Howard sets personal best on first day of Grand Prix

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Arkansas freshman Sarah Howard turned in a strong day at the Missouri Grand Prix, a meet in which all races are long course meters, in Columbia, Mo. on Friday, touching in No. 12 spot in the finals of the 400 IM with a personal-best time of 5:07.46. Howard qualified for the finals of the 400 IM with a prelim time of 5:07.46, the No. 14 finisher. She also competed in the prelims for the 200 free, where she finished No. 32 in a time of 2:09.05.

“Sarah took a lot off her best time in the morning prelims,” assistant Razorback coach Todd Mann said. “Then, in the finals, she came back with an even faster time. It’s exactly what swimmers work for, getting faster each time out and I’m very happy with her performances today.”

Joining Howard in the finals of the IM was senior Emily Fletcher who finished in the No. 18 spot with a time of 5:11.74. In the prelims of the event, Fletcher came in 24th in a time of 5:14.85. Fletcher’s other race of the day was the 100 fly where she came in 43rd in the prelims, touching in at 1:07.07.

“Emily continues to do a good job,” Mann said. “Like Sarah, she got faster as the day went on and you really can’t ask for more from a swimmer. She’s finishing her career at Arkansas exactly as she should.”

Also swimming for Arkansas on Friday was Maddie Fogel, who finished No. 33 in the prelims of the 400 IM in Friday’s morning session with a time of 5:17.21. Shara Sutphen also was in the pool on Friday, competing in the 200 free prelims where she finished No. 54 in a time of 2:11.06.

Tomorrow, the Razorbacks are back in action at the Mizzou Aquatics Center for the second day of the Missouri Grand Prix. Prelims for the 200 IM, 50 free, 200 breast, 100 back and 400 free begin Saturday morning with the finals to follow in the evening session. For complete coverage of Arkansas swimming and diving, visit

Friday’s Results by Event200 Free Prelims: 32. Howard – 2:09.05 54. Sutphen – 2:11.06100 Fly Prelims 43. Fletcher – 1:07.07400 IM Prelims 14. Howard – 5:07.46 24. Fletcher – 5:14.85 33. Fogel – 5:17.21

400 IM Finals 12. Howard – 5:07.06 18. Fletcher – 5:11.74