Coming off one of the best seasons in school history, Kansas swimming and diving is getting ready to start a new year.
The team lost seven seniors, Sofiia Filatova, Alyssa Golden, Malia Johnson, Alison Lusk, Alison Moffit, Morgan Sharp and Sara Snow, from last season, but reloaded with nine freshmen. Hannah Driscoll, Nika Fellows, Madison Hutchison, Nadia Khechfe, Anna Pierano, Lydia Pocisk, Sydney Power, Madison Straight and Zoya Wahlstrom make up the incoming class.
There are 10 sophomores, Hannah Angell, Graylyn Jones, Yulduz Kuchkarova, Lindsay Manning, Amanda Maser, Allison Merecka, Pia Pavlic, Leah Pfitzer, Gretchen Pocisk and Sammie Schurig, that return from last season.
Kuchkarova highlights the sophomore class with her record-breaking performance at the Asian Games last week. The Kansas sophomore hails from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and broke her own Uzbekistan national record in the 50-meter backstroke with a time of 29.31 seconds.
Laura Bilsborrow, Meredith Brownell, Bryce Hinde, Chelsie Miller and Haley Molden make up the small but mighty junior class.
Miller leads the pack from last season. She currently holds five school records in the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.58), 1000-yard freestyle (9:49.14), 1,650-yard freestyle (16.09.00), 200-yard individual medley (1:58.98) and 400-yard individual medley (4:07.97). She earned All-American status for her 15th place finish in the 400-yard individual medley at the NCAA Championships in March.
During the summer, Miller took home two gold medals at the Speedo Championship Series sectional meet in July. She won the 800-meter freestyle (8:57.37) and the 400-meter individual medley (4:47.80).
She advanced to the USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships in four different events including the 200-meter butterfly, 800-meter freestyle, 200-meter individual medley and 400-meter individual medley. Miller placed in the top 50 in all four events. Her highest finish at the meet was 10th place in the 400-meter individual medley.
Rounding out the team is the even smaller senior class. Deanna Marks and Caroline Patterson are Kansas’ two returning seniors. Marks was named the Big 12 Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year last season.
Coaching for the Jayhawks are Clark Campbell, Jen Fox and Brian Pritt. After Kansas finished second in the Big 12 Conference Championships, Campbell was named the 2013-14 Coach of the Year and coached Miller, Kansas’ first Big 12 Champion, in the 400-yard individual medley.
Swimming and diving opens its season on Friday at 3:30 p.m. with its annual intrasquad meet at the Robinson Natatorium.
—Edited by Jordan Fox