Day 4 Results
| The Kansas swimming and diving team earned the best finish in program history at the 2014 Big 12 Championships on Saturday.
AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Kansas swimming and diving team clinched its highest Big 12 finish in program history, with its second place finish at the 2014 Big 12 Championships, behind the highest-point total in KU history (617), Saturday night, at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
The Jayhawks carried momentum into the final night of the conference championships and were led by the senior class. The team scored a total of 617 points over the four-day championship meet and recorded 35 top-10 finishes. The program was also awarded two meet honors when head coach Clark Campbell was voted Coach of the Meet and sophomore Chelsie Miller was presented Swimmer of the Meet.
“I am happy for our whole team, especially the seniors and returners, because we started the process of setting and achieving this goal a year ago,” Campbell said. “It sets the bar higher. We want to keep going the direction we are going. A lot of this is more than just competitive excellence. We wanted to change the culture of the program and we are on the way to doing that. Now we can say we are a top-two team in a major conference.”
Miller was strong in the pool again today, placing second in the 1650-yard freestyle (16:22.44). The Houston, Texas, native helped score 87 total points for the Jayhawks in both individual events and relays. In addition, she has qualified in multiple events for the NCAA Championships in three weeks.
“We haven’t begun the tapering process yet with her,” Campbell said. “She swam through this. Her performances really set her up well for the NCAA Championships. We are going to have her recover a couple of days and get her focused for nationals.”
Senior Alison Lusk re-broke the all-time 200-yard breaststroke record she set earlier in the season, placing fourth in the event, with a time of 2:13.70. Fellow classmate Morgan Sharp placed 10th in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing in 50.60. Freshman Yulduz “Yulya” Kuchkarova was another top finisher for Kansas, placing third in the 200-yard backstroke (1:57.14).
“The coaching staff had a good feeling going into tonight that we had second place locked up,” Campbell said. “We didn’t pass that on to the team, because we wanted them to finish strong. They realized during the diving break that we had it wrapped up. It was a great way to end tonight’s session and the meet.”
Goals, both team and individual, have driven the 2013-14 season for the Jayhawks. The team set the goal of placing second or higher at the Big 12 Championships prior to the start of the season.
“It doesn’t seem like our dual meet records reflect a second-placing team at the conference championships, but with swimming and diving you have to pick your battles and this was one that we wanted to fight for,” Campbell said. “We didn’t win a conference dual meet all year, but the whole goal was to perform at a high level this meet. We had swimmers getting personal records in every event. Our seniors spearheaded the cultural change and it’s a tribute to them and what they have worked on in the past year.”
Texas was the champion of the meet with 1,109.5 points, followed by Kansas (617), Iowa State (541.5), TCU (525) and West Virginia (480).
All 2014-15 season returners will be swimming at the second chance meet tomorrow morning in an attempt to qualify for nationals.
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