Xu, Jayhawks down Iowa State in dual
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior diver Vicky Xu broke three records and set a new lifetime-best Saturday morning inside Robinson Natatorium, as the Kansas swimming and diving team defeated Iowa State, 201.5-93.5.
Xu took down the Big 12 Conference, Kansas and Robinson Natatorium records on the three-meter board with a personal-best performance of 420.60 to claim her fifth first-place finish in six events since joining the team in January.
Xu outscored her opponents by 114.22 points en route to that record-breaking performance, as Iowa State’s Sydney Ronald finished in second with a mark of 306.38.
In addition, Xu’s score of 420.60 was 6.40 points greater than the previous Big 12 mark (Maren Taylor, 414.20, Texas, 2014) and 17.15 points off the NCAA total set by Christina Loukas of Indiana in 2009.
In the pool, the Jayhawks posted a first-place finish in each of the eight events on the day and racked up 11 top-three finishes.
- Junior Jenny Nusbaum earned KU’s first gold with a time of 50.99 in the 100-yard freestyle.
- Junior Elizabeth Amato-Hanner followed with a win in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing with a time of 1:59.02.
- Freshman Kate Steward earned the victory in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:17.14 performance.
- Sophomore Crissie Blomquist took first in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:56.73.
- Freshman Greta Olsen swam to a first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 56.24.
- Senior Vicky Xu broke the Big 12, Kansas and Robinson Natatorium records in the three-meter dive with a score of 420.60.
- Amato-Hanner took her second first-place finish on the day in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:05.63.
- The Kansas 400-yard freestyle relay (Nusbaum, sophomore Manon Manning, freshman Claire Campbell and junior Carly Straight) took the top spot with a time of 4:26.85.
Head coach Clark Campbell
On the confidence the team gained after winning all eight events this morning heading into the Big 12 Championship:
“Other than how we placed, we swam really well. It is important at the Big 12 Championship that we swim all morning. This meet and Arkansas were both at 10 a.m., and we are a good morning racing team –that is critical at Big 12 Championship. How you do a championship meet is dependent on how you do in prelims because you have to get your time in the morning and swim for glory at night. We are really happy with how everyone preformed this morning so it is a good way to go into the championship season.”
On how continue to prepare for the Big 12 Championship after a meet like this:
“We talk about how it is going to fit into our overall plan and this next week is going to be a really hard week of training. It is the last part of this phase so they know that they have a week of work to do. After that, we start what is called the taper. That is when we start to lessen the volume and intensity of our training heading into the conference meet.”
On senior diver Vicky Xu’s performance:
“The three-meter springboard is Vicky’s best event and she just brings so much energy to it. I am excited to see how well she does at the Big 12 Championship, NCAA Zone Diving Championships and even the NCAA Championships. Vicky is really excited about that and getting the chance to dive against the best athletes in the country, and she is going to be right there with them. She has competed at a very high level and we really appreciate how much she has meant to our team and how she has helped everyone think and dream what is possible.”
On junior Elizabeth Amato-Hanner’s performances this morning:
“Elizabeth came in and won two races in a time span of 45 minutes, and her 200-yard backstroke is the best she has ever done in a non-championship meet. She is someone like Jenny (Nusbaum) who is working hard on making sure her fine points are where they need to be and really had a couple of races that I know will help her have a lot of confidence for the Big 12 Championship.”
Senior diver Vicky Xu
On how good it feels to have records being broken heading into the Big 12 Championship:
“I am very excited about how well I dove today. Going into a competition, I try to remember to believe in myself and stay calm. Having the opportunity to dive at the Big 12 Championship is something that I cannot wait for, a dream come true.”
The Jayhawks travel to Austin, Texas for the 2019 Big 12 Championship inside the Jamail Texas Swimming Center Feb. 27 – March 2.
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