After a significant break between meets — its last competition was the Kansas Classic on Nov. 17 to 19 — the Kansas women’s swimming and diving team came back strong with a convincing 130-64 victory in a dual meet versus William Jewell on Thursday.
The two month break didn’t seem to slow the Jayhawks down as they earned first-place finishes in 12 of 13 events, highlighted by freshman Lauryn Parrish’s victories in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:24.33) and 500-yard freestyle (5:06.45).
The team’s break included a trip to Hawaii to train with professional athletes and going through training camp to stay in proper physical shape. Parrish believes that competing while the team is exhausted will help in the long run.
“The number one thing you face in every meet is adversity and I think it’s very interesting to host this on a Thursday night,” Parrish said. “It’s the first week of school, just coming off training camp, we’re exhausted by the time change from Hawaii … we’re at our lowest point and so beat up. If we can start sharpening things from here, it’s going to be even greater later in the season.”
Junior Haley Bishop also had a successful night, with first place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay (1:45.97), 200-yard freestyle (1:51.06), 100-yard freestyle (52.27) and the 200-yard freestyle relay, which she raced in with Parrish (1:41.47).
With the sound victory, Bishop is proud of the effort and believes that the meet will serve as a building block to finish the season strong against tough competition.
“I think everyone is starting to sharpen things up,” Bishop said. “It’s important that we get back into racing and we have three more [meets] back to back to back, which is good because at [the Big 12 Conference meet] you have to continue to get up and go. It’s good simulation for going into conference.”
Parrish agrees in that this dual meet helps further prepare the team for upcoming meets.
“We have great competition these next two weeks,” Parrish said. “Arkansas and Iowa State are both really strong and if we can race them well it’s definitely going to instill the confidence we need to swim against not only Iowa State again, but Texas, TCU and West Virginia and get ready and show them what the Hawks are made of.”
While Bishop agrees with Parrish in that this meet will help the team, hosting the meet also led to the Jayhawks’ success overall.
“It was nice to be able to have a meet like this where we kind of own this pool, just so if we have some mishaps or some not well-swam races, we’re able to fix that for when it really is time and we have to be on and sharp,” Bishop said.
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Outside of Parrish and Bishop, swimmers with other first-place finishes individually were freshman Crissie Blomquist (200-yard freestyle, 1:54.70), junior Taylor Sieperda (50-yard freestyle, 24.34), senior Madison Straight (400-yard individual medley, 4:28.76) redshirt sophomore Caroline McCleary (1-meter dive, 265.50) sophomore Katy Schlies (100-yard butterfly, 56.93) sophomore Elizabeth Amato-Hanner (100-yard backstroke, 57.58) and senior Nadia Khechfe (3-meter dive, 286.27).
The Jayhawks next host a dual meet against Arkansas on Friday, Jan. 26, at Robinson Natatorium with the events starting at 5 p.m.