Jayhawks Return Home to Host No. 34 Arkansas
LAWRENCE, Kan.-The Kansas swimming and diving team will battle one of its toughest opponents when it matches up with No. 34 Arkansas Saturday, putting to the test a season of improvements, new records and dual meet victories. The showdown on Saturday in Robinson Natatorium will consist of 14 swimming and two diving events in just over two hours, beginning at 10 a.m.
With just two competitions remaining before the Big 12 Championship meet, Kansas (9-2) expects SEC foe Arkansas (3-3) to bring a stiff challenge. At the 2014 SEC Championships, Arkansas placed 6th while pitted against four current top-five ranked teams (Georgia, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Auburn). For the 2014-15 season, the Razorbacks boast 21 NCAA top-100 times and Kansas, six.
“It’s going to be tough,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “The next two meets are really high quality opponents. Arkansas is a very good dual meet team-one of the best we’ll ever see. They have a very large team in numbers and they bring it every dual meet. We’ll have to be on our game.
“Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we compete, we go for victory whatever that sense is be it a best time, or touching the wall first. Focusing on our own process and performance and let the results take care of themselves.”
The Jayhawks will rely on being competitive and continuing the improvements made since fall. Campbell expects to see 2014 Big 12 Champion Chelsie Miller perform in the 400-yard individual medley, an event in which she has placed in the top three each race this season. Yulduz Kuchkarova, who broke the Robinson Natatorium record in the 200-yard backstroke at the Jayhawk Open on Dec. 6, will be swimming the 100-yard backstroke against Anna Mayfield, who ranks No. 13 in the SEC.
Bryce Hinde, who earlier in the season suffered a setback due to a car accident, has steadily made her way back to the top of Kansas’ performance list. She looks to face Arkansas’ Nicole Daniels-ranked third in the SEC with a sub-1:00 time of 59.58 in the 100-yard breaststroke.
“Our top end has to race their top end,” Campbell said. “It’s important in dual meets to be second rather than third, or third rather than fourth. This weekend we can win some touches and do well racing-wise. We need to keep the race in our lane and perform to the best of our ability. We want to be faster than we were last weekend, and faster than we were in the fall, that’s the type of progression we want.”
As the team continues along the road to the Big 12 Championships, Campbell wants to carry over the confidence the team has built throughout the season. Breaking seven pool records at William Jewell last weekend and entering the meet on Saturday with a 9-2 dual meet record certainly gives the team base to work off of.
“Every meet is an opportunity to improve their confidence,” Campbell said. “Not just necessarily going best times, it’s really about how you approach things-your mindset going in and how you compete. That’s been something that we’ve been working on since mid-December. If you have confidence, chances are you’re going to do pretty well at your big meet.”
To accommodate for the 1 p.m. men’s basketball game against K-State, swim meet attendees should park in lots 34, 61 or 62. Street parking on Sunnyside Avenue is open as well. Fans may enter Robinson on the east or west side. Admission is free and open to the public, with added reminder to fans standing outside in line for the men’s basketball game that the average temperature inside Robinson is close to 80 degrees.
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