our team to feed off the energy that you feel in a finals session. And when they swim for glory they swim faster.”
KU then carried it over into the 100-yard backstroke where it claimed four of the top-five spots. Junior Taylor Sieperda finished in fifth with a time of 56.34, senior Madison Hutchison took fourth with a time of 56.12, sophomore Elizabeth Amato-Hanner earned the bronze in a time of 55.55 and Manning took home the gold with a winning time of 54.45.
The swimmers put a stamp on the day with a first place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay – the final event slated for Saturday. Bishop, Nusbaum, freshman Crissie Blomquist and Parrish swam a time of 7:23.68. That race stretched the Jayhawks’ lead to a commanding 186 points. Kansas holds a score of 716 heading into the final day of the meet with North Texas, the second-place team, holding a score of 530.
As the Kansas Classic was going on in Topeka, the diving squad was competing in Lawrence in their own invite. The day’s event was the three-meter competition where KU finished first and second for the second day in a row. Senior Nadia Khechfe scored 254.30 earning silver, while sophomore Caroline McCleary took home gold with a score of 266.95.
The Kansas Classic concludes Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Capitol Federal Natatorium in Topeka, Kansas. Preliminary rounds begin at 9 a.m., with the finals slated to start at 2:30 p.m.
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