Four All-Americans highlight NCAAs
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 19 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team sent five swimmers to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships and walked away with four All-Americans. Katie Kastes (400 IM, 200 fly) leads the team with two nods while Leah Pierce (200 breast), Yi-Ting Siow (200 breast) and Jamie Marks (1650 free) each earned one nod apiece. Four All-Americans in a single season is the most ever for Arkansas. “It was an outstanding meet for us,” head Razorback coach Jeff Poppell said. “I am so proud of these girls we brought with us this weekend. They did a phenomenal job and couldn’t have swum any better than they did. Their performances this weekend were the perfect way to end a fantastic season.”
Over the course of the NCAA Championships, the Razorbacks set six school records during the three day event to complete the most successful swimming and diving season in Arkansas history which was marked by the first ever 10-win season and a program-best fifth place finish in the Southeastern Conference.
Breaking her second school record at NCAAs on Saturday was junior Siow who set an Arkansas record in the 200 breast championship final with a time of 2:08.41, placing fourth. Siow’s finish is the highest individual swimming finish ever for the Razorbacks at an NCAA meet.
“Yi-Ting turned in another great performance,” Poppell said. “She took two seconds off the school record time and has just had great performances for us all season.”
Also in the pool in the finals of the 200 breast was Pierce who was disqualified at the start of the final after posting a career-best time of 2:10.81 and finishing 16th in the prelims of the event.
Sophomore Marks broke her first Razorback swimming record on Saturday on the final day of NCAAs. Marks’ time of 16:08.42 in the 1,650 free event shattered the previous record held by teammate Stephanie Carr by over four seconds.
“Jaime took over 16 seconds off the time she swam at SECs,” head Razorback coach Jeff Poppell said. “She swam so well. It was an amazing performance from her.”
Carr was also in the pool for the 1,650 free event on Saturday, finishing 20th on the day with a career-best time of 16:11.74. Carr’s time is second in the record books behind Marks’ record time.
In the 200 fly, the final event of the championship meet for the Razorbacks, Kastes finished 15th in a time of 1:56.72, a few tenths of a second slower than her qualifying time of 1:55.96 she posted in the morning session.
As a team, the Razorbacks placed 27th, seven spots higher than last season’s 34th place finish.
For more information about Razorback swimming and diving, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.