Jayhawks Finish Weekend With Strong Performances

Meredith Brownell placed second in the three-meter diving event. 


LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Alison Lusk and sophomore Chelsie Miller broke KU all-time records to highlight a weekend of top performances, as the Kansas swimming and diving teams wrap up split-squad action Saturday evening.
In Knoxville, Tenn. at the 2013 AT&T USA Winter Nationals, Lusk broke her old record of 2:14.57, placing 19th in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.46. Miller followed suit with a record-breaking performance of her own in the 200-yard butterfly, breaking a two-year old record set in 2011 by Stephanie Payne. Her time of 1:58.58 was good enough for 18th place and qualified her to compete at the NCAA Championships in March. 
“Since Chelsie will be going to compete at NCAA Championships in the 400 IM, this will give her another event to swim,” head coach Clark Campbell said. “It’s also good because now that her NCAA cut was accomplished at this point in the season, she can focus on meets and hopefully this will inspire the rest of the team to achieve that level of performance, too.”
Also competing at the national event was sophomore Bryce Hinde and freshman Yulduz “Yulya” Kuchkarova, who placed 31st and 38th in the 200-yard breaststroke and backstroke, respectively.
“Bryce and Yulya both had good swims,” Campbell said. “They are both big products of what is to come in training. They are going to get a big bang for the buck with the type of training we are getting ready to do. We are ecstatic with where they are right now. With what we have left to go, the sky is the limit for them.”
Back in Lawrence, the rest of the Jayhawks hosted William Jewell in dual meet action. The freshmen had strong performances against the Cardinals. Lindsay Manning got to the wall first in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:19.97), 18 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher and fellow KU swimmer, Sammie Schurig (10:37.20). Manning also took first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:03.75). Fellow classmate, Alison Merecka took home the top finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:55.82, and earned the Jayhawks another nine points. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Gretchen Pocisk took first place, when she swam a time of 1:07.96. She later swam the fastest time in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:27.30.
“Gretchen did a great job and had a good meet today,” assistant coach Jen Fox said. “She had some in-season best times. She did a good job of stepping up and winning both of her events. We were relying on her in the breaststroke especially because Chelsie was competing at nationals.”
Seniors showed leadership as well as four seniors took home first place in their events. Malia Johnson was the first senior to take home a top finish when she swam a time of 2:09.21 in the 200-yard butterfly. Morgan Sharp also took first in the 50-yard freestyle (24.48).
“Everyone had a solid performance,” Fox said. “They have done a good job with training this week after the break. They came out with energy and enthusiasm. Our performances were good today. This weekend in general was a good way to bring some momentum going into 2014 and getting ready to go into a new phase of training.”
After the first diving break, Haley Molden placed first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.98. In the next event, Schurig swam a time of 2:06.47 in the 200-yard backstroke and took top honors. To wrap up the meet, senior Alison Moffit placed first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:12.65) and the Kansas 400-yard freestyle relay team took home first as well (3:34.01).
The Jayhawks will take a break from competition for a couple weeks before traveling to Orlando, Fla., for a dual meet on Jan. 10. The squad will then head straight to Puerto Rico for their annual winter training trip.