Kansas Leaves its Mark on Mabee Center with Seven Pool Records

LIBERTY, Mo.—Seven pool records fell and all but one event was won by Kansas in a double dual against Truman State and William Jewell Saturday afternoon. Three individual event wins by Lindsay Manning boosted the Jayhawks to victory, defeating the Bulldogs, 164-90, and the Cardinals, 169-83, in the Mabee Center pool on the campus at William Jewell.
Before hitting the road, head coach Clark Campbell challenged the team to swim a “preliminary session” at their home pool in Robinson Natatorium. The warm-up practice was meant to prepare the team to swim fast in a “finals session” at William Jewell, similar to the format of the Big 12 Championships down the road in February.
“This morning, we warmed up, then put on suits and raced to see how close they got to their best times,” Campbell said. “They did a great job this morning. This afternoon at the meet was all about having a ‘finals’ opportunity and they did really well. I’m really happy with where they are now.”
The first pool record came off the board in the first event as the Kansas A relay team of Yulduz Kuchkarova, Bryce Hinde, Pia Pavlic and Deanna Marks clocked in at 1:58.35, nearly six seconds faster than the previous record. Kansas’ B and C team weren’t far behind, placing third (2:02.39) and forth (2:02.67), respectively.
Manning’s first individual event win came in the 800-meter freestyle. Her time of 9:03.21 set a new pool record and was followed by Nika Fellows (9:05.32) in second place and Sammie Schurig (9:18.08) in third.
“I didn’t even know what the record was coming in to the meet,” Manning said. “Clark told me to just go for it and so I did. I’m a pool record holder, that’s kind of fun to say. I just want to keep working hard and be the fastest that I can be.”
Manning didn’t have much time before her next race, the 200-meter freestyle, but she showed no sign of slowing down as she grabbed another first place victory with her time of 2:09.75. Hannah Driscoll swam into second place (2:10.16), while Nika Fellows won heat one in a time of 2:11.06, placing third overall.
In the first heat of the 100-meter backstroke, Pavlic won her heat with a time of 1:05.73—a new pool record. It lasted until heat three, when Hannah Angell nabbed a first-place overall finish and the record title with her time of 1:05.30.
Bryce Hinde and Gretchen Pocisk finished first and second in the 100-meter breaststroke with times of 1:13.38 and 1:15.62, respectively. Abby Hempen, who placed second in heat two—third overall—trailed Hinde and edged out Kansas’ Lydia Pocisk (1:16.79), who finished forth overall.
Races in the 200-meter butterfly, 200-backstroke, 200-breaststroke, and a leg on the freestyle relay made a broken individual medley for Chelsie Miller, who won the 200-meter butterfly in her time of 2:15.93 and took down the forth Mabee Center record for the day. Madison Straight (2:26.03) won the first heat, finishing third overall, while Leah Pfitzer finished second in the same heat, forth overall.
A quick 27.34 boosted Kuchkarova to her first individual event win of the day in the 50-meter freestyle. Deanna Marks (27.43), Haley Molden (28.00), and Zoya Wahlstrom (28.44) finished third through fifth place.
Pavlic and Marks were two of only three swimmers to go under 1:00 in the 100-meter freestyle, placing first and second with times of 59.18 and 59.28, respectively. Leah Pfitzer came in forth place overall, clocking in at 1:00.41.
The fifth pool record fell in the 200-meter backstroke as Kuchkarova swept past Truman State’s Grace Fodor to finish first in a time of 2:18.43, nearly 3.5 seconds faster than the previous record-setting swim in 2012. Straight (2:19.03) and Miller (2:22.24), both in heat one, finished second and third overall.
Miller had a tough battle for first place with the Bulldogs’ Hempen, but came out on top with a time of 2:40.33 in the 200-meter breaststroke. Hempen finished second in 2:41.10, while Straight came in third with 2:46.72.
The Jayhawks swept both heats of the 400-yard freestyle with Driscoll (4:39.89) and Haley Molden (4:30.17) placing first and second in heat one, and Manning (4:25.44) and Fellows (4:33.43) in first and second for heat two. The win for Manning was her third of the night.
“It’s so exciting and motivates me to do well at conference,” Manning said of her triple wins. “Having such a big day today in such a short period of time gives me a confidence boost. I’m really happy with how I did today and where we’re all at as a team.”
Evyn Spencer of Truman State and Paige Meredith gave the Jayhawks the first event loss in the 100-meter butterfly with times of 1:05.33 and 1:06.08, respectively. Angell (1:06.57) came in third for the Jayhawks.
KU bounced back for the 200-meter individual medley, as Pavlic (2:22.99), Hinde (2:26.04) and Gretchen Pocisk (2:28.15) took the top three spots. Pavlic’s time was the sixth pool record set by a Jayhawk that afternoon.
Ending on a high note, the Kansas 400-meter A relay team of Molden, Driscoll, Marks and Kuchkarova shattered the pool record by over eight seconds with their time of 3:57.84. The B relay team of Angell, Manning, Caroline Patterson and Zoya Wahlstrom finished in third place (4:05.90).
The Jayhawks return home to Robinson Natatorium to host Arkansas on Jan. 31. The meet has been moved up to a 10 a.m. start to accommodate for the KU men’s basketball game against Kansas State at 1 p.m.
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