Arkansas swimming competes in Austin

AUSTIN,TEXAS– The University of Arkansas swimming and diving team competed in day one and two of the American Short Course Championships in Austin, Texas.

The meet features professional, college and club swimmers from around the nation and serves as one of the last opportunities for collegiate swimmers to earn their NCAA automatic- and provisional-qualifying cuts.

The women’s meet features world champion Kate Ziegler, who holds American records in the 500-yard freestyle, 800-meter freestyle, 1000-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle, as well as 2004 Olympic gold medalist Kirsty Coventry. Ziegler will represent Team USA next month at the FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

Arkansas took eight swimmers to the competition and looks to build on the individual successes it achieved at the Southeastern Conference Championships.

“The meet just represents an opportunity for the swimmers to stand up and race one last time and try post some season best times,” said head coach Jeff Poppell. “We have some swimmers that are swimming in different events than what they competed in at the SEC Championships. This meet gives them another opportunity for individual improvement, which has been our focus all year long.”

The top finisher for Arkansas on Thursday was junior Emily Gregory. She finished 13th in the finals of the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.44. In the preliminaries Gregory placed 15th with a 56.63.

Sophomore Emily Fletcher turned in a career-best time in the 200 individual medley with a 2:15.41 while junior Katie McGraw earned a season-best time of 25.00 in the 50 freestyle.

On Friday junior Tiffany Silver took almost one second off of her personal-best time in the 100 backstroke, touching in with a 58.86 in the finals.

Sophomore Summer Jackson had the best finish of the championship for Arkansas in the 100 breaststroke. She took sixth in the finals of the event with a 1:06.21. Sophomore Elizabeth Engs was right behind her placing 10th in finals of the 100 breast with a 1:06.79.

Competition continues tomorrow in the final day of the championships.

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