Day 3 Results
| Sophomore Chelsie Miller became the first Big 12 Champion in Kansas history with her performance in the 400-yard IM, which set a new school record.
AUSTIN, Texas – Sophomore Chelsie Miller delivered Kansas its first Big 12 Champion in program history to kick-start the Jayhawks on the third day of competition at the 2014 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships, Friday night, inside the Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
Miller, the 2013 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, has returned to the championship meet even stronger this season, eclipsing her 2013 championship time in the 400-yard IM by seven seconds (4:07.97), to set a new school record and vault the Jayhawks into second place in the overall standings after day three.
“It was a big night for Chelsie and for KU swimming,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “Her time was faster than what she swam at U.S. Nationals, which will just improve her seed for the NCAA Championships. She swam an awesome race and kicked off a really good night for us, probably one of the best nights we have had at the Big 12 Championships in recent history.”
Also helping the Jayhawks take over second place was a combined 34-point effort in the 100-yard backstroke, led by freshman Yulduz “Yulya” Kuchkarova, who touched in with a NCAA B qualifying time of 54.21 to finish second. She was followed by Hannah Angell (55.53) and senior Sofiia Filatova (55.54) in fifth and sixth, respectively. Senior Alison Lusk gave the Jayhawks their third NCAA B time of the night in her final Big 12 Championships, with her career-best performance in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.26), to finish fifth and add 14 points to the Kansas total.
“Yulya getting a silver medal in the 100-yard backstroke, that was a big swim for her,” Campbell said. “We had a number of NCAA B cuts and lifetime best times. When you start doing that, you really start creating a lot of energy.”
Filatova also scored for the Jayhawks in the 100-yard butterfly, with a time of 55.79 and was followed by her freshman teammate Leah Pfitzer, who touched in 55.91 to finish eighth. Senior Morgan Sharp and sophomore Haley Molden finished less than half a second apart in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:48.02 and 1:48.31, respectively, to finish fifth and sixth. Rounding out the individual scoring for the Jayhawks was a pair of seventh-place finishes from senior Alison Moffit in the 400-yard IM (4:21.32) and Bryce Hinde in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.50).
“Tonight was the most scoring swims we have ever had in a session at the Big 12 Championships,” Campbell said. “You get the opportunity to do that by swimming very well in the morning. We had a really good morning swim and got a bunch of lanes for finals and put a lot of points on the board.”
On the boards, senior Alyssa Golden and sophomore Meredith Brownell narrowly missed the finals in the three-meter diving event, scoring 270.35 (ninth) and 258.70 (10th), respectively.
Kansas closed out the night strong, with a time of 1:33.05 in the 200-yard freestyle relay behind the efforts of Pfitzer, Sharp, Molden and freshman Pia Pavlic, to finish fourth add 30 points to the team’s total.
After recording at least two top-eight finishes in all the individual swimming events on day three, the Jayhawks moved into second place in the overall standings with 398 points, trailing only Texas, with 789.5. Completing the standings after day three, is Iowa State in third (361.5), TCU in fourth (320) and West Virginia close behind in fifth (318).
“We are going to have to replicate what we did today, tomorrow morning,” Campbell said. “We have the energy ball rolling and we want to keep it going into tomorrow and finish what we started.”
Kansas will be back in the pool for the final day of competition Saturday morning for preliminaries at 10 a.m. and again for finals at 6 p.m. If the team can maintain its second position after the final seven events, it would mark the highest Big 12 finish in program history.
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