Miller Breaks Records In Win Over UALR, 148-96
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In the final home meet of the 2013-14 season, sophomore Chelsie Miller broke both school and pool records in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:51.70, Saturday afternoon in Robinson Natatorium, as the Kansas swimming and diving team defeated Arkansas-Little Rock, 148-96.
The Jayhawks, now 6-3 in dual meets this season, took first and second in the 1,000 when Miller broke a seven year-old school record (9:53.51) and pool record (9:57.31) set in 2013. Senior Alison Moffit wasn’t far off the pace with her second-place time of 10:16.78.
“We thought she would beat the pool record, but we weren’t expecting her to beat the school record,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “That was a big swim for her. We wanted to put emphasis on the 1,000 because that is how they seed the mile at the conference championships. We wanted to make sure she had a good seed and she definitely did that. She has been rock solid with everything. What she did in the meet today was just an extension of what she does every day.”
The Jayhawks followed Miller’s performance by taking first, second and third in the 200-yard freestyle. Sophomore Haley Molden, who got to the wall first (1:54.97), was followed by freshman Alison Merecka (1:55.32) and freshman Sammie Schurig (1:57.67).
“We are all over the map with how we performed today. We had some that were really good and some that weren’t close to where they need to be,” Campbell said. “But that is how the first meet coming off of training camp usually goes. What’s nice is that we have next week to get ready for our next dual meet. Each week we want to keep progressing toward our end goal and next week we are going to want to be better than we were this week. We want to use this as momentum going into the rest of the season.”
Yulduz “Yulya” Kuchkarova snagged a first-place finish of her own in the 100-yard backstroke by swimming a time of 57.60. Other first-place finishers for Kansas included sophomore Bryce Hinde in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:06.82), senior Sofiia Filatova in the 200-yard Butterfly (2:08.77) and senior Morgan Sharp in the 50-yard freestyle (24.30).
“We have been trying to get Yulya a better stroke tempo in her 200 back,” Campbell said. “That’s still a working progress, but we are starting to see some things in her 100 back that will ultimately help her in the longer race. With this week having a lot of transition from break, I thought she still did well. Each week I will expect her to get better.”
Kuchkarova led wire to wire in the 200-yard backstroke and finished with a time of 2:06.77. Fellow freshman Hannah Angell was close to her pace when she took second (2:06.91). In the next event, Miller was a top-finisher again in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:23.71.
The Jayhawks continued their string of firsts when Morgan Sharp won by a landslide in the 500-yard freestyle (5:08.82). Her closest competitor was freshman Linsdsay Manning who finished second with a time of 5:22.20.
“It wasn’t quite up to Morgan’s standards of excellence, but it’s hard doing that race coming off of a 50 free because they are on opposite ends of the spectrum,” Campbell said. “She knows she can be better. She even said she didn’t have anyone to push her, but that’s life. You have to keep the race in your lane and focus on getting done what you need to get done.”
Kansas finished in first place in every event Saturday afternoon, including the final two events of the meet. Miller, who swam a time of 4:27.73, took first in the 400-yard individual medley. The 200-yard freestyle relay was the final event. The KU team of Lea Wissocq, Filatova, Sharp and Pia Pavlic swam the fastest time of 1:38.42 to close the meet.
“We have a gauge of where we are and I know everyone wants to be better next week,” Campbell said. “Yesterday we did time trials and we did not do very well with that. We talked about that and to their credit, they did a much better job today getting ready to perform. I look at it as the results may not be there yet, but the process will always be there. I thought they did a much better job today of taking ownership of what they needed to get done.”
On the springboard, Kansas had a strong performance from Meredith Brownell who swept both diving events with scores of 250.28 and 247.28 in the three-meter and one-meter, respectively.
The Jayhawks will face Arkansas and Vanderbilt in a double dual in Fayettevill, Ark., on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 1 p.m.
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