While many college football fans got to see their teams compete today (at least on television), as far as we know, college swim teams have stuck to intrasquad meets so far, and the University of Kansas women kicked off their season with a intrasquad meet on Friday.
The competition featured only about half of the events in a normal college meet, omitting the longest events, including the 1000/1500 free, 400 IM, stroke 200s, or 400 yard relays, and instead focusing on the shorter events.
The Crimson team emerged victorious by a mere point, 86 to 85, with freshman Kara Church leading the Crimson with two individual victories. Church got started right away, taking the first individual event with a 1:52.89 in the 200 free. She later won the 500 free with a 5:00.92, touching nearly 8 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
Church has best times of 1:48.67 and 4:49.06 in those two events, and she should help replace Jenny Nusbaum, who finished 2nd in the 500 free and 3rd in the 200 free at last year’s Big 12 Championships as a senior, helping the Jayhawks to a 2nd place finish at that meet.
The Crimson also got a victory in the 200 medley relay (1:41.93) and also earned wins thanks to Autumn Looney‘s 24.26 in the 50 free, Jiayu Chen‘s tally 120.53 on the 1m diving, and Manon Manning‘s 56.18 in the 100 back.
Junior Kate Steward led the Blue team with two victories of her own, first taking the 200 IM in 2:07.75, then following that with a 1:05.67 in the 100 breast, the final event of the meet. Last season, Stewart was the Jayhawks’ top breaststroker, leading the team with a 1:00.34.
Kaitlyn Witt earned the win the 100 fly with a 57.46, while Claudia Dougan and Keyla Brown finished 1-2 in the 100 free with times of 53.33 and 53.47, with Crimson’s Claire Campbell taking a close 3rd at 53.54.
The Blue team closed out the meet with a victory in the 200 free relay (1:38.04), but even a 1-2 finish there wasn’t enough to overcome Crimson’s lead.
Kansas continues with virtual meets for the net two weeks, but is tentatively slated to swim against fellow Big 12 member TCU on October 17th.
Release courtesy of Kansas Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks swim & dive team held its first meet of the 2020-21 season on Friday, as they held their intrasquad meet between the crimson and blue teams inside Robinson Natatorium in Lawrence, Kansas.
“I told the team, ‘this fall is going to be all about getting back into race mode again.’ They did a good job during the shutdown with staying in shape, but with swimming, you have to have races.” Head Coach Clark Campbell said. “This is the first in a long line of racing opportunities for the team to get sharp.”
The Crimson team narrowly defeated the Red team, 86-85, behind two event victories from freshman Kara Church. The freshman from Scottsdale, Ariz., won both the 200-yard freestyle in 1:52.89 and the 500-yard freestyle in 5:00.92.
In the women’s 200-yard IM, the Blue team had the advantage led by junior Kate Steward, who finished first in 2:07.75, followed by junior Paige Riekhof, who finished second in 2:09.11. Steward also took the top time in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke, finishing in 1:05.67.
In the women’s 100-yard backstroke, senior Manon Manning led the way with a time of 56.18 for the Crimson team, followed by junior Dewi Blose in 57.72.
On the diving board, sophomore Jiayu Chen claimed the women’s 1-meter dive with a finals score of 120.53 for the Crimson squad, followed by teammate Lauren Gryboski with a score of 116.55.
The meet consisted of 11 races, including the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard IM, 50-yard freestyle, 1-meter diving, 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard freestyle relay. In total, the Crimson team was victorious in six of the events, while the Blue team won five events.
The Jayhawks will be back in action one week from today, as they host the virtual 5,000 from Robinson Natatorium in Lawrence, Kan. The meet marks the second of the season for KU, as they continue through the 2020-21 season.