Jayhawks Make Splash At Kansas Classic
TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas swimming and diving team took home top honors Sunday afternoon at the Kansas Classic after a dominating weekend of racing at the Capitol Federal Natatorium.
Senior Morgan Sharp and sophomore Chelsie Miller paved the way for the Jayhawks, as the duo tallied more points combined in the three-day meet than some teams scored throughout the entire weekend. Sharp’s 117 points was the most for any swimmer at the meet, while Miller’s 82 points came on a weekend she was using as a training block.
“Morgan had a tremendous meet,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “She was probably the performer of the championship for us over the course of the three days. She had two individual wins and she set a meet record. She had a good 100 free tonight and she was called upon to lead a lot of the relays.”
The final day of action began with freshman Lindsay Manning with a second-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle (16:59.60). After leading for the first 45 laps of the race, Air Force’s Genevieve Miller picked up the pace and closed with a fast 400 to edge out Manning by five seconds with a time of 16:54.37.
“I was proud of Lindsay in her performance in the 1650 free,” Campbell said. “She struggled the first two days but really brought it together and had a good meet today.”
Fellow classmate, Yulya “Yulduz” Kuchkarova also added 17 points to the Jayhawk total when she took second in the 200-yard backstroke (2:02.13) just behind Iowa State’s Marissa Engel (2:01.54) who took first.
“We lacked some intensity today, especially in the morning,” Campbell said. “We came back and had some good races tonight. We had a lot of cumulative fatigue from competing for three days. We knew we won the meet yesterday so we were able to enjoy today. Nebraska and Iowa State swam really well today but they were fighting the battle for second place. I’m happy with how we performed but we could have had more intensity.”
Kansas led the pool with 932.5 points followed by Nebraska (795.5), Iowa State (760.5), Air Force (555.5), Nebraska-Omaha (238) and Northern Iowa (172).
“The meet as a whole went really well,” Campbell said. “Last night was a special night with how well we performed. We are still young and still learning how to keep the intensity up over the course of three days. I was happy with the way we invested in the meet this weekend. We are excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds.”
The finals today had some added excitement with it being the first-ever televised Kansas swimming event.
“I felt more excitement as a whole with the meet being televised this afternoon,” Campbell said. “It went really well and I want to thank Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3 for televising it. We got a chance to showcase ourselves because swimming normally doesn’t get this kind of attention. It was special to add that element to the meet.”
KU swimmers who have posted qualifying times will compete at the 2013 AT&T USA Winter Nationals Dec. 5-7 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The remaining Jayhawks will host William Jewell Dec. 7 in Robinson Natatorium.