Kansas Concludes Weekend at Winter Nationals
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Kansas swimming was well represented on the final day of competition at AT&T Winter Nationals with at least one Jayhawk competing in all five events held in Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington during Saturday’s prelims session.
KU saw its most action in the 200-meter butterfly with both Chelsie Miller and Libby Walker swimming in the event. The pair headed into the race having already registered Olympic Trials cuts previously this year and were looking to improve their marks.
Miller took the starting blocks first in heat No. 4 of 7 and recorded a time of 2:17.90 for a 35th place finish and Walker competed in the final heat swimming a 2:17.65 for 31st. Neither of their times bettered their previous Olympic Trials cuts, but the fact that less than a second stood between them was no surprise. Less than sixth-tenths of a second separate their current qualifying times of 2:14.19 (Walker) and 2:14.75 (Miller).
Walker, the freshman from Columbia, Missouri, returned to the pool later in afternoon looking to add another Olympic Trials cut to her resume. She competed in the 800-meter freestyle and finished 26th with a swim of 8:59.88, falling short of the qualifying time.
After lowering her own Uzbekistani record and earning a FINA B cut in the 100-meter backstroke Friday morning with a time of 1:01.69, Yulya Kuchkarova took the pool for the 200-meter backstroke Saturday with hopes of attaining another FINA standard. The Tashkent, Uzbekistan native came up short in the event with a time of 2:17.89, a little over two seconds off the qualifying mark. Her swim was the 33rd fastest in the event.
Kansas senior Haley Molden competed in the 100-meter freestyle, her final of three freestyle swims this weekend. She finished 77th with a time of 58.45, unable to qualify for finals. Molden wasn’t able to turn in Olympic Trials cuts in her events, but will have the chance to improve her times in championship meets throughout the year.
Lydia Pocisk was the third swimmer in the pool for Kansas in Saturday’s prelims session. She raced in the 200-meter breaststroke, swimming a time of 2:44.89 and placing 65th overall. After falling behind in the first two laps, Pocisk dug deep to make up time and finish sixth in her heat. However, her time wasn’t enough to earn an Olympic Trials cut.
Saturday’s events marked the conclusion of Winter Nationals. The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center will host a short course time trials Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT) to give collegiate athletes an opportunity to swim NCAA qualifying times.
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