Razorbacks strong in season debut

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The 21st-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks women’s swimming and diving team took five events against the No.10-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols on Friday as it lost the dual 197-103 while earned its first win of the season over Vanderbilt 252-47.

“The girls saw the difference between a top 10 team versus a top 20 team today and there’s a significant difference between the two. Tennessee is an incredible team and they performed like one today," said Arkansas coach Jeff Poppell.

Sophomore Katie Kastes started her second year with the Razorbacks as she finished her first, winning. Kastes took the 200 free in 1:50.40 and the 200 fly in a final time of 2:00.81 and fellow returning All-American, Madison Palmer finished first in the one meter dive with a score of 272.48. In her first dual meet as a Razorback, Junior Leah Pierce took the 200 breast in 2:17.98, and sophomore Jamie Marks earned the top time in the 400 IM at 4:22.59. Also showing well for the Hogs on Friday was Stephanie Carr, the third All-American from last year’s honorees. Carr touched second in the 500 and 1000 free, finishing behind Aleksa Akerfelds of Tennessee in both races.

Katie Kastes, Madison Palmer, Stephanie Carr, Jamie Marks, and Leah Pierce were outstanding today,” said Poppell.

Other swimmers catching coach Poppell’s eye were Katie Whitbeck and Alison Templin. Whitbeck anchored one of the Arkansas teams in the 200 medley relay in an impressive 23.82 and finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 100 free and 100 fly. For her part, Templin came in third behind teammate Carr in the 500 free at 4:58.12 and finished fourth in the 1000 free behind Carr and Ashley Largo.

“Freshmen Katie Whitbeck and Alison Templin also had outstanding showings in their first college competitions,” Poppell said. “We did very well as a team today. In addition to winning five events we came close in some others; unfortunately, some of our great performances were overshadowed by the greater performances by Tennessee.”

The Razorbacks are back in action on Oct.30 when they host LSU at Arkansas Natatorium at 1 p.m. For complete coverage of Arkansas women’s swimming and diving, log onto ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

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