Jayhawks No. 32, Miller Tops in Big 12 According to CollegeSwimming.com
Rankings Link CollegeSwimming.com Rankings
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Veteran duo Chelsie Miller and Yulya Kuchkarova led a team-wide fast effort during the Big Challenge last weekend and helped the Jayhawks to a No. 32 ranking in CollegeSwimming.com’s top-50 released on Tuesday. Miller, who was named the Big Challenge MVP after contributing to five wins and four meet records, was also tabbed as CollegeSwimming.com’s Big 12 Swimmer of the Week.
Kansas claimed eight finals victories throughout last weekend’s triangular championship-style meet. Of those eight wins, either Miller or Kuchkarova contributed to each of the victories. Miller collected wins in four individual races (200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly and 1,650 free) and assisted in KU’s 800-yard freestyle relay victory, while teammate Kuchkarova tallied two individual wins of her own in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes and helped the Jayhawks to a win in the 200-yard medley relay. Both swimmers have multiple times among the top-20 fastest marks in the nation this season.
“Both of them (Miller and Kuchkarova) did a really good job in November,” Campbell said. “I don’t think the times they got in the marquee events will get picked up for NCAAs, but getting those times this early really sets them up well. We will get another opportunity at AT&T Winter Nationals and there will be a short course time trial meet the day after. We’ll get a shot to see what they can do in the 400 IM for Chelsie and the 100 back for Yulya and then just take that momentum into Big 12s. For them to be as high up there as they are now is great for them as we continue our progression of the season.”
While the pair was conquering the pool in Topeka, Kansas, they both turned in two NCCA B standards in their respective races – Miller in the 200 IM (2:01.24) and 400 IM (4:12.71), and Kuchkarova in the 100 back (53,09) and 200 back (1:55.87). Freshman Haley Bishop, who joined Miller on the Big Challenge All-Star team, displayed speed with a NCAA B cut swim in the 100-yard butterfly (54.48) to win her heat of the event in prelims.
The Jayhawks top-50 ranking was also factored in 80 season-best times turned in from a variety of swimmers donning the Crimson and Blue at the three-day meet. With six teams competing, Kansas finished the weekend in second place only to Nebraska, who is three spots ahead of KU in the rankings at No. 29. Illinois, who placed third at the Big Challenge, received a spot in the rankings at No. 43.
“The fall was really good to us,” head coach Clark Campbell. “We are in a good spot and the team is really excited for the rest of the season. This is kind of our midterm exam and I would grade it about an A. It was a good way, as a team, to conclude the fall. As a team we are really happy with where we are right now.”
Texas is the only other Big 12 school ranked in the top-50 and were ranked 17th in Tuesday’s release.
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