Kansas Widens Lead After Second Day of Kansas Classic


TOPEKA, Kan. – Sophomore Chelsie Miller and freshman Yulduz “Yulya” Kuchkarova paced the Kansas swimming and diving team to a 156.5-point lead (679.5 – 523) over Iowa State, as day two of the Kansas Classic at the Capitol Federal Natatorium came to a close Saturday evening.
“We had a shaky morning,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “We challenged them tonight to come back and perform better. It was a good night and we won a lot of close finishes. The A relay at the end broke the meet record and then the B team took second place. It was a good way to end the session.”
Miller led the 400-yard individual medley finals wire-to-wire, as she won with a time of 4:20.43, a full seven seconds faster than anyone else in the field.
“It was a good swim for her,” Campbell said. “She’s racing a lot and training through this meet to prepare for USA Nationals. I was happy with how she led off the 800 freestyle relay. It was another chance for her to practice her 200 free racing. She knows she has bigger races coming up in a few weeks, so she is in a good place.”
Kuchkarova took her first place in the 100-yard backstroke, chalking up another 20 points for KU, with a time of 56.34.
“We have been working on Yulya’s skills on how to transfer her from long-course success to short-course,” Camobell said. “She finally put a good race together today and that set her up well. She’s in a similar place as Chelsie and we are excited to see how she does in Knoxville.”
Also chalking up points for the Jayhawks was Sofiia Filatova who placed second in the 100-yard butterfly (56.79) and was only two tenths of a second behind first-place finisher Bria Deceaux of Nebraska.
After another close race in Saturday’s finals, senior Morgan Sharp swam a time of 1:50.36 to pick up a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, a 10th of a second faster than Iowa State swimmer Karyl Clarete who took second.
Kansas closed out the meet finishing one, two in the 800-yard freestyle relay and scored 74 points for the Jayhawks. Sammie Schurig, Morgan Sharp, Haley Molden and Malia Johnson swam to a first-place finish with a meet record time of 7:30.74, while Miller led the second-place finishing team (7:37.68) with her opening leg of 1:53.96.
“The third-day morning prelim session is usually the toughest because they have been racing for two days and it starts earlier,” Campbell said. “We have to be on point tomorrow and come out ready to finish the meet. It’s a very short session but we have to put together a good morning so we can come back and put up some more points tomorrow night.”
As of now the team standings for the Kansas Classic are as follows:
1.    Kansas – 679.5
2.    Iowa State – 523
3.    Nebraska – 520.5
4.    Air Force – 367
5.    Nebraska-Omaha – 174
6.    Northern Iowa – 125
The Jayhawks will be back in the pool Sunday morning for the final day of the Kansas Classic, with preliminary races beginning at 9 a.m. The finals will be held later in the day at 3 p.m. Fans can watch all the live action of Sunday’s finals on the Time Warner Cable SportsChannel beginning at 3 p.m. The order of events is as follows:
Preliminaries (9 a.m.)
200-yard backstroke
100-yard freestyle
200-yard breaststroke
200-yard butterfly
1650-yard freestyle
Finals (3 p.m.)
1650-yard freestyle
200-yard backstroke
100-yard freestyle
200-yard breaststroke
200-yard butterfly
15 minute break
400-yard freestyle relay