Jayhawks Finish Dual Season with Win Over Cyclones
AMES, Iowa – Kansas swimming and diving capped off an impressive dual season with a strong outing against conference foe, Iowa State, topping the Cyclones, 172.5-127.5, to earn their first victory in Ames and Beyer Pool in the last six years.
Saturday’s win marked Kansas’ third consecutive wining weekend to finish and the Jayhawks closed the 2015-16 dual slate with a 9-4 record. Kansas’ winning record marks back-to-back seasons with nine wins and the sixth time since the inception of the Big 12 that KU has tallied more than eight victories.
“Today was really good,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “We haven’t performed well on the Saturday session of this meet in a number of years and I was really pleased with how they came out today. Everyone came out strong and ready to compete which was great to see after yesterday’s swim.”
Kansas picked up right where it left off after the first day of competition Friday night with a competitive performance from freshman Breonna Barker in the 100-yard freestyle. Barker registered her best dual time of the season with a swim of 51.95 to clinch first place, ahead of Iowa State’s Silqi Luo (53.10).
The Cyclones claimed the next two races with wins from Marissa Engel in the 200-yard backstroke (2:02.92) and Kasey Roberts in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:18.89). Yulya Kuchkarova (2:03.60) and Madison Straight (2:04.43) rounded out the top-three in the 200 back. In the 200 breast, Kansas junior Gretchen Pocisk turned in a third-place finish, behind Roberts and Bryce Hinde (2:21.70), swimming a season-best dual time of 2:22.94.
Chelsie Miller and Libby Walker battled head-to-head in the 500-yard freestyle with Miller (5:00.67) out-touching Walker (5:01.15) by five-hundredths of a second to record the win and give KU a comfortable lead in the team score.
The Jayhawks followed up with a sweep in the 100-yard butterfly led by freshman Haley Bishop who turned in a time of 55.62. Pia Pavlic (56.18) and Leah Pfitzer (58.74) closed out the top three times of the race.
KU didn’t only perform well between the lane lines, but Nadia Khechfe had a Zone qualifying dive in the one-meter competition with a score of 269.55. Khechfe ended the day in fourth place with Graylyn Jones (263.25) and Amanda Maser (209.25) placing fifth and sixth, respectively. Iowa State senior Elyse Brouillette won the event with a school-record 322.20 on Senior Day, after also winning the three-meter competition Friday.
Roberts went on to registered her second win of the day, and third victory of the meet, for ISU in the 200-yard individual medley swimming a 2:04.52. The sophomore led the rest of the pool by three seconds with Pavlic taking second (2:07.52).
Kansas sealed the victory with a dominating swim in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The ‘A’ relay consisting of Bishop, Haley Molden, Barker and Kuchkarova finished in 3:29.46, three seconds ahead of Iowa State’s ‘A’ team.
After a two-week hiatus from competition, the Jayhawks and Cyclones will head to Austin, Texas, for the Big 12 Championships at the Jamail Swimming Center Feb. 24-27.
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