No Jet Lag for Kansas in Dual Dominance of TCU
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas swimming and diving travelled fast through the air and water Saturday, covering a quick 1,000 miles in flight during a down-and-back trip to Fort Worth, and sped to victory in 12 of 14 races in the pool to top Big 12 foe TCU at the University Recreation Center.
The Jayhawks, ranked No. 46 in this week’s CollegeSwimming.com team poll, were unfazed by the quick trip and early morning wake-up call, rolling to wins in the meet’s first four events to improve to 2-1 in dual competition. TCU, which dropped to 2-2 in dual meets, had the top time in just two swimming events, but swept the top marks in diving. Kansas outscored the Horned Frogs, 178-119, in its first Big 12 matchup.
“Today we embraced the challenge of flying down here the day of,” Kansas head coach Clark Campbell said. “The team really got into the challenge of it and I think we proved that it doesn’t matter what comes at them that they will go and get it.”
Kansas’ A relay won the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:44.47, leading the pool by nearly two seconds. Moment’s later freshman Libby Walker took the 1,000-yard freestyle for the second consecutive week, this time swimming a 10:15.12. Haley Bishop, another rookie for KU, made it three races in a row, winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:52.22.
Yulya Kuchkarova debuted her junior campaign with two victories of her own. After missing last weeks meet, Kuchkarova showed off her speed in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke recording times of 56.66 and 2:03.59, respectively.
“Things got started out really well with our medley relay,” Campbell said. “Both the A and B relays were faster than they were last week, which set a really good tone and we just kept it rolling. Our energy was really high all of the way through.”
Forth Worth product Madison Straight embraced her homecoming and put on a performance for family and friends, winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:05.01, improving last week’s time by nearly two seconds. The sophomore also won the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 2:03.48 and earned a top-three finish in the 200-yard freestyle (1:54.06).
Sophomore Hannah Driscoll posted an impressive afternoon herself, winning the 50-yard free in 24.16 and placed second, behind teammate Haley Molden (52.55), in the 100-yard freestyle (53.13). She also assisted both the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay to two season-best times and first-place finishes.
“We had a lot of outstanding performances from a lot of people,” Campbell said. “Hannah Driscoll was another one who really stepped up. It was nice to see more folks really step up and compete at a high level.”
The Horned Frogs took wins from the Jayhawks in only four events all afternoon. Two of those came from senior Kristen Connolly in the one- and three-meter dives. The other two came in the breaststroke events, Lindsay Shabet won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:19.59) and Devin Newton claimed the 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.58).
KU’s Bishop won her second race in the 100-yard fly in 56.03, while senior Chelsie Miller claimed two individual victories of her own in the 200-yard butterfly (2:03.60) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:00.46).
In the diving well, Nadia Khechfe placed second in the one-meter with a score of 254.62 and Graylyn Jones placed third in the three-meter (241.72).
Kansas concluded the day much like they started it with a victory and season-best time in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:29.34), the relay consisted of Molden, Bishop, Breonna Barker and Kuchkarova.
“The team proved a lot to themselves today,” Campbell said. “This is a tough team and they get things done at a high level regardless of what’s coming before or what’s coming after, they were just in the moment.”
Kansas will host Nebraska on Friday, Nov. 6, inside Robinson Natatorium. All swimming and diving events are free and open to the public.
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