(Photo: Arkansas Athletic Media Relations)
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The 18th-ranked University of Arkansas swimming and diving team (7-1, 3-1 SEC) defeated SEC-foe South Carolina and No. 21 Florida State in a double-dual meet in Columbia, S.C. The Razorbacks defeated the Seminoles, 167-133 , and the Gamecocks, 223-77. Arkansas also recorded 10 event wins, en route to the two victories.
"We had a great meet tonight," head coach Sean Schimmel said. "We are really working on being that championship type team. We are only as good as our next performance."
Arkansas defeated the Seminoles for the first time in school history, as FSU owns the previous two meetings between the two schools.
Arkansas opened the meet with a bang as the Razorback 'A' and 'B' 200 medley relay teams took first and second. Sophomore Shana Lim, sophomore Nikki Daniels, sophomore Susanna White and freshman Nina Drolc took first with a time of 1:41.75. Finishing in second with a time of 1:43.70 was the team of freshman Anna Mayfield, sophomore Julia Banach, junior Liz Braun and freshman Maddie Monroe.
To start off on the boards, the Razorback diving core took to the one-meter board in a big fashion with junior Kesha Naylor finishing in second with a 294.45 and freshman Hannah Bortnick scoring for Arkansas with a 258.95, and fifth-place.
Arkansas followed their one-two performance with another one as sophomore Lauren Jordan took first with a time of 9:57.85. Jordan led throughout nearly the whole race, but it was junior Nicole Menzel who pulled off the heroics at the end as she tracked down FSU's Julia Henkel and out-touched her at the wall with a time of 10:01.46. The back-to-back one-two finishes gave the Razorbacks a 31-point lead over South Carolina (43-12) and a 19-point lead over Florida State (37-18).
Arkansas picked up some points in the 100 backstroke when Shana Lim took first with a time of 56.15. Lim led after the first 50 yards, as she was the only swimmer under 27 seconds (26.74) on the first leg. Junior Aubrey Golbek was able to nab third-place, out-touching South Carolina's Matea Peteh at the wall, 57.80. After the strong race by Arkansas the Razorbacks held leads over South Carolina (72-21) and Florida State (54-39).
The Razorbacks picked up their fourth event win of the afternoon as sophomore Nikki Daniels swam a blistering 29.73 split to start the race and never let go, recording a final time of 1:02.32. The win, coupled with sophomore Julia Banach's fourth-place finish extended Arkansas' lead to 66-46 over Florida State and 84-28 over South Carolina.
Florida State began to close the gap with back-to-back first-place finishes in the following races. At the first swimming break the Razorbacks were left clinging to a four-point lead over the Seminoles, 77-73. However, Arkansas still maintained a solid lead over the Gamecocks , 113-37.
After the break the Seminoles snagged a one-two finish in the 100 freestyle to take the lead (87-82). Arkansas wouldn't stay down for long though as the Razorbacks responded by sweeping the top-three slots in the 200 backstroke. Freshman Anna Mayfield held the lead from the beginning swimming a 1:59.24. Junior Liz Braun picked up the second-place finish with a time of 2:00.35 and junior Julia Kucherich clocked a time of 2:03.88 to complete the trifecta.
The Razorbacks seemed to hit their stride from there winning three of the next four events.
The Razorback domination began when Naylor took first-place on the three-meter board with a score of 330.40, marking the second meet in a row the Saskatchewan, Can., native has won the three-meter competition.
"It was another solid performance by Kesha Naylor," head diving coach Dale Schultz said. "Even though she missed one dive she was consistent and strong throughout the three-meter competition, beating 2008 Olympian Ariel Rittenhouse."
Arkansas' Lauren Jordan had a tight race with FSU's Henkel in the 500 freestyle until the last 150 yards, when Jordan began to break away, recording a time of 4:52.49 to take the win.
In the last race before the second swimming break it was White who put on a show, clocking a personal best in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.91 to take the win. White's first-place finish extended the Razorbacks lead to 32 points over the Seminoles (148-116) and 126 over the Gamecocks (195-69).
White was not done yet as she clocked a 2:01.60 in the 200 IM, beating out all other swimmers by over three seconds. White led from the start and never looked back.
Arkansas would go on to sweep both double-dual meets to improve to 1-2 and 4-8 over Florida State and South Carolina respectively.
Arkansas returns to the pool tomorrow at 10 a.m. as they face Davidson and Queens College in another double-dual meet. Fans wishing to tune in can follow the live blog on ArkansasRazorbacks.com and follow the Razorbacks on Twitter (@RazorbackSwim).
For more information regarding Razorback swimming & diving or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.