The Kansas swimming and diving team escaped the midwest weather this winter break by participating in a training camp in Puerto Rico.
“The team really embraced the work,” Kansas swim coach Clark Campbell said. “They were challenged in a number of different ways while we were there and they were pushed to their limits. There were triumphs and failures. “
Now that they're back from a long stint in the warmer weather, the Jayhawks will host the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Trojans on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Robinson Natatorium. This is the Jayhawks' last home meet of the season.
UALR will bring competition for Kansas because of the several talented athletes the Trojans have on their team. Trojan freestylers senior Kara Raney and sophomore Valeriya Teplova have both swam sub-25 second 50-yard freestyles. The Jayhawks have six athletes who have accomplished that feat this season: senior Morgan Sharp, freshman Lea Wissocq, sophomore Haley Molden, freshman Pia Pavlic, freshman Leah Pfitzer and senior Sofiia Filatova.
“Kara [Raney] has set the standard for our sprint program,” UALR coach Amy Burgess said.
Raney holds the school record for both the 100-yard backstroke and the 50-yard freestyle. UALR will bring another record holder, Holly Myers, to the meet. Myers, a senior backstroke and freestyle swimmer, holds the school records in backstroke events, middle distance freestyle events and relays.
In the 100- and 200-breaststroke events, Jayhawks sophomore Bryce Hinde and senior Alison Lusk could face freshman Erin Trumbach, the Trojans' leading breaststroker. Trumbach has put up comparable times to both Hinde and Lusk in each of the events.
For diving, UALR brings lone diver sophomore Megan Scott. Scott excels at both the one-meter and three-meter diving events. The Jayhawks leading divers, sophomore Meredith Brownell and senior Alyssa Golden, will face steep competition with Scott coming to town. Scott's best performance in the one-meter dive is very close to Golden's best performance. Scott's premiere effort in the three-meter dive bests what both Golden and Brownell have put up over the season.
Both Kansas and UALR have two more duals or triangular meets after Saturday before the conference championships are underway. As the regular season starts to come to a close, swimmers and divers have very few things on their minds: to do their best, to surpass their personal records and to leave everything in the pool.