Big 12 Coaches Pick Bishop as League’s Swimmer of the Week
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas freshman Haley Bishop has had the attention of the awards selection algorithm at CollegeSwimming.com for weeks and Thursday morning received the same recognition from the coaches of the Big 12 Conference. Bishop was one of four Big 12 student-athletes honored by the league office for recent success, specifically contributions to eight wins – four relays and four as an individual – over the last two weekends.
Bishop and West Virginia’s Andrew Marsh were selected as the women’s and men’s swimmers of the week, while Iowa State’s Elyse Brouillette, who set a school record on senior day against KU Saturday, and Texas’ Sean O’Brien earned the top diving honors. Earlier this season, Kansas’ Chelsie Miller was named Big 12 Swimmer of the Week (Nov. 5), giving the Jayhawks two honorees this season.
Bishop became the first Kansas freshman to earn in-season Big 12 accolades since Erin Mertz was honored as the top diver in February 2008 and was the first KU freshman swimmer to win a weekly or monthly award since Ashley Leidigh in November of 2005.
“Whenever you get recognition from folks outside the program, it’s always special,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “For what ‘Bish’ did last week was very impressive for how hard it was – it’s one of the hardest weeks that we have on our training calendar the entire season. In the water we’re doing a ton of quality, high-intensity training, and (Kansas strength and conditioning coach) Luke Bradford has them killing it in the weight room, and we had the trip up-and-back, racing right off the bus – it was very, very challenging.
“For her to be named after a week like that is really complimentary to her for perservering through a week that she won’t forget – it’s tough. The cool thing about our team is that we have enough depth and quality, that there’s a number of people that could be considered for this award each and every week.”
The Apex, North Carolina, native capped her rookie regular season campaign with eight straight first-place finishes over the course of two meets against Nebraska-Omaha and Iowa State. She helped sweep the competition with 100 Fly (5.73) and 50 Fly (25.81) victory against Nebraska-Omaha. She added two relay wins in the 200 Medley Relay and 200 Free Relay.
Against conference foe Iowa State in Ames last weekend, Bishop took the crown in the 100 Fly (55.62) and 50 fly (23.22), while anchoring the 200 Medley Relay and 400 Free Relay.
Bishop has gone nearly a month without losing a race as an individual, winning eight straight while also tallying five more wins as a key contributor to Kansas’ top relay teams over the last three meets. For the last three weeks and four times this season, Bishop has been selected as the top swimmer in the Big 12 Conference according to CollegeSwimming.com, which uses a combination of data points to calculate the strongest swimmer from the previous week.
“Her season has gone extremely well – really we’ve been impressed by all the freshman – and Haley in her expertise is really leading the way,” Campbell said. “Her club coach really does a great job of getting his kids ready for the collegiate scene – they’re tough, coachable and smart. It seems like Haley has had a very easy transition to the newness of college swimming and has really embraced the challenges and differences.”
In all, Bishop has won 11 of her last 12 races and has amassed 26 total victories throughout the 2015-16 season. She has been a significant contributor to Kansas’ 9-4 dual record and ranks among the top-eight of the Big 12 Conference in five different individual events.
As a member of Kansas’ top relay teams, she’s contributed to three relays ranked second and one ranked third among Big 12 squads headed into the league championship meet at the end of February at Texas’ Jamail Swimming Center (Feb. 24-27).
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