A Look Back at Kansas' Big 12 Swimming and Diving Performances

The Kansas swimming and diving team posted 50 new career-best performances, broke four school records and earned seven silver medals to finish third at the 2015 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship February 25-28. Texas won its third consecutive Big 12 title with 1,082.5 points, followed by Iowa State (618.5). West Virginia claimed fourth place (481) and TCU (458), fifth.

Nine Jayhawks performed career-best times or scores in each event entered. Yet even with strong performances on the remaining three days, the Jayhawks could not make up for lost points due to a relay disqualification on the first night of the league meet and several other out-touched races.

“The four swam really well and got us off to a good start, but it was a call that went against us,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “It was a tough way to start, but we re-grouped and came back really strong the next day and were able to keep the momentum going throughout the meet.”

Together, juniors Chelsie Miller and Bryce Hinde broke a total of four KU school records. Miller lowered her own records in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard butterfly, while Hinde broke a 2008 school record set by Danielle Herrman in the 100-yard breaststroke, swimming a time of 1:01.98.

“Whenever you get school records it’s always reason to celebrate,” Campbell said. “For Bryce, breaking 1:02 was a big goal of hers and everyone was so happy to see her achieve it.

“Chelsie’s swims were really solid, especially since our main focus was on NCAA’s. Those are definitely the high-water marks for the team that weekend. They swam fast and provided a lot of inspirations. Our school records are getting really fast, and any time you have an opportunity to break them it’s a big deal.”

An additional three swimmers—Yulduz Kuchkarova, Hannah Angell and Lydia Pocisk—made their way onto the all-time top-five list in five events. Kuchkarova now holds the second-fastest time in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke with times of 53.41 and 1:56.16, respectively. Angell joined her on the 100-backstroke list, ranking fifth in history with a time of 55.34. Pocisk holds the third-fastest time in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.21) and second-fastest in the 200 (2:14.98).

“All three of them are still young. Hannah and Yulduz are great backstroke training partners. Hannah worked really hard this school year after having a summer she wasn’t so pleased with. Yulduz had a weird year with the Asian Games, and trying to get in the swing of things. She had a great collegiate career. Going into summer, she has the World Championships in July in Russia, this was a good meet to get her ready for the meets to come.
“Lydia is just starting to scratch surface of her potential,” Campbell continued. “There are still several things we can do to clean up and improve her breaststroke. It’ll be a lot of fun and exciting to see what she can do in the future, using this year as a benchmark.”

Between Miller, Kuchkarova and two relay teams, KU was awarded seven silver medals. Miller finished second in the 400-yard IM, 1,650-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly, while Kuchkarova was runner-up in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. The 400-yard medley relay team of Kuchkarova, Hinde, Pia Pavlic and Haley Molden finished behind the Longhorns, clocking in at 3:40.18. Kuchkarova, Pavlic, Molden and Deanna Marks were also runner-up to the Texas in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 3:23.83.

“Overall, it was a really good meet. Every year you have ups and downs. We were disappointed with the final score, but the way we swam and competed all year was very successful and we’re fortunate to continue the season with Chelsie in her second appearance at the NCAA Championships.”

Miller will continue the season for the Jayhawks at the national competition, beginning March 19.

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