Xu wins, Jayhawks break records on day three of championship
AUSTIN, Texas – After having 24 swimmers and divers advance into Thursday evening’s final events, the Kansas swimming and diving team scored a jaw-dropping 225 points on the day and hold onto second place at the 2019 Big 12 Championship held inside the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
Thursday’s performances increased the Jayhawks’ second-place total to 466.50 points thanks to two Kansas school records and a first-place finish heading into the final day of the Big 12 Championship.
Senior Vicky Xu highlighted the day when she became the first-ever Kansas Big 12 Diving Champion with a first-place finish on the three-meter board. Xu finished with a score of 380.00 and became the first individual conference champion for the Jayhawks since 2014 when Chelsie Miller won the 400-yard individual medley.
In addition to Xu’s performance, Kansas saw two new school records in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle relay, respectively.
In Thursday morning’s preliminary swim, junior Haley Downey broke her own record set a year ago in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.43) when she swam a time of 1:01.31. That performance fed into the evening where Downey broke that record again (1:00.51) to finish second in the event and sparked the Jayhawks to close the meet breaking a 10-year old record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, swimming a time of 1:31.38 – edging the previous mark by just one, one-hundredth of a second (1:31.39).
The evening’s final events started with the 100-yard butterfly when the Jayhawks had two swimmers on the blocks in the ‘A’ final with a personal-best swim from freshman Kaitlyn Witt of 54.52.
The 400-yard individual medley came next with an ‘A’ and ‘B’ final swim for the Jayhawks. Sophomore Ellie Flanagan swam and won the ‘B’ final with a time of 4:22.24, a 3.15 second time drop form her preliminary time earlier that day (4:25.39). Freshman Paige Riekhof represented the Jayhawks in the ‘A’ final event with a time of 4:21.21.
Junior Jenny Nusbaum swam a 1:46.70 in the 200-yard freestyle ‘A’ final to finish third. Following Nusbaum in the ‘A’ final was freshman Claire Campbell with a personal-best swim (1:48.57) in and Lauryn Parrish(1:49.51) in seventh. Sophomore Crissie Blomquist received a fifth-place finish in the ‘B’ final with a personal-best time of 1:50.64, and freshman Franki Petrosino dropped time from the morning and finished in 1:51.33.
Downey broke the Kansas school record for the second time on Thursday with a new time of 1:00.51 and earned a silver medal in the 100-yard breaststroke ‘A’ final. Steward swam a lifetime-best and NCAA ‘B’ cut time with a mark of 1:01.58. Witt (1:03.93) and Flanagan (1:06.45) swam in the ‘B’ final for the Jayhawks.
The Big 12 Championship continues Saturday morning, March 2 at 10 a.m. with the preliminary rounds, and continues with finals competition at 6 p.m.
- Senior Haley Bishop touched the wall at 54.90 in the 100-yard butterfly ‘A’ final.
- Freshman Kaitlyn Witt finished the 100-yard butterfly ‘A’ final in seventh place with a time of 54.52.
- Freshman Paige Riekhof swam a 4:21.21 in the 400-yard individual medley ‘A’ final.
- Junior Jenny Nusbaum finished third with a time of 1:46.70 in the ‘A’ final of the 200-yard freestyle.
- Sophomore Lauryn Parrish stood on the podium for her 200-yard freestyle ‘A’ final time of 1:49.51.
- Freshman Claire Campbell swam a personal-best time of 1:48.57 in the 200-yard freestyle ‘A’ final.
- After breaking the school record in the morning, junior Haley Downey swam another record time of 1:00.51 in the 100-yard breaststroke in the ‘A’ final.
- Freshman Kate Stewrad touched the wall in the 100-yard breaststroke ‘A’ final at 1:01.58.
- Junior Elizabeth Amato-Hanner competed in the 100-yard backstroke ‘A’ final with a finishing lifetime-best time of 53.77.
- Sophomore Manon Manning touched the wall at 53.96 in the 100-yard backstroke ‘A’ final.
- Freshman Dewi Blose swam in the 100-yard backstroke ‘A’ final for a time of 55.35.
- Senior Vicky Xu dove her way into first-place with a score of 380.00 in the three-meter diving event.
- The 200-yard freestyle ‘A’ squad consisting of Bishop, Nusbaum, Sieperda, and junior Carly Straight swam a Kansas school record time of 1:31.38.
Head coach Clark Campbell
Thoughts on the Friday competitions:
“What a crazy good night. We set it up with a really solid morning, it was probably our weakest session this morning out of all of the sessions that we have had so far. But we came out today and just put the hammer down. It was just good from the get-go. We started off really well with the 100-yard butterfly and then just kept it rolling with really good momentum.
It seemed like as the meet got going we were finding our speed, and I think that as the meet has rolled on the girls have gotten more confident and faster and really stepping up their level. So it was a special night.”
This Friday compared to other years:
“A few years ago Chelsie Miller won the 400-yard individual medley and she was our last conference champion since Vicky (Xu) and you will never forget that night, that was a special night as well, good momentum.
But, as far as top to bottom in every single swim and every single dive this has been the best Friday we have ever had.”