Relay teams Kastes break records at SECs

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AUBURN, Ala. – In the first day of the SEC Swimming & Diving Championship, the No. 18 University of Arkansas swimming and diving team broke school records in the 200 medley relay and 800 freestyle relays. Sophomore Katie Kastes also broke her own record in the 200 free during her leadoff leg in the 800 free relay race.“We had a great first night here at the championship meet,” head Razorbacks coach Jeff Poppell said. “We’re very excited with all the performances we turned in tonight and are hoping to build on those performances during the rest of the week.”

In the first race of the meet, the 200 medley relay team of Lynette Ng, Leah Pierce, Kastes and Yi Ting Siow set a Razorback record 1:41.57 in the event, finishing in a tie for eighth place with South Carolina.

To close out the night’s competition, Kastes and Siow joined Katie Whitbeck and Stephanie Carr in the pool for the 800 free relay where the four set a school record time of 7:10.91, placing fourth and shattering the previous record time of 7:19.14 set last season. Kastes and Carr were the leadoff and anchor legs on last season’s record-breaking team, respectively.

Leading off for the 800 free relay team, Kastes touched in with a time of 1:46.44 for her 200 yard split, breaking the Arkansas record time of 1:48.57, which Kastes broke last season as a freshman.

In diving, senior Madison Palmer was the lone Razorback to qualify for the three-meter diving finals where she finished eighth with a score of 280.5. Fellow senior Kellyn Williams had the second highest score for Arkansas, placing 17th in the prelims with a score of 255.85.

“Madison finishing in the top eight was good,” Poppell said. “The top eight place at SECs so we’re very happy with her performance tonight.”

After the first day of competition, Florida leads all teams with 116 points and the Razorbacks are sitting in seventh with 61 points.

On Thursday, the Razorbacks (10-1, 3-1) are back in action at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center to compete in the 50 free, 500 free, 200 individual medley, 200 free relay and one-meter diving. Preliminary races are slated to begin at 10 a.m. with finals to take place at 5:30 p.m. For live results and for complete coverage of the SEC Championship and Razorback swimming and diving, visit