Originally on Kansan.com on February 9th, 2014. Printed in the Kansan February 10th, 2014
Close swims defined the weekend in Ames, Iowa, where the Jayhawks and Cyclones dueled it out in the water. Even though Kansas had a one-point lead after Friday’s races, they couldn’t hold on, as they fell 161.5-138.5 in the last regular-season meet before the Big 12 Championship.
Friday’s events were led by senior Morgan Sharp. She fought her way to a win in the 200-meter freestyle (1:51.24). Sharp narrowly beat her Iowa State opponent by six-hundredths of a second. She also was a part of the 200-yard medley relay team that won (1:45.83).
“She led the team today,” said coach Clark Campbell. “She out-touched for the win by six-hundredths of a second. Dual meets are weighted by winning events and by out-touching competitors. We are in a better position going into [Saturday]. It was easy to see that she was not going to be denied getting to the wall first. I saw fire in her the last 25 yards of both races.”
Two other swimmers that helped the Jayhawks on the first day of competition were sophomore Chelsie Miller, who placed first in the 200-yard butterfly (2:04.68) and sophomore Bryce Hinde, who tied for first in the 10-yard breaststroke (1:04.95).
“The Iowa State swimmer that Bryce tied with has already qualified for the NCAA Championships,” Campbell said. “It was a good race for her since she has been struggling since coming back from Christmas. It was a good race for her to take into the Big 12 Championships.”
On the second day of competition, Kansas put up winning performances by freshman Pia Pavlic and Miller. Pavlic won the 100-yard butterfly by one-hundredth of a second (57.77). Miller took home the gold in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:06.44.
Senior Alison Lusk swam a season best time (for dual meets) in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:21.10).
“That was Alison’s fastest in-season time outside of the winter national meet,” Campbell said. “It was one of her best dual-meet swims all year.”
Sharp also put up points on Saturday, finishing second in the 100-yard freestyle (52.55).
The team fared well in diving with senior Alyssa Golden and sophomore Meredith Brownell placing second (271.35) and third (260.48) respectively.
“We swam well, but not well enough to win,” Campbell said. “They were the stronger team today.”
Up next for the Jayhawks is the Big 12 Championship in Austin, Texas. Kansas has three weeks of preparation before they dive in Feb. 26 to March 1.