Kansas Leads Iowa State, 94-56, After Day One
LAWRENCE, Kan.—Eight season best times for Kansas, the fastest medley relay at a dual meet this season and event wins by Chelsie Miller, Haley Molden and Yulduz Kuchkarova were just the beginning of a battle against Big 12 rival Iowa State Friday evening. After the first eight events, the Jayhawks led the Cyclones, 94-56, at Robinson Natatorium.
KU didn’t waste any time knocking down its first fastest mark, as the 200-yard medley relay team of Kuchkarova, Bryce Hinde, Leah Pfitzer and Deanna Marks posted the fastest dual meet time of the year with a win in 1:43.42. The time was nearly three seconds faster than Iowa State’s A relay (1:46.26), which edged the KU B relay team (1:46.84) for second place.
“We have really developed a nice rivalry with Iowa State,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “We’re the last remaining members from the Big Eight. We have very similar programs and both teams really respect each other. It’s a good rivalry that has carried over in several sports, and definitely swimming and diving.”
The Jayhawks swept the 1,000-yard freestyle, earning the top three finishes and a season-best time for freshman Nika Fellows. Miller won the event in 10:09.93, her sixth win in the event this season. Lindsay Manning trailed, clocking in at 10:17.91, followed by Fellows in 10:27.04.
Molden and Sammie Schurig took first and second, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle, Molden finishing in 1:51.71 and Schurig with a new season-best time of 1:52.18. Freshman Madison Straight came in fourth place overall with her new season-best time of 1:53.69.
“Nika had a really nice 1,000 and for them to go 1-2-3 was great,” Campbell said. “Then we came back and Sammie Schurig had a marvelous 200 free. It was a really good start, but we know that Iowa State is really strong in tomorrow’s events. We’ve got the win tonight, now we have to recover and come back tomorrow ready to go.”
Taking the crown in the 100-yard backstroke was Yulduz Kuchkarova, who finished in 55.66. The win marked the sixth in that event for Kuchkarova this season. Hannah Angell and the Cyclones’ Marissa Engel (57.50) went head-to-head for second place, with Angell finishing third in 57.63. Madison Hutchison (57.75) was able to out-touch Iowa State’s Kaylee Kucera (57.79) for fourth place.
A fight for the win in the 100-yard breaststroke between Bryce Hinde and ISU’s Kasey Roberts was settled by less than a quarter of a second, as Roberts (1:04.39) out-touched Hinde (1:04.62) in a close race. KU’s Lydia Pocisk finished in third with a time of 1:05.74, her fastest un-tapered time this season.
The sixth 200-yard butterfly win came for Chelsie Miller, as she flew by Iowa State’s Mary Kate Luddy finishing in 2:03.33. Deanna Marks followed in third place with a final time of 2:07.35.
All three divers finished the three-meter board with season-high scores. Although Iowa State claimed the event, Nadia Khechfe (280.20) and Graylyn Jones (259.65) finished in second and third place. Sophomore Amanda Maser finished fifth with a score of 233.63.
“Last week, they went in and were over-aggressive,” interim diving coach Gabe Downey said. “They were just trying to do too much. We tried to make those changes Monday through Friday, and today they did a really good job staying steady. They were trying not to do too much, to be a little sharper in the right places, and I think that’s where we saw the changes. They still have a lot of work to do before Big 12s but that was a lot closer to what I know they can do—I was really happy with them tonight.”
In the 50-yard freestyle, Cyclone senior Amanda Paulson earned her 100th career win, finishing in 23.68. KU’s Pia Pavlic was close behind, finishing second with a season-best time of 24.17. Hannah Driscoll finished third in 24.24, and Leah Pfitzer finished fourth earning a season-best time of 24.33.
The fight for the victory between the Jayhawks and Cyclones continues on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. in Robinson Natatorium.
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