Kansas Swimming Sweeps Saturday Slate

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas won all 14 events to sweep an exhibition of collegiate swimming against William Jewell, Morningside College and Tabor in a successful return to Robinson Natatorium Saturday. Despite several swimmers competing in off-events, the Jayhawks handled the lower division competition on Club Day and rebounded from a tough swing through Florida during the team’s training trip two weeks ago.
The Jayhawks claimed the top-three spots in all but two events Saturday as it prepared its late season push and training for the Big 12 Championships.
“This weekend was much better than a couple weeks ago,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “You’re starting to see some of the beginning of championship swimming season and the training with different people and different races, see what the team can be. (Today) was a good meet to start the new semester with and launch into this three-week period where we have three meets in a row.”
Today’s win marked the Jayhawks second consecutive sweep inside Robinson Natatorium, previously routing William Jewell in December. One of Kansas’ biggest highlights wasn’t even an event win, as Madison Straight swam a lifetime best in the 200-yard breaststroke. Straight was runner-up in the event, second to teammate Gretchen Pocisk (2:24.96), with a time of 2:26.70.Pia Pavlic
“Madison Straight has kind of struggled since the beginning of December, although she’s trained at a high level,” Campbell said. “Today she got a lifetime best in the 200 breast. For being an individual medley swimmer, to be able to swim some off events and get best times, that’s a huge boost to her confidence. Then she came back in the 400 IM and that was the stroke she was swimming with in the 100- and 200-yard breast.”
Freshman Haley Bishop contributed to three victories in KU’s dominating performance. She helped initiate Kansas’ winning ways in the first event of the day as the anchor for the 400-yard medley relay squad that turned in a swim of 3:50.83, she was joined by Yulya Kuchkarova, Bryce Hinde and Pia Pavlic.
The Apex, North Carolina product went on to tally two individual wins in the 200-yard butterfly (2:04.84) and the 100-yard freestyle (53.68).
Kansas continued to show their strength in the pool as Pia Pavlic finished first in the 200-yard backstroke, an event that she rarely finds herself swimming. She turned in a time of 2:03.88 with fellow junior Sammie Schurig following close behind (2:04.63).
William Jewell, Tabor and Morningside all traveled their men’s teams who competed in a triangular meet of their own. The Cardinal’s men’s 400-yard freestyle team finished the meet off with an intrasquad photo finish. Their ‘A’ relay out kicked their ‘B’ relay by a little more than two-hundredths of a second with a time of 3:16.32.
“Clark was putting a lot of emphasis on that we only have four meets left until conference,” junior Pia Pavlic said. “Every race counts, every get up counts and every practice counts so that’s why we want to put 100 percent in everything we do for the final push and I think that’s what drove us today.”
Kansas beat Tabor, 130-55, and Morningside, 130-92, and chose not to register a team score against William Jewell. In the men’s competition William Jewell swept both teams, outscoring Morningside, 222-30, and Tabor, 222-15.
The Jayhawks will return to Robinson Natatorium next Saturday, Jan. 30, for their final home contest of the 2015-16 campaign. Kansas will host Nebraska-Omaha. The meet will be televised live on the Jayhawk Television Network throughout the state of Kansas and outside the boundaries on ESPN3.
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