Hopkin Takes Silver, Relay Takes Bronze

ATHENS, Ga.- In the final day at the SEC Championships, the 400 yard freestyle relay team earned bronze and junior Anna Hopkin earned her second silver medal of the meet. Arkansas had a total of five podium finishes, with sophomore Brooke Schultz taking the 1- and 3-meter titles earlier in the week.

"I'm really excited about how we finished the meet. We had a great first day and we brought it through to tonight. It was a total team effort and I'm so proud," head coach Neil Harper said.

The first event of the day was the 200 yard backstroke, where freshman Rachel Rodriguez set a personal best time of 2:00.48 to earn a 41st place finish while senior Maddie Umberger set a season-best time of 2:00.30 to finish in 40th place.

In the 200 yard breaststroke, senior Sydney Angell earned a 33rd place finish with a time of 2:16.17. Emma Garfield finished in 29th place with a season-best time of 2:14.50, just 0.14 seconds from tying her personal best, and Vanessa Herrmann tied for 24th place (2:13.24).

The 100 yard freestyle saw nine Razorbacks compete, with four setting either a personal or season best. Annah Carney earned a 58th place finish with a time of 51.08, while Brittney Pike finished in 55th place and set a personal best (50.94). Erin Kelly earned a 54th place finish with a time of 50.87 and Kiera Michailoff-Russell’s time of 50.62 tied for 50th place.

Kenedy Thaman set a personal best time of 50.50 for a 49th place finish, while Molly Moore earned a 46th place finish with a time of 50.39. Marlena Pigliacampi set a season-best time of 50.10 to finish in 38th place.

Kobie Melton earned a sixth-place finish with a time of 49.60, advancing to the C-finals where she earned a 23rd place finish (49.75). Hopkin earned a sixth-place finish (48.06) to advance to the A-finals, where she took second-place overall with a time of 41.71.

The final individual event was the 1650 yard freestyle, where Alyssa Lemon posted a season-best time of 17:12.35 to earn a 31st place finish while Rachel Rodriguez finished in 30th place (17:01.39). Peyton Palsha recorded a season-best time of 16:22.97 to earn a 14th place finish and an NCAA ‘B’ cut.

The 400 yard freestyle relay team of Melton, Hopkin, Moore, and Pigliacampi capped off the meet with a third-place finish (3:14.65) to set a school record and make an NCAA ‘A’ cut. The relay was the ninth-fastest in the nation and first time since 2016 that the Hogs have medaled in the event.

“Anna, Kobie, Marlena, and Molly have been reliable all year and to see the team excited and cheering their hearts out was amazing,” Harper continued. “We did a lot of things that we wanted to accomplish. The relay team medaled, which we haven’t done in a long time, we got the NCAA ‘A’ cut, which we haven’t done in a long time, and the third-place relay secured our eighth-place finish, we haven’t done in a long time. I’m so happy for them and all their work and all the work of our staff. We felt the love from the Razorback nation, and we finished in a great way.”

The Hogs finished in eighth place with 517 points. The finish is the highest under Harper and highest since 2014. Following the meet, Schultz was recognized as SEC Diver of the Meet.

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